Python distributions are available from Anaconda, the Python Software Foundation, JetBrains (PyCharm), and others. This tutorial shows how to install Python.
In this chapter, you learn how to install Python on MacOS, Windows, and Linux. We will look at multiple installation methods per platform and discuss what I think is the best option to choose from.
- Python Releases for macOS. Latest Python 3 Release - Python 3.9.7. Download Mac OS X installer; Python 2.6.5 - March 18, 2010. Download Mac OS X installer.
- IDLE is known to hang or crash when used with the Apple 8.5.7 included in all versions of macOS 10.6.x. Because of this, we strongly recommend that you do not attempt to use Tkinter or IDLE with the Apple-supplied Python 2.6.1 in 10.6. Instead, install a newer version of Python that supports a newer version of Tk. This is an Aqua Cocoa Tk.
- No install necessary—run the TensorFlow tutorials directly in the browser with Colaboratory, a Google research project created to help disseminate machine learning education and research. It's a Jupyter notebook environment that requires no setup to use and runs entirely in the cloud.
- This downloads the appropriate 64-bit version of the latest Python release (3.9.6 as of August 2021). NOTE: If your Mac's OS version is older than 10.9 (year 2013), I recommend upgrading your OS first. If you are unable to, see this FAQ for how to install Python on an older version of Mac OS. Proceed with installation.
Most of the time, it’s not advisable to use the official installer from the python.org website. Instead, it’s better to go for the version packaged by your operating system. The advantage of OS supplied version, is that you’ll get automatic updates.
Install Python on Windows
There are three methods you can choose from on Windows.
Using The Microsoft Store
Microsoft hosts a community release of Python 3 in the Microsoft Store. This is the recommended way to install Python on Windows because it handles updates automatically and can be uninstalled easily too.
To use this method:
- Pick the newest version and install it
With the official installer
You can download a Python installer from the official Python download website too. This method does not give you automatic updates, and I would recommend it only if you don’t have access to the Microsoft store.
If you’re familiar with Windows Subsystem For Linux, you may want to consider that option too. It’s what I use myself, and I’m truly loving it. It offers me the advantages that Windows has to offer (mainly great hardware support), while still enjoying Linux which is, in my opinion, the best platform for Python development.
To install in WSL, you’ll first need to install WSL itself. Go for WSL2 if you can. It’s much better. After that, simply follow the Linux installation instructions below!
Installation on MacOS
On most versions of MacOS before Catalina, a distribution of Python is already included. Unfortunately, it’s almost certainly an old version, Python 2.7. Luckily, there are two ways to install Python 3 on a Mac with ease.
First and foremost, I recommend looking into Homebrew. It allows you to install almost anything easily. The added benefit is that it’s also easy to upgrade to newer versions later on.
Once you are up and running with homebrew, installing Python on MacOS is as easy as:
Alternatively, you can download an installer from the Python download website. The downside to this approach is that you won’t get automatic updates.
Install Python on Linux
There are several ways to install Python on Linux, that is, if you need to install it at all!
Check what’s installed first
Most Linux distributions include Python. Many will include both Python 2 and Python 3.
If you enter
python --version on the command line, you’ll see the version number. It’s probably version 2.7:
You don’t want Python 2, but some OS’es still ship with it, unfortunately.
python3 --version. If you get a “command not found,” you need to install Python 3. If your output looks similar to this, you’re in luck:
Using a package manager
Depending on the distribution of Linux you are running, you can install Python with the default package manager: Yum, APT, etcetera. You’ll need to find out for your specific Linux distribution which package manager is used and how to use it.
If you’re on Ubuntu, Linux Mint, or Debian, you can install using apt:
Another interesting option for Linux is using Homebrew. That’s right, the package manager for Macs also works on Linux.
The major advantages of using Homebrew:
- You’ll get the latest version of Python, instead of the version your OS shipped with
- You don’t need root access to your system. All the software installed with Homebrew is installed in your home directory
I find myself using Homebrew more and more while working under Linux — give it a try!
Python in your browser
Python Install On Mac
If you don’t feel like installing Python, or you are unable to install it for whatever reason, I’ll offer an alternative too: you can use Python right from your browser; no installation necessary!