python programming - Installing python
15 Nov 2018 - Mark Edosa
Installation of python is very easy although it is dependent on the operating system of your device.
To install python, go to https://www.python.org/downloads/ and select the latest release of the python software based on your operating system. Usually, the download options specific to your operating system are shown first. This article is second in the introduction to python programming series. The first article that introduces the subject matter can be found here.
Installing python on Windows / MacOs
Click the orange-colored download button if you want the 32-bit version of the software (e.g.
python-3.7.1.exe) else scroll down a bit and click on a specific release e.g.
python-3.7.1. This should take you the page where you can select the 64 bit version of the software. This should be python-3.7.1.
amd64.exe for example. (note the amd64)
Upon clicking the python executable or .exe file, you should get a prompt as shown below:
Make sure you check the “add python to path” option as shown above. This enables you run the python interpreter from the commandline anywhere on your device. Also it makes it easier for other softwares which require python to find the python program.
install now or click
customize installation if you want specific features (both optional and advanced) as well as the ability to choose the location of installation. If you are a beginner, click
install now. Note that you can make further modifications after installing python by clicking the installer. After a successful installation, you should see this.
After installation, open the commandline on your device (shift + right-click) and type
python3. This should launch the python interpreter.
On windows only:
py -0 to produce a list of the installed pythons, with default marked with an asterisk. Running
py -0p will include the paths. If py is run with a version specifier that cannot be matched it will also print the short form list of available specifiers (excerpt from python 3.7 changelog)
Along with the python interpreter, other files associated with the python installation includes
the python manual/documentation (a must-have great place to learn python)
the default python shell called IDLE
the python module documentation
click on this to open the module docs in your device’s default web browser. There you can assess information on python functions available in the modules
python text editor - not so fancy like
jetbrains pycharmbut can be useful in certain cases.
Installation on other operating systems
Installation on mac follows a similar process as explained above. On linux, python is installed by default. If you’d like to install a different version then run
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install python-
When you can’t run python from the commandline
If you do get the above message, do the following.
verify that the python software was properly installed; type
python.exein the search bar of your device. If found right-click and open folder location. You should see python.exe among other files.
if python.exe is available, most likely python wasn’t added to the path variable during installation. The easiest way to solve this problem is to click on the python installer (the file you downloaded) and choose the modify option. Then click next. Make sure the
add python to environment variablesoption is checked and you are good to go.
As you make progress in the understanding and use of the python programming language, the ability to use python efficiently from the commandline is one skill you should possess especially if you want to be a system administrator or a devOps engineer. As a beginner you don’t have much to worry about…for now. If you have not installed an IDE Let’s take a look at python’s datatypes which is very essential for the creation of applications with python.