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Installing Python

We are big fans of Python in the CLMS program, as it is increasingly popular for scientific computing, has an active user community with mature modules for many tasks available, as well as a fairly easy learning curve. This page will step through how to install a python environment on your local machine.

N.B. As of the time of writing (2018), Python 3 is reccomended for most new projects, though is not always the default version of Python installed on many systems. This tutorial will focus on installing Python 3.

If you are unsure of your python version, you can always use the commandline

$ python
Python 3.6.4


If you're using linux, we trust that you're used to googling for answers to software, and will leave that up to you.

In most cases, this can be done using your distro's package manager.

For Ubuntu 16.04, python3 exists in the default repositories and can be installed with simply:

$ sudo apt-get install python3.6


  1. Follow the instructions in the Commandline Tools wiki page to install either MacPorts or Homebrew as a package manager.
  2. After installing one of the above suites and updating its repos, you can install Python3 and its package manager, pip, via:
    • Homebrew:
      • brew install python
    • Macports:
      • sudo port install python36 py36-pip
  3. You may use macports or homebrew to install other python packages, but pip tends to be more up-to-date. For instance, you can try installing virtualenv with pip:
    • sudo pip3 install virtualenv


  1. If you would like to stick with Windows' built-in shells (cmd.exe or powershell.exe), you can use Chocolatey:
    1. Installing Chocolatey
  2. We would reccomend using one of the POSIX-like shells available for windows
Topic revision: r2 - 2018-09-19 - 19:05:04 - rgeorgi

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