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Riposte allows you to easily wrap your application inside a tailored interactive shell. Common chores regarding building REPLs was factored out and being taken care of so you can really focus on specific domain logic of your application.

The motivation for building Riposte coming from many sleepless nights of handling numerous tricky cases regarding REPLs during routersploit development. Like every other project it began very innocently but after a while, when the project got some real traction and code base was rapidly growing, shell logic started to intertwine with domain logic making things less and less readable and contributor friendly.

Moreover, to our surprise, people started to fork routersploit not because they were interested in the security of embedded devices but simply because they want to leverage our interactive shell logic and build their own tools using similar concept. All these years they must have said: "There must be a better way!" and they were completely right, the better way is called Riposte.

Table of contents

Getting Started


The package is available on PyPI so please use pip to install it:

pip install riposte

Riposte supports Python 3.6 and newer.

Example usage

from riposte import Riposte

calculator = Riposte(prompt="calc:~$ ")


def add(x: int, y: int):
    result = f"{x} + {y} = {x + y}", 

def multiply(x: int, y: int):
    result = f"{x} * {y} = {x * y}",

def memory():
    for entry in MEMORY:
calc:~$ add 2 2
[+] 2 + 2 = 4
calc:~$ multiply 3 3
[+] 3 * 3 = 9
calc:~$ memory
2 + 2 = 4
3 * 3 = 9



First and foremost you want to register some commands to make your REPL actionable. Adding command and bounding it with handling function is possible through Riposte.command decorator.

from riposte import Riposte

repl = Riposte()

def hello():
    repl.success("Is it me you looking for?")
riposte:~ $ hello
[+] Is it me you looking for?

Additionally Riposte.command accepts few optional parameters:

  • description few words describing command which you can later use to build meaningful help
  • guides definition of how to interpret passed arguments


Riposte comes with support for tab-completion for commands. You can register completer function in a similar way you registering commands, just use Riposte.complete decorator and point it to a specific command.

from riposte import Riposte

repl = Riposte()

START_SUBCOMMANDS = ["foo", "bar"]

def start(subcommand: str):
    if subcommand in START_SUBCOMMANDS:
        repl.status(f"{subcommand} started")
        repl.error("Unknown subcommand.")

def start_completer(text, line, start_index, end_index):
    return [
        for subcommand in START_SUBCOMMANDS
        if subcommand.startswith(text)

Completer function is triggered by the TAB key. Every completer function should return list of valid options and should accept the following parameters:

  • text last word in the line
  • line content of the whole line
  • start_index starting index of the last word in the line
  • end_index ending index of the last word in the line

So in the case of our example:

riposte:~ $ start ba<TAB>

text -> "ba"
line -> "start ba"
start_index -> 6
end_index -> 8

Equipped with this information you can build your custom completer functions for every command.


Guides is a way of saying how command should interpret arguments passed by the user via prompt. Riposte rely on type-hints in order to do that.

from riposte import Riposte

repl = Riposte()

def guideme(x: int, y: str):
    repl.print("x:", x, type(x))
    repl.print("y:", y, type(y))
riposte:~ $ guideme 1 1
x: 1 <class 'int'>
y: 1 <class 'str'>

In both cases we've passed value 1 as x and y. Based on parameter's type-hint passed arguments was interpreted as int in case of x and as str in case of y. You can also use this technique for different types.

from riposte import Riposte

repl = Riposte()

def guideme(x: dict, y: list):
    x["foo"] = "bar"
    repl.print("x:", x, type(x))
    repl.print("y:", y, type(y))
riposte:~ $ guideme "{'bar': 'baz'}" "['barbaz']"
x: {'bar': 'baz', 'foo': 'bar'} <class 'dict'>
y: ['barbaz', 'foobar'] <class 'list'>

Another more powerful way of defining guides for handling function parameters is defining it straight fromRiposte.command decorator. In this case guide defined this way take precedence over the type hints.

from riposte import Riposte

repl = Riposte()

@repl.command("guideme", guides={"x": [int]})
def guideme(x):
    repl.print("x:", x, type(x))
riposte:~ $ guideme 1
x: 1 <class 'int'>

Why it is more powerful? Because this way you can chain different guides, where output of one guide is input for another, creating validation or cast input into more complex types.

from collections import namedtuple

from riposte import Riposte
from riposte.exceptions import RiposteException
from riposte.guides import literal

repl = Riposte()

def non_negative(value: int):
    if value < 0:
        raise RiposteException("Value can't be negative")
    return value

Point = namedtuple("Point", ("x", "y"))

def get_point(value: dict):
    return Point(**value)

              guides={"x": [int, non_negative], "y": [literal, get_point]})
def guideme(x, y):
    repl.print("x:", x, type(x))
    repl.print("y:", y, type(y))
riposte:~ $ guideme -1 '{"x": 1, "y": 2}'
[-] Value can't be negative
riposte:~ $ guideme 1 '{"x": 1, "y": 2}'
x: 1 <class 'int'>
y: Point(x=1, y=2) <class '__main__.Point'>
riposte:~ $ 

Under the hood, it is a simple function call where the input string is passed to first guide function in the chain. In this case, the call looks like this:

non_negative(int("-1"))  # guide chain for parameter `x`
get_point(literal('{"x": 1, "y": 2}'))  # guide chain for parameter `y`


Riposte comes with built-in thread safe printing methods:

  • print
  • info
  • error
  • status
  • success

Every method follows the signature of Python's built-in print() function. Besides print all of them provide informative coloring corresponding to its name.

We strongly encourage to stick to our thread safe printing API but if you are feeling frisky, know what you are doing and you are 100% sure, that threaded execution is something that will never come up at some point in the lifecycle of you application feel free to use Python's built-in print() function.

Extending PrinterMixin

If you want to change the styling of existing methods or add custom one, please extend PrinterMixin class.

from riposte import Riposte
from riposte.printer.mixins import PrinterMixin

class ExtendedPrinterMixin(PrinterMixin):
    def success(self, *args, **kwargs):  # overwriting existing method
        self.print(*args, **kwargs)
    def shout(self, *args, **kwargs):  # adding new one
        self.print((*args, "!!!"), **kwargs)

class CustomRiposte(Riposte, ExtendedPrinterMixin):
repl = CustomRiposte()

def foobar(message: str):

Customizing PrinterMixin

Not happy about existing printing API? No problem, you can also build your own from scratch using PrinterBaseMixin and its thread safe _print method.

from riposte import Riposte
from riposte.printer.mixins import PrinterBaseMixin

class CustomPrinterMixin(PrinterBaseMixin):
    def ask(self, *args, **kwargs):  # adding new one
        self._print((*args, "???"), **kwargs)
    def shout(self, *args, **kwargs):  # adding new one
        self._print((*args, "!!!"), **kwargs)

class CustomRiposte(Riposte, CustomPrinterMixin):
repl = CustomRiposte()

def foobar(message: str):
    repl.success(message)  # It'll raise exception as it's no longer available

Coloring output with Pallete

If you feel like adding a few colors to the output you can always use Pallete.

from riposte import Riposte
from riposte.printer import Palette

repl = Riposte()

def foo(msg: str):
    repl.print(Palette.GREEN.format(msg))  # It will be green

Pallete goes with the following output formattings:

  • GREY
  • RED
  • BLUE
  • CYAN
  • BOLD


Command history is stored in your HOME directory in .riposte file. The default length is 100 lines. Both settings can be changed using history_file and history_length parameters.

from pathlib import Path
from riposte import Riposte

repl = Riposte(
    history_file=Path.home() / ".custom_history_file", 


The default prompt is riposte:~ $ but you can easily customize it:

from riposte import Riposte

repl = Riposte(prompt="custom-prompt >>> ")

You can also dynamically resolve prompt layout based on the state of some object simply by overwriting Riposte.prompt property. In the following example, we'll determine prompt based on MODULE value:

from riposte import Riposte


class CustomRiposte(Riposte):
    def prompt(self):
        if MODULE:
            return f"foo:{MODULE} > "
            return self._prompt  # reference to `prompt` parameter.
repl = CustomRiposte(prompt="foo > ")

def set_module(module_name: str):
    global MODULE 
    MODULE = module_name
    repl.success("Module has been set.")
def unset_module():
    global MODULE 
    MODULE = None
    repl.success("Module has been unset.")
foo > set bar
[+] Module has been set.
foo:bar > unset
[+] Module has been unset.
foo >

Project status

Riposte is under development. It might be considered to be in beta phase. There might be some breaking changes in the future although a lot of concepts present here was already battle-tested during routersploit development.


Please read for details on our code of conduct, and the process for submitting pull requests to us.


Project uses SemVer versioning. For the versions available, see the releases.


Riposte is licensed under the MIT License - see the LICENSE file for details