How to Fix the Can't Open File '': [Errno 2] No Such File or Directory Error in Python

Manav Narula Feb 02, 2024
  1. Fix the Can't Open File '': [Errno 2] No Such File or Directory Error in Python
  2. Conclusion
How to Fix the Can't Open File '': [Errno 2] No Such File or Directory Error in Python

Every Django project has a few automatically created Python scripts. The script file provides command-line utilities for administrative tasks.

The file is similar to the script and is automatically created. It also performs additional tasks of setting the value of the DJANGO_SETTINGS_MODULE environment variable to the path of the script file of the project.

It also puts the path of the project’s package on the sys.path.

This tutorial will discuss the below error in Python and how to fix it:

python: can't open file '': [Errno 2] No such file or directory

Fix the Can't Open File '': [Errno 2] No Such File or Directory Error in Python

Incorrect Directory

One of the primary culprits behind this error is being in the wrong directory.

Picture this: you’re eager to run your Django project, but you forgot to navigate to the project’s root directory. The Python interpreter can’t find if you’re not standing in the right place.

To tackle this, ensure you’re in the correct directory using the cd command:

cd /path/to/your/project

File Doesn’t Exist

The simplest explanation is that might not exist in the specified location. A quick directory listing (ls or dir) can confirm this.

Unix-Like Systems (Linux, macOS) - Using ls:

ls /path/to/directory

This command lists the files and directories in the specified directory. Replace /path/to/directory with the actual path where is supposed to be.

Windows - Using dir:

dir C:\path\to\directory

This command does the same as ls but for Windows. Replace C:\path\to\directory with the actual path where is expected.

Note that file and directory names are case-sensitive on Unix-like systems, so ensure correct casing and spelling.

Virtual Environment

The realm of virtual environments in Python are isolated environments that allow you to manage and isolate project-specific dependencies. Activate your virtual environment using the following:

source venv/bin/activate  # On Unix/Linux


venv\Scripts\activate  # On Windows

Activating the virtual environment ensures that when you run Python commands or scripts, they use the Python interpreter and packages from within the virtual environment.

Forgetting to activate the virtual environment might lead to using the system’s global Python environment, potentially causing conflicts with project dependencies.

To deactivate the virtual environment, you can run:


This restores the system’s PATH to its previous state.

Python Version

Ensure you’re using the correct Python version required by your project. Check the version with the command python --version is used to display the version of the installed Python interpreter on your system.

When you run this command in the terminal or command prompt, it will output the version number of the Python interpreter currently in use.

python --version

For example, if you run python --version and have Python 3.8 installed, the output might be:

Python 3.8.5

It helps in troubleshooting and ensuring that the correct Python version is being used for a particular task or application.

Path Issues

Inspect your system’s PATH variable to confirm it includes the directory where Python and your project reside. Accessing and modifying the PATH variable depends on your operating system.

Below are instructions for both Unix-like systems (Linux, macOS) and Windows.

Unix-Like Systems (Linux, macOS):

  • Viewing PATH

    Open a terminal and type the following command:

    echo $PATH
  • Modifying PATH

    To modify the PATH temporarily (for the current session), you can use the export command. For example:

    export PATH=/new/directory:$PATH

To make the change permanent, add the export command to your shell configuration file (e.g., ~/.bashrc for Bash or ~/.zshrc for Zsh).

For example, using a text editor:

nano ~/.bashrc

Add the export line at the end of the file, then save and exit.

After modifying the configuration file, you need to either restart your terminal or run source ~/.bashrc (or the respective file for your shell) for the changes to take effect.


  • Viewing PATH

    Open a Command Prompt and type:

    echo %PATH%
  • Modifying PATH
    • Graphical User Interface (GUI):

      • Right-click on This PC or Computer on your desktop or in File Explorer.
      • Go to Properties > Advanced System Settings > Environment Variables > System variables > Path > Edit.
      • Add or modify the directories as needed.
    • Command Line:

      • Open a Command Prompt as an administrator.

      • To add a directory to the PATH, use the setx command. For example:

        setx PATH "%PATH%;C:\new\directory"
	- Replace `C:\new\directory` with the path you want to add.

Note: Changes to the PATH variable might not take effect in currently open command prompt windows. Consider closing and reopening any command prompt windows for the changes to apply.

Always double-check your modifications on system environment variables, as incorrect changes can affect the functionality of your system.

File Permissions

This part provides instructions about file permissions on a Unix-like system (such as Linux or macOS) and involves the use of the chmod command to make a Python script ( executable.

chmod +x
  • chmod is used to change the file permissions.
  • The +x option adds the execute permission to the file.
  • chmod +x is a command that grants the execute permission to the file named

This is commonly done for Python scripts or other executable files to allow them to be run as programs. The script is used for various management tasks related to the Django project, and making it executable allows you to run Django management commands more conveniently.

While granting execute permissions can be convenient, it’s essential to ensure that you only give execute permissions to scripts or programs that you trust. Executable files can potentially execute harmful actions, so use them with caution.

Reinstalling Dependencies

The command pip install -r requirements.txt is used to install Python packages listed in a file called requirements.txt. This file contains a list of specific package names and versions that are required for a Python project to run without error.

By using this command, you can easily install all the dependencies specified in the requirements.txt file in one go.

pip install -r requirements.txt

Also, note that running pip install -r requirements.txt would install numpy version 1.18.1 and any version of requests that is greater than or equal to 2.25.0. The specific versions ensure that the project uses the specified versions of the dependencies, promoting consistency across different environments.


Resolving the Can't Open File '' error is essential for maintaining a smooth Python development experience. By understanding the common issues and being able to apply the provided solution, developers can prevent encountering the same issue in the future.

Author: Manav Narula
Manav Narula avatar Manav Narula avatar

Manav is a IT Professional who has a lot of experience as a core developer in many live projects. He is an avid learner who enjoys learning new things and sharing his findings whenever possible.


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