Installing Python and Setting Up the Development Environment

Step 1: Download Python

Visit the official Python website at python.org, and follow these steps to download Python:

  1. Click on the “Downloads” tab.
  2. Choose the version of Python you want to install. It’s recommended to use the latest stable version (e.g., Python 3.9).
  3. Click on the download link that corresponds to your operating system (Windows, macOS, or Linux).

Step 2: Run the Installer

For Windows:

  1. Open the downloaded executable file (.exe).
  2. Check the box that says “Add Python to PATH” during installation.
  3. Click “Install Now” to start the installation.

For macOS:

  1. Open the downloaded package (.pkg) file.
  2. Follow the installation prompts.
  3. Ensure that you check the box to add Python to your PATH.

For Linux:

  1. Open a terminal.
  2. Navigate to the directory containing the downloaded file.
  3. Run the following commands:
   tar -xf Python-3.x.x.tgz
   cd Python-3.x.x
   sudo make install

Step 3: Verify Installation

To verify that Python has been installed correctly, open a terminal or command prompt and type the following command:

python --version  # For Python 2


python3 --version  # For Python 3

You should see the version number of the Python interpreter you just installed.

Step 4: Install a Code Editor (Optional)

While you can write Python code in any text editor, using a code editor with features like syntax highlighting and autocompletion can enhance your development experience. Some popular code editors for Python include:

Step 5: Set Up a Virtual Environment (Optional but Recommended)

Using virtual environments is a best practice for Python development to isolate project dependencies. To set up a virtual environment, follow these steps:

  1. Open a terminal or command prompt.
  2. Navigate to your project directory.
  3. Run the following commands:
   python -m venv venv  # For Python 3


   virtualenv venv  # For Python 2
  1. Activate the virtual environment:
  • On Windows: .\venv\Scripts\activate
  • On macOS/Linux: source venv/bin/activate

Step 6: Start Coding!

You’ve successfully set up your Python development environment. Now you’re ready to start writing and running Python code.

print("Hello, Python!")

Save the file with a .py extension and run it using the terminal or command prompt:

python your_file.py  # For Python 2


python3 your_file.py  # For Python 3

Congratulations! You’ve completed the initial setup for Python development. In the next sections, we’ll explore the basics of Python programming.