Python Installation On Your System

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Do You Need To Install?[edit]

No! There are a lot of places on the web where you can run Python in your web browser without installation. But installation is highly recommended, it gives you a better interface and typically a lot more features. Perhaps someone would like to create a page here that documents some of the cloud based environments.

A Brief Installation FAC[edit]

  • What is an IDE and why should I care? An IDE is an integrated development Environment, it is a software setup that ( for Python ) makes it easier to write, run and debug Python programs.
  • How much does it cost? Usually nothing, although there are some IDE's that do require you to purchase a license. We will stick to free stuff.

How To Install[edit]

For now we are going to stick to the discussion of just one installation, Spyder from Anaconda. Why this choice?

  • You get a pretty good IDE thrown in for free, in our teaching documentation we will assume that this is the environment you are using.
  • You get a basic installation of Python plus a whole range of extensions that would otherwise be tedious to install.
  • Installation works on all major operating system.
  • In our experience installation process is simple.
  • Spyder appears to be well maintained and regularly updated.

For now we will use Python 2.7, at this time ( Aug 2016 ) it seems to be a bit better documented and supported than the newer, and in the long run probably better Python 3.x.

Steps for Install ( Windows )[edit]

Russ will write this. If you have some experience just Google Spyder Install and ....


I like the Anaconda site for download.... [Anaconda 4.1.1] Use Python 2.7 version and select 32 or 64 bit to fit your system. Save the file somewhere you can find it.


Run the file you saved earlier. Your web browser may help, or just double click on the file from your file manager. Follow the prompts. I will try to do this soon and add some instructions here. You may also find this useful:

Maintain and Update[edit]

Anaconda Spyder comes with a command line utility for updating and extending it and Python it is called conda. To run conda use the start menu to find and run cmd. This gives you a dos or termainal window. Some example commands for this window:

  • Install an extension called wxpython ( or other named package ) Do this only when on the Internet as conda gets code from it.
    conda install wxpython  
  • Update everything: ( and show what you already got )
    conda update --all

You can also use a standard Python called pip. It is also used from the command line. Google pip for more info. Sometimes pip works better than conda, but I would start with conda.

Anaconda Links[edit]


With luck you will find an Icon on your desktop, if not use the start menu to search for Spyder.

Steps for Install ( Linux including Raspberry Pi)[edit]

Runs fine on the Pi, you should be able to get this to work using the gui install or apt-get, I just forget, perhaps it is in my Pi setup instructions.

Anyone want to help? Its a Wiki...

In the mean time Linux is not all that different, go to a package manager and look for Spyder.

In my Linux Mint it is Software Manager and search on Spyder spyder ide for scientists seems to be the right result


Click on the Icon....

Steps for Install ( Apple )[edit]

Anyone want to help? Its a Wiki...