Several top universities around the globe use Python to introduce students to programming. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the University of Texas at Arlington, and Stanford are only a few examples of institutions that use this language extensively.
Additionally, it is important to note that Python is also useful for a wide variety of educational, enterprise, and scientific purposes – from web development to desktop applications to machine learning and everything in between.
Read Also: How to Install Python 3.6 in Ubuntu
Currently, there are two major Python versions in use – 2 and 3, with 2 rapidly losing grounds to 3 since the former is no longer under active development. Since all Linux distributions come with Python 2.x installed.
Suggested Read: Getting Started with Python Programming and Scripting in Linux – Part 1
In this article we will show how to install and use Python 3.x in CentOS/RHEL 7, Debian and its derivatives such as Ubuntu (latest LTS version already has latest Python installed) or Linux Mint. Our focus will be installing the core language tools that can be used in the command line.
However, we will also explain how to install the Python IDLE – a GUI-based tool that allows us to run Python code and create standalone functions.
Install Python 3.6 in Linux
At the time of this writing (October 2017), the latest Python 3.x versions available in CentOS/RHEL 7 and Debian 8/9 are 3.4 and 3.5 respectively.
Although we can install the core packages and their dependencies using yum and aptitude (or apt-get), we will explain how to perform the installation from source instead.
Why? The reason is simple: this allows us to have the latest stable release of the language (3.6) and to provide a distribution-agnostic installation method.
Prior to installing Python in CentOS 7, let’s make sure our system has all the necessary development dependencies:
# yum -y groupinstall development # yum -y install zlib-devel
In Debian we will need to install gcc, make, and the zlib compression / decompression library:
# aptitude -y install gcc make zlib1g-dev
To install Python 3.6, run the following commands:
# wget https://www.python.org/ftp/python/3.6.3/Python-3.6.3.tar.xz # tar xJf Python-3.6.3.tar.xz # cd Python-3.6.3 # ./configure # make # make install
Now relax and go grab a sandwich because this may take a while. When the installation is complete, use which to verify the location of the main binary:
# which python3 # python3 -V
The output of the above command should be similar to:
To exit the Python prompt, simply type.
quit() or exit()
and press Enter.
Congratulations! Python 3.6 is now installed on your system.
Install Python IDLE in Linux
Python IDLE is a GUI-based tool for Python. If you wish to install the Python IDLE, grab the package named idle (Debian) or python-tools (CentOS).
# apt-get install idle [On Debian] # yum install python-tools [On CentOS]
Type the following command to start the Python IDLE.
In this article we have explained how to install the latest Python stable version from source.
Last, but not least, if you’re coming from Python 2, you may want to take a look at the 2to3 official documentation. This is a program that reads Python 2 code and transforms it into valid Python 3 code.
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