Hackathons/Laptop setup/Linux set up Python

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Most Linux distributions ship with Python installed, so the goal of this page is to make sure you can start a terminal and run Python from the command line.

  1. Start up a Terminal. You can find the Terminal application at Applications/Accessories/Terminal, or it may already be on your menu bar.
  2. Test your Python install at the command prompt. Type
    python
    

    and hit enter. You should see something like

    Python 2.7.1 (r252:60911, Jan 24 2011, 17:44:40) 
    [GCC 4.3.2] on linux2
    Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.
    >>> 
    
    • You just started Python! The >>> indicates that you are at a new type of prompt -- a Python prompt. The command prompt let's you navigate your computer and run programs, and the Python prompt lets you write and run Python code interactively.
    • If the Python version number (2.7.1 in the example above) does not start with "2.7", tell a staff member.
  3. To exit the Python prompt, type
    exit()
    
    and press Enter. This will take you back to the Linux command prompt.

Success!

You have tested your Python installation.

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