When something “entity-like” is required, it means that you need to provide something that can be turned into an entity. These things include, but are not limited to, usernames, exact titles, IDs, Peer objects, or even entire User, Chat and Channel objects and even phone numbers from people you have in your contact list.
To “encounter” an ID, you would have to “find it” like you would in the
normal app. If the peer is in your dialogs, you would need to
If the peer is someone in a group, you would similarly
Once you have encountered an ID, the library will (by default) have saved
access_hash for you, which is needed to invoke most methods.
This is why sometimes you might encounter this error when working with
the library. You should
except ValueError and run code that you know
should work to find the entity.
A lot of methods and requests require entities to work. For example, you send a message to an entity, get the username of an entity, and so on.
There are a lot of things that work as entities: usernames, phone numbers, chat links, invite links, IDs, and the types themselves. That is, you can use any of those when you see an “entity” is needed.
Remember that the phone number must be in your contact list before you can use it.
You should use, from better to worse:
- Input entities. For example,
message.input_sender, or caching an entity you will use a lot with
entity = await client.get_input_entity(...).
- Entities. For example, if you had to get someone’s
username, you can just use
channel. It will work. Only use this option if you already have the entity!
- IDs. This will always look the entity up from the
*.sessionfile caches seen entities).
- Usernames, phone numbers and links. The cache will be
used too (unless you force a
client.get_entity()), but may make a request if the username, phone or link has not been found yet.
In recent versions of the library, the following two are equivalent:
async def handler(event): await client.send_message(event.sender_id, 'Hi') await client.send_message(event.input_sender, 'Hi')
If you need to be 99% sure that the code will work (sometimes it’s simply impossible for the library to find the input entity), or if you will reuse the chat a lot, consider using the following instead:
async def handler(event): # This method may make a network request to find the input sender. # Properties can't make network requests, so we need a method. sender = await event.get_input_sender() await client.send_message(sender, 'Hi') await client.send_message(sender, 'Hi')
Through the use of the Session Files, the library will automatically remember the ID and hash pair, along with some extra information, so you’re able to just do this:
# (These examples assume you are inside an "async def") # # Dialogs are the "conversations you have open". # This method returns a list of Dialog, which # has the .entity attribute and other information. # # This part is IMPORTANT, because it fills the entity cache. dialogs = await client.get_dialogs() # All of these work and do the same. username = await client.get_entity('username') username = await client.get_entity('t.me/username') username = await client.get_entity('https://telegram.dog/username') # Other kind of entities. channel = await client.get_entity('telegram.me/joinchat/AAAAAEkk2WdoDrB4-Q8-gg') contact = await client.get_entity('+34xxxxxxxxx') friend = await client.get_entity(friend_id) # Getting entities through their ID (User, Chat or Channel) entity = await client.get_entity(some_id) # You can be more explicit about the type for said ID by wrapping # it inside a Peer instance. This is recommended but not necessary. from telethon.tl.types import PeerUser, PeerChat, PeerChannel my_user = await client.get_entity(PeerUser(some_id)) my_chat = await client.get_entity(PeerChat(some_id)) my_channel = await client.get_entity(PeerChannel(some_id))
You don’t need to get the entity before using it! Just let the library do its job. Use a phone from your contacts, username, ID or input entity (preferred but not necessary), whatever you already have.
All methods in the TelegramClient call
to sending the request to save you from the hassle of doing so manually.
That way, convenience calls such as
Every entity the library encounters (in any response to any call) will by
default be cached in the
.session file (an SQLite database), to avoid
performing unnecessary API calls. If the entity cannot be found, additonal
calls like ResolveUsernameRequest or GetContactsRequest may be
made to obtain the required information.
This section is informative, but worth reading. The library will transparently handle all of these details for you.
On top of the normal types, the API also make use of what they call their
Input* versions of objects. The input version of an entity (e.g.
InputPeerUser, InputChat, etc.) only contains the minimum
information that’s required from Telegram to be able to identify
who you’re referring to: a Peer’s ID and hash. They
are named like this because they are input parameters in the requests.
Entities’ ID are the same for all user and bot accounts, however, the access hash is different for each account, so trying to reuse the access hash from one account in another will not work.
Sometimes, Telegram only needs to indicate the type of the entity along with their ID. For this purpose, Peer versions of the entities also exist, which just have the ID. You cannot get the hash out of them since you should not be needing it. The library probably has cached it before.
Peers are enough to identify an entity, but they are not enough to make a request with them. You need to know their hash before you can “use them”, and to know the hash you need to “encounter” them, let it be in your dialogs, participants, message forwards, etc.
You can use peers with the library. Behind the scenes, they are replaced with the input variant. Peers “aren’t enough” on their own but the library will do some more work to use the right type.
As we just mentioned, API calls don’t need to know the whole information
about the entities, only their ID and hash. For this reason, another method,
is available. This will always use the cache while possible, making zero API
calls most of the time. When a request is made, if you provided the full
entity, e.g. an User, the library will convert it to the required
InputPeer automatically for you.
You should always favour
for this reason! Calling the latter will always make an API call to get
the most recent information about said entity, but invoking requests don’t
need this information, just the InputPeer. Only use
if you need to get actual information, like the username, name, title, etc.
of the entity.
To further simplify the workflow, since the version
0.16.2 of the
library, the raw requests you make to the API are also able to call
wherever needed, so you can even do things like:
await client(SendMessageRequest('username', 'hello'))
The library will call the
.resolve() method of the request, which will
'username' with the appropriated InputPeer. Don’t worry if
you don’t get this yet, but remember some of the details here are important.
This full variant has additional information such as whether the user is blocked, its notification settings, the bio or about of the user, etc.
There is also messages.ChatFull which is the equivalent of full entities
for chats and channels, with also the about section of the channel. Note that
users field only contains bots for the channel (so that clients can
suggest commands to use).
When the documentation says “Bases:
it means that the class you’re looking at, also can act as the class it
bases. In this case,
knows how to get the chat where a thing belongs to.
Message is a
That means you can do this:
message.is_private message.chat_id await message.get_chat() # ...etc
SenderGetter is similar:
message.user_id await message.get_input_user() message.user # ...etc
Quite a few things implement them, so it makes sense to reuse the code.
For example, all events (except raw updates) implement
ChatGetter since all events occur
in some chat.
TL;DR; If you’re here because of “Could not find the input entity for”, you must ask yourself “how did I find this entity through official applications”? Now do the same with the library. Use what applies:
# (These examples assume you are inside an "async def") async with client: # Does it have a username? Use it! entity = await client.get_entity(username) # Do you have a conversation open with them? Get dialogs. await client.get_dialogs() # Are they participant of some group? Get them. await client.get_participants('username') # Is the entity the original sender of a forwarded message? Get it. await client.get_messages('username', 100) # NOW you can use the ID, anywhere! await client.send_message(123456, 'Hi!') entity = await client.get_entity(123456) print(entity)
Once the library has “seen” the entity, you can use their integer ID. You can’t use entities from IDs the library hasn’t seen. You must make the library see them at least once and disconnect properly. You know where the entities are and you must tell the library. It won’t guess for you.