Python 3 Installation & Setup Guide

Python 3 Installation & Setup Guide

Python 3 Installation & Setup Guide
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Python 3 Installation & Setup Guide

 

To get started working with Python 3, you’ll need to have access to the Python interpreter. There are several common ways to accomplish this:

  • Python can be obtained from the Python Software Foundation website at python.org. Typically, that involves downloading the appropriate installer for your operating system and running it on your machine.
  • Some operating systems, notably Linux, provide a package manager that can be run to install Python.
  • On macOS, the best way to install Python 3 involves installing a package manager called Homebrew. You’ll see how to do this in the relevant section in the tutorial.
  • On mobile operating systems like Android and iOS, you can install apps that provide a Python programming environment. This can be a great way to practice your coding skills on the go.

Alternatively, there are several websites that allow you to access a Python interpreter online without installing anything on your computer at all.

Note: There is a chance that Python may have been shipped with your operating system and is already installed. Even if that is the case, it may be that the installed version is outdated, in which case you will want to obtain the latest version anyhow.

In this Python installation guide, you’ll see step by step how to set up a working Python 3 distribution on Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android. So let’s get started!

Windows

It is highly unlikely that your Windows system shipped with Python already installed. Windows systems typically do not. Fortunately, installing does not involve much more than downloading the Python installer from the python.org website and running it. Let’s take a look at how to install Python 3 on Windows:

Step 1: Download the Python 3 Installer

  1. Open a browser window and navigate to the Download page for Windows at python.org.
  2. Underneath the heading at the top that says Python Releases for Windows, click on the link for the Latest Python 3 Release - Python 3.x.x. (As of this writing, the latest is Python 3.6.5.)
  3. Scroll to the bottom and select either Windows x86-64 executable installer for 64-bit or Windows x86 executable installer for 32-bit. (See below.)

Sidebar: 32-bit or 64-bit Python?

For Windows, you can choose either the 32-bit or 64-bit installer. Here’s what the difference between the two comes down to:

  • If your system has a 32-bit processor, then you should choose the 32-bit installer.
  • On a 64-bit system, either installer will actually work for most purposes. The 32-bit version will generally use less memory, but the 64-bit version performs better for applications with intensive computation.
  • If you’re unsure which version to pick, go with the 64-bit version.

Note: Remember that if you get this choice “wrong” and would like to switch to another version of Python, you can just uninstall Python and then re-install it by downloading another installer from python.org.

Step 2: Run the Installer

Once you have chosen and downloaded an installer, simply run it by double-clicking on the downloaded file. A dialog should appear that looks something like this: