Python Quickstart

Complete the steps described in the rest of this page, and in about five minutes you'll have a simple Python command-line application that makes requests to the Gmail API.

Prerequisites

To run this quickstart, you'll need:

  • Python 2.6 or greater.
  • The pip package management tool.
  • A Google account with Gmail enabled.

Step 1: Turn on the Gmail API

Click this button to create a new console project and automatically enable the Gmail API:

Enable the Gmail API

This opens a new dialog. In the dialog, do the following:

  1. Select + Create a new project.
  2. Download the configuration file.
  3. Move the downloaded file to your working directory and ensure it is named credentials.json.

Step 2: Install the Google Client Library

Run the following command to install the library using pip:

pip install --upgrade google-api-python-client oauth2client

See the library's installation page for the alternative installation options.

Step 3: Set up the sample

Create a file named quickstart.py in your working directory and copy in the following code:

gmail/quickstart/quickstart.py
from __future__ import print_function
from googleapiclient.discovery import build
from httplib2 import Http
from oauth2client import file, client, tools

# If modifying these scopes, delete the file token.json.
SCOPES = 'https://www.googleapis.com/auth/gmail.readonly'

def main():
    """Shows basic usage of the Gmail API.
    Lists the user's Gmail labels.
    """
    # The file token.json stores the user's access and refresh tokens, and is
    # created automatically when the authorization flow completes for the first
    # time.
    store = file.Storage('token.json')
    creds = store.get()
    if not creds or creds.invalid:
        flow = client.flow_from_clientsecrets('credentials.json', SCOPES)
        creds = tools.run_flow(flow, store)
    service = build('gmail', 'v1', http=creds.authorize(Http()))

    # Call the Gmail API
    results = service.users().labels().list(userId='me').execute()
    labels = results.get('labels', [])

    if not labels:
        print('No labels found.')
    else:
        print('Labels:')
        for label in labels:
            print(label['name'])

if __name__ == '__main__':
    main()

Step 4: Run the sample

Run the sample using the following command:

python quickstart.py
  1. The sample will attempt to open a new window or tab in your default browser. If this fails, copy the URL from the console and manually open it in your browser.

    If you are not already logged into your Google account, you will be prompted to log in. If you are logged into multiple Google accounts, you will be asked to select one account to use for the authorization.

  2. Click the Accept button.
  3. The sample will proceed automatically, and you may close the window/tab.

Notes

  • Authorization information is stored on the file system, so subsequent executions will not prompt for authorization.
  • The authorization flow in this example is designed for a command-line application. For information on how to perform authorization in a web application, see Using OAuth 2.0 for Web Server Applications.

Further reading

Troubleshooting

AttributeError: 'Module_six_moves_urllib_parse' object has no attribute 'urlparse'

This error can occur in Mac OSX where the default installation of the "six" module (a dependency of this library) is loaded before the one that pip installed. To fix the issue, add pip's install location to the PYTHONPATH system environment variable:

  1. Determine pip's install location with the following command:

    pip show six | grep "Location:" | cut -d " " -f2
    
  2. Add the following line to your ~/.bashrc file, replacing <pip_install_path> with the value determined above:

    export PYTHONPATH=$PYTHONPATH:<pip_install_path>
    
  3. Reload your ~/.bashrc file in any open terminal windows using the following command:

    source ~/.bashrc
    

TypeError: sequence item 0: expected str instance, bytes found

This error is due to a bug in httplib2, and upgrading to the latest version should resolve it:

pip install --upgrade httplib2

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