Python is one of the most powerful and beginner-friendly programming languages in the world. It can then be a surprise to find out how complicated it can be to learn how to install Python on Linux, Windows, or Mac! With several different versions, an interpreter, and several different editors and IDEs to choose from … this can be a bit of a headache!
Also read: Best Python courses online
Then read on and we’ll walk you through installing Python step by step so you can start coding.
What will you need
When you learn how to install Python, you need to install two main elements:
- A Python interpreter
- A Python IDE
The interpreter is the program that runs in the background that enables your computer to understand Python. Think of it a bit like a language pack!
The IDE is the “integrated development environment”. That way, you have a handy place to write your Python code, show you any errors, let you run your files, and generally give you everything you need in one place.
You can download the interpreter here:
The good news is that if you are on either Mac or Linux, you probably already have a Python interpreter installed!
The other good news is that you don’t have to install an IDE to get started! Instead, you can use the Python shell to start coding. Just start this program, go to “New File” and you are ready to start writing your code!
The bad news is that you have to choose between two versions of Python: Python 2 and Python 3. Each of these versions has its own strengths and weaknesses, but Python 2 is no longer officially supported. We therefore recommend choosing Python 3.
Read our introduction to Python to learn more about these differences:
And this is how you just install Python! However, if you want a better experience, you should probably find a good IDE that will streamline the coding process for you.
How to install Python IDEs
When you learn Android development, you will almost always use Android Studio as your IDE. This is the official solution from Google. Hence, it has all the tools you might need specifically for creating Android apps. However, Python is a much more flexible and varied programming language that can be used to create all kinds of projects. For this purpose there is no single “best” IDE, rather the choice is more important.
My recommendation is actually to build Python apps with Visual Studio. Visual Studio is an IDE from Microsoft that is very powerful and flexible.
When installing Visual Studio, you have the option to include or ignore various components. However, you can always go back to the Visual Studio installer to get the additional pieces you want.
Of course we’re going to add the Python development components, all of which you can put together by clicking Python Development under Workloads.
Also read: How to call a function in Python
Once that’s done, you’ll have the option to start a new Python project in Visual Studio. This is a powerful and flexible IDE, and ideal for those who want to know how to install Python. It’s also available on Windows and Mac.
How to install Python on Linux
How do I install Python on Linux using Visual Studio? One option is to use Visual Studio Code. This is a free code editor that runs on Linux and has many of the same features – including Python support. As mentioned earlier, most Linux computers will have Python built into them. If this doesn’t happen for you, then you’ll need to grab the interpreter. From there, you can set up Visual Studio Code for Python.
Alternative IDEs and editors
If you don’t want to use Visual Studio, there are numerous alternative IDEs and editors you can use once you know how to install Python. The only problem is that only some of them are free and many don’t have the same broad base of support as Visual Studio.
However, the following are all free:
PyCharm is free to use, widely supported, and available on Windows, Mac, and Linux – so it’s definitely one of the best options out there. For those looking to part with some cash, Sublime Text is a very clean and powerful IDE.
Finally, you can download Python on Android and iOS as well. The good news is that these only require a single download and then you can run and test your code right in the app!
Android: QPython 3L
How to Install Python! There are many options for editors and it ultimately depends on your personal preferences. Now you can start learning to code. Check out our guide to the best Python courses online. We also highly recommend Coding with Python: training for budding developersThis is an absolute bargain as the course is valued at around $ 700.
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