Welcome to IPython. Our full documentation is available on our website; if you downloaded a built source distribution the docs/source directory contains the plaintext version of these manuals. If you have Sphinx installed, you can build them by typing cd docs; make html for local browsing.
For full details, see the installation section of the manual. The basic parts of IPython only need the Python standard library, but much of its more advanced functionality requires extra packages.
Officially, IPython requires Python version 2.6, 2.7, or 3.1 and above.
You can run IPython from this directory without even installing it system-wide by typing at the terminal:
$ python -m IPython
If you want to hack on certain parts, e.g. the IPython notebook, in a clean environment (such as a virtualenv) you can use pip to grab the necessary dependencies quickly:
$ pip install -e .[notebook]
This installs the necessary packages and symlinks IPython into your current environment so that you can work on your local repo copy and run it from anywhere:
$ ipython notebook
The same process applies for other parts, such as the qtconsole (the extras_require attribute in the setup.py file lists all the possibilities).
$ git submodule update
$ python setup.py submodule
We have some git hooks for helping keep your submodules always in sync, see our git-hooks directory for more info.