Installing and Configuring Python Python

Setting up Python in your system is a very easy process because all versions are freely available and highly documented. Check the following instructions that show how to download the files from the binary repository. Each distribution includes reference manuals that demonstrate in detail how to installand configure Python for that specific environment.

Python's download Web page is the place where you can get the latest Python releases.

Python's download Web page is the place where you can get the latest Python releases.

Up-to-date versions for the most popular distributions are always available. Keep this URL because we will go to the site later to download other Python items that we might need.

UNIX Environment

The UNIX distribution is, in my opinion, the best distribution. It comes with POSIX bindings, and its upports environment variables, files, sockets, and so on. It is perfect for all flavors of UNIX.

Linux Installation

These days, all the major Linux distributions include Python, which makes your life simple because you don't have to download the files. Sometimes, Python is even automatically installed for you. Justmake sure that you have the latest version.

If you already have Python installed in your machine, and you've got a new Python RPM package, youmust execute the following command in order to update the RPM: (Note that this filename reflects the1.5.2 version.)

rpm -Uhv python-1.5.2-2.i386.rpm Otherwise, run the following command in your Linux prompt to install the RPM package. rpm -ihv python-1.5.2-2.i386.rpm

When the installation process is over, check to see whether everything went fine by typing python atthe prompt. You should get access to the Python interpreter, and when you are satisfied, press Ctrl+Dto leave it. Perfect! Now you are ready to start coding in Python.

In case you are using a Linux system that doesn't offer RPM support, you need to download the sourcecode and compile it in your machine.

Other UNIX Systems

If you are running a UNIX system other than Linux, you need to download the source code and compile it in your own machine. Download the file py152.tgz from Note that this file corresponds to version 1.5.2. You might need to change the filename for the latest version.

Following the instructions listed in the README file of the distribution will show you how to build andinstall the source code.

Macintosh Environment

Mac Python is a Python version available for the Macintosh. Jack Jansen maintains it, and you can havefull access to the entire documentation at his Web site.

Windows Environment

The Win32 and COM extensions by Mark Hammond are the result of an excellent work that is successfully reducing the distance between the overall performance of Python for UNIX and Python for Windows platforms. The following instructions show how to install the Python version for Windows systems. Note that to install the Win32 extensions, you need to install a separate package called Win32all-xxx.exe. You should replace the xxx with the number of the latest available release. The installation process is very straight forward within Win32 systems (Windows 95/98/2000 and NT).

Let's download the py152.exe file (Python's version 1.5.2). Now that you have downloaded the file,save it to a location on your local hard disk.

PythonWin's Installation Wizard guides you through a very simple installation process.

PythonWin's Installation Wizard guides you through a very simple installation process.

Select everything and confirm the selections. The installation process will start and after Python isinstalled, you will be asked if you also want to install Tcl/Tk . I strongly suggest thatyou install it too because later you will learn how to create GUI interfaces using Tkinter. After you confirm it, the Wizard will guide you through Tcl's 8.0.5 for Windows installation. Choose the fullinstallation, confirm it, and that's it. Your Windows system is fully configured to use both Python Winand IDLE.

Installing Tcl/Tk now enables you to create GUI applications later.

Installing Tcl/Tk now enables you to create GUI applications later.

I suggest that you spend some time going through all the documentation that was installed in yourmachine. Right now you might have everything already set up in your environment.

Get the file py152.tgz and follow the instructions listed in the README file. It clearly explains howyou could use Microsoft Visual C++ 5.0 to build the source code.

At Python Labs, you have the source tarball available to build Python from the source in the platform ofyour choice. Note that if you are running Windows, you can download and run the Windows installeras well.


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