EDIT: I've tried running the code linked in the duplicate flag, it's posted here for reference, and it doesn't run. I had already referred to that answer in my initial post.

My problem

Downloaded shapefile is missing .shx file and trying to use pyshp to build it on a mac.*

I've tried this code that I've picked up from the pyshp documentation. When checking the r.shapes and r.records, it looks like all of the info is there.

myshp = open("Stockton/Stockton.shp", "rb")
mydbf = open("Stockton/Stockton.dbf", "rb")
r = shapefile.Reader(shp=myshp, dbf=mydbf, shx=None)

In the documentation, it looks like each record and shape is being added one at a time. Is there a method I'm missing? Or could a list comprehension be used here to loop through everything?**

Data and References

I've downloaded the Microsoft Building Data for Stockton CA from here. I've tried to follow the code from the answer here

    # Build a new shx index file
    #Code by Joel Lawhead http://geospatialpython.com/2011/11/generating-shapefile-shx-files.html
    import shapefile
    # Explicitly name the shp and dbf file objects
    # so pyshp ignores the missing/corrupt shx
    myshp = open("Stockton/Stockton.shp", "rb")
    mydbf = open("Stockton/Stockton.dbf", "rb")
    r = shapefile.Reader(shp=myshp, shx=None, dbf=mydbf)
    w = shapefile.Writer(r.shapeType)
    # Copy everything from reader object to writer object
    w._shapes = r.shapes()
    w.records = r.records()
    w.fields = list(r.fields)
    # saving will generate the shx

but get this error:

TypeError                                 Traceback (most recent call last)
<ipython-input-94-345df1656b96> in <module>
      7 mydbf = open("Stockton/Stockton.dbf", "rb")
      8 r = shapefile.Reader(shp=myshp, shx=None, dbf=mydbf)
----> 9 w = shapefile.Writer(r.shapeType)
     10 # Copy everything from reader object to writer object
     11 w._shapes = r.shapes()


TypeError: expected str, bytes or os.PathLike object, not int

*Because I'm using a Mac, none of the solutions here seem like they would work.

**Still fairly new to Python so please forgive wrong/confusing terminology.

  • I'm not quite sure how this is a duplicate as the question linked doesn't answer my question. I've run that code and posted the error it gives me.
    – maxo
    Jul 31, 2019 at 22:52
  • 1
    The OGR options should still work on your Mac. OGR is part of GDAL, which can be installed and run on a Mac. There's a bit of a learning curve though. Jul 31, 2019 at 23:01
  • There exist datasets for which the .shx cannot be recovered, like shapefiles with CAD objects in them. The CAD data live in a hole between the documented geometry data, and the size of the hole can only be determined by peeking at the next record start.
    – Vince
    Aug 1, 2019 at 0:14
  • 1
    I agree, this isn't a dupe. You need to pass a filepath as the first arg, or use keyword args shapefile.Writer(target='path/to/shx', shapeType=r.shapeType)
    – user2856
    Aug 1, 2019 at 4:37

1 Answer 1


That example code you link to looks like it's out of date (for an old version of pyshp).

This works (based on bits and pieces from the docs):

shp = r"path/to/shp"  # NOTE no .shp extension

from shapefile import (Reader, Writer)

try:  # Py2 (I haven't actually tested on python 2...)
    from StringIO import StringIO as IO
except ImportError:  # Py3
    from io import BytesIO as IO

with IO() as shpio, IO() as dbfio:  # Don't overwrite existing .shp, .dbf
    with Reader(shp) as r, Writer(shp=shpio, dbf=dbfio, shx=shp+'.shx') as w:
        w.fields = r.fields[1:]  # skip first deletion field
        for rec in r.iterShapeRecords():
  • You just SAVED MY ASS. THANK YOU! Sep 22, 2022 at 15:01
  • If you're using fiona or geopandas to read in shapefiles, you can also add the following at the start of your script: import gdal; gdal.SetConfigOption('SHAPE_RESTORE_SHX', 'YES') Feb 27, 2023 at 8:31

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