Fix PyCharm: Python quit unexpectedly

Rodrigo Silveira
Dec 3, 2019 · 2 min read
Why is PyCharm suddenly unable to run Python scripts?

I’m a long time user of JetBrains IDEs. Simply the best. My Python workflow includes running scripts using PyCharm’s built-in Run/Debug configuration. If you don’t take advantage of this feature, I invite you to do so next time you’re writing code.

The Problem

The other day I got the error message above:

Python quit unexpectedly.Process:               Python [8520]
Path: /Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/3.6/Resources/Python.app/Contents/MacOS/Python
Identifier: Python
Version: 3.6.8 (3.6.8)
Code Type: X86-64 (Native)
Parent Process: pycharm [4412]
Responsible: Python [8520]
User ID: 501
Date/Time: 2019-12-02 22:05:05.623 -0700
OS Version: Mac OS X 10.14.6 (18G1012)
Report Version: 12
Bridge OS Version: 4.1 (17P1081)
Anonymous UUID: 8D27C45B-6035-3C83-450A-8A74DCA59153
Time Awake Since Boot: 1100 secondsSystem Integrity Protection: enabledCrashed Thread: 0 Dispatch queue: com.apple.main-threadException Type: EXC_CRASH (SIGABRT)
Exception Codes: 0x0000000000000000, 0x0000000000000000
Exception Note: EXC_CORPSE_NOTIFY
Application Specific Information:
dyld2 mode
abort() called
Thread 0 Crashed:: Dispatch queue: com.apple.main-thread
0 libsystem_kernel.dylib 0x00007fff624922c6 __pthread_kill + 10
1 libsystem_pthread.dylib 0x00007fff6254dbf1 pthread_kill + 284
2 libsystem_c.dylib 0x00007fff623fc6a6 abort + 127
3 org.python.python 0x000000010664cb84 Py_FatalError + 484
4 org.python.python 0x000000010664c95c _Py_InitializeEx_Private + 1372
5 org.python.python 0x0000000106669540 Py_Main + 2064
6 org.python.python 0x0000000106545df8 0x106545000 + 3576
7 libdyld.dylib 0x00007fff623573d5 start + 1
Thread 0 crashed with X86 Thread State (64-bit):
rax: 0x0000000000000000 rbx: 0x00000001074bb5c0 rcx: 0x00007ffee96ba368 rdx: 0x0000000000000000
rdi: 0x0000000000000307 rsi: 0x0000000000000006 rbp: 0x00007ffee96ba3a0 rsp: 0x00007ffee96ba368
r8: 0x0000000106572a80 r9: 0x0000000000000000 r10: 0x0000000000000000 r11: 0x0000000000000206
r12: 0x0000000000000307 r13: 0x00007fa9f0065ef8 r14: 0x0000000000000006 r15: 0x000000000000002d
rip: 0x00007fff624922c6 rfl: 0x0000000000000206 cr2: 0x00007fff98bec188

Logical CPU: 0
Error Code: 0x02000148
Trap Number: 133

Closing and reopening the IDE didn’t help. Rebooting the laptop didn’t help. I thought about taking out the MacOSX cartridge, blowing on it, and trying again, but couldn’t find the reset button.

The Cause

As it turns out, one of the last things I did some time before the problem started happening was something I do often: when I want to run a very one-off piece of Python, I create a throwaway script, type in my one-off code, and run it:

# Using PyCharm's built-in terminal
touch oneoff.py

In this case, I already had a file named oneoff.py and out.py (my two go-to throwaway script names), so I did this:

touch abc.py

And that is precisely the source of the above IDE crash, believe it or not.

The Solution

As it turns out, abc.py is a module in the standard library used by several other modules. When I tried running my “real” scripts, my version of abc.py was loaded by other modules trying to use the real abc.py .

The solution: in my case, I just deleted the throwaway abc.py file. If I really wanted it, I could have just renamed it to something else, but you get the point now.

Rodrigo Silveira

Written by

Software engineer fascinated with learning, practicing, and teaching.

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