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linux set up python

Asheesh Laroia edited this page · 2 revisions

Linux ships with Python installed, so the goal of this page is to make sure you can start a terminal and run Python from the command line.

  1. Start up a Terminal. You can find the Terminal application at Applications/Accessories/Terminal, or it may already be on your menu bar.

    This Terminal contains something called a command prompt. This command prompt is another way of navigating your computer and running programs -- just textually instead of graphically. We are going to be running Python and Python scripts from this command prompt.
  2. Test your Python install at the command prompt. Type
    python
    
    and hit enter. You should see something like
    Python 2.7.1 (r252:60911, Jan 24 2011, 17:44:40) 
    [GCC 4.3.2] on linux2
    Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.
    >>> 
    
  • You just started Python! The >>> indicates that you are at a new type of prompt -- a Python prompt. The command prompt let's you navigate your computer and run programs, and the Python prompt lets you write and run Python code interactively.
  • If the Python version number (2.7.1 in the example above) is not a number between 2.4 and 2.7 (ignoring the number after the second dot), tell a staff member.
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  • To exit the Python prompt, type
    exit()
    
    and press Enter. This will take you back to the Linux command prompt.
  • You might need to install a package called python-tk.

    Success!

    You have tested your Python installation.

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