Which Is the Binary Types Data Type in Python?


Larry Thompson

Which Is the Binary Types Data Type in Python?

In Python, the binary data type allows you to work with binary data, which is a sequence of bytes. This data type is essential when dealing with files, network protocols, and other low-level operations that require direct access to binary data.

Binary Data in Python

Python provides two built-in types for working with binary data:

  • bytes: An immutable sequence of bytes
  • bytearray: A mutable sequence of bytes

The difference between these two types is that bytes objects are immutable, meaning they cannot be modified once created. On the other hand, bytearray objects are mutable, allowing you to modify their contents.

The bytes Type

To create a bytes object, you can use the built-in bytes() function or by using a byte literal prefixed with a ‘b’ character. Here’s an example:

# Using the bytes() function
data = bytes([65, 66, 67])
print(data)  # Output: b'ABC'

# Using a byte literal
data = b'Hello'
print(data)  # Output: b'Hello'

Note that when printing a bytes object, it is prefixed with a ‘b’ character to indicate that it represents binary data.

The bytearray Type

The bytearray type is similar to the bytes type, but it allows you to modify its contents. You can create a bytearray object using the built-in bytearray() function or by converting a bytes object to a bytearray. Here’s an example:

# Using the bytearray() function
data = bytearray([72, 101, 108, 108, 111])
print(data)  # Output: bytearray(b'Hello')

# Converting bytes to bytearray
bytes_data = b'World'
data = bytearray(bytes_data)
print(data)  # Output: bytearray(b'World')

You can modify the contents of a bytearray using indexing and assignment:

# Modifying a byte in a bytearray
data = bytearray(b'Python')
data[0] = 80
print(data)  # Output: bytearray(b'Python')


In Python, the binary data type is represented by the bytes and bytearray types. The bytes type is immutable, while the bytearray type is mutable. Understanding these data types is crucial when working with binary data in Python.

To recap:

  • The bytes type: Immutable sequence of bytes.
  • The bytearray type: Mutable sequence of bytes.

You can create and manipulate binary data using these types efficiently for various applications such as file I/O, network communication, and more.

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