# How to convert signed to unsigned integer in python

Let's say I have this number `i = -6884376`. How do I refer to it as to an unsigned variable? Something like `(unsigned long)i` in C.

Assuming :

1. You have 2's-complement representations in mind; and,
2. By `(unsigned long)` you mean unsigned 32-bit integer,

then you just need to add `2**32 (or 1 << 32)` to the negative value.

For example, apply this to -1:

```    >>> -1
-1
>>> _ + 2**32
4294967295L
>>> bin(_)
'0b11111111111111111111111111111111'
```

Assumption #1 means you want -1 to be viewed as a solid string of 1 bits, and assumption #2 means you want 32 of them.

Nobody but you can say what your hidden assumptions are, though. If, for example, you have 1's-complement representations in mind, then you need to apply the `~` prefix operator instead. Python integers work hard to give the illusion of using an infinitely wide 2's complement representation (like regular 2's complement, but with an infinite number of "sign bits").

And to duplicate what the platform C compiler does, you can use the `ctypes` module:

```    >>> import ctypes
>>> ctypes.c_ulong(-1)  # stuff Python's -1 into a C unsigned long
c_ulong(4294967295L)
>>> _.value
4294967295L
```

C's `unsigned long` happens to be 4 bytes on the box that ran this sample.

From: stackoverflow.com/q/20766813

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