Quick Reference

This section lists the bitstring module’s classes together with all their methods and attributes. The next section goes into full detail with examples.



A Bits is the most basic class. It is immutable, so once created its value cannot change. It is a base class for all the other classes in the bitstring module.


  • all – Check if all specified bits are set to 1 or 0.

  • any – Check if any of specified bits are set to 1 or 0.

  • count – Count the number of bits set to 1 or 0.

  • cut – Create generator of constant sized chunks.

  • endswith – Return whether the bitstring ends with a sub-bitstring.

  • find – Find a sub-bitstring in the current bitstring.

  • findall – Find all occurrences of a sub-bitstring in the current bitstring.

  • join – Join bitstrings together using current bitstring.

  • rfind – Seek backwards to find a sub-bitstring.

  • split – Create generator of chunks split by a delimiter.

  • startswith – Return whether the bitstring starts with a sub-bitstring.

  • tobytes – Return bitstring as bytes, padding if needed.

  • tofile – Write bitstring to file, padding if needed.

  • unpack – Interpret bits using format string.

Special methods

Also available are the operators [], ==, !=, +, *, ~, <<, >>, &, | and ^.


  • bin – The bitstring as a binary string.

  • bool – For single bit bitstrings, interpret as True or False.

  • bytes – The bitstring as a bytes object.

  • float – Interpret as a floating point number.

  • floatbe – Interpret as a big-endian floating point number.

  • floatle – Interpret as a little-endian floating point number.

  • floatne – Interpret as a native-endian floating point number.

  • hex – The bitstring as a hexadecimal string.

  • int – Interpret as a two’s complement signed integer.

  • intbe – Interpret as a big-endian signed integer.

  • intle – Interpret as a little-endian signed integer.

  • intne – Interpret as a native-endian signed integer.

  • len – Length of the bitstring in bits.

  • oct – The bitstring as an octal string.

  • se – Interpret as a signed exponential-Golomb code.

  • ue – Interpret as an unsigned exponential-Golomb code.

  • sie – Interpret as a signed interleaved exponential-Golomb code.

  • uie – Interpret as an unsigned interleaved exponential-Golomb code.

  • uint – Interpret as a two’s complement unsigned integer.

  • uintbe – Interpret as a big-endian unsigned integer.

  • uintle – Interpret as a little-endian unsigned integer.

  • uintne – Interpret as a native-endian unsigned integer.



This class adds mutating methods to Bits.

Additional methods

  • append – Append a bitstring.

  • byteswap – Change byte endianness in-place.

  • clear – Remove all bits from the bitstring.

  • copy – Return a copy of the bitstring.

  • insert – Insert a bitstring.

  • invert – Flip bit(s) between one and zero.

  • overwrite – Overwrite a section with a new bitstring.

  • prepend – Prepend a bitstring.

  • replace – Replace occurrences of one bitstring with another.

  • reverse – Reverse bits in-place.

  • rol – Rotate bits to the left.

  • ror – Rotate bits to the right.

  • set – Set bit(s) to 1 or 0.

Additional special methods

Mutating operators are available: [], <<=, >>=, *=, &=, |= and ^=.


The same as Bits, except that they are all (with the exception of len) writable as well as readable.



This class, previously known as just Bits (which is an alias for backward-compatibility), adds a bit position and methods to read and navigate in the bitstream.

Additional methods

  • bytealign – Align to next byte boundary.

  • peek – Peek at and interpret next bits as a single item.

  • peeklist – Peek at and interpret next bits as a list of items.

  • read – Read and interpret next bits as a single item.

  • readlist – Read and interpret next bits as a list of items.

  • readto – Read up to and including next occurrence of a bitstring.

Additional attributes

  • bytepos – The current byte position in the bitstring.

  • pos – The current bit position in the bitstring.


BitStream(BitArray, ConstBitStream)

This class, also known as BitString, contains all of the ‘stream’ elements of ConstBitStream and adds all of the mutating methods of BitArray.