# 2. Using Python on Unix platforms¶

### 2.1.1. On Linux¶

Python comes preinstalled on most Linux distributions, and is available as a package on all others. However there are certain features you might want to use that are not available on your distro’s package. You can easily compile the latest version of Python from source.

In the event that Python doesn’t come preinstalled and isn’t in the repositories as well, you can easily make packages for your own distro. Have a look at the following links:

### 2.1.2. On FreeBSD and OpenBSD¶

• FreeBSD users, to add the package use:

pkg install python3

• OpenBSD users, to add the package use:

pkg_add -r python



For example i386 users get the 2.5.1 version of Python using:

pkg_add ftp://ftp.openbsd.org/pub/OpenBSD/4.2/packages/i386/python-2.5.1p2.tgz


### 2.1.3. On OpenSolaris¶

You can get Python from OpenCSW. Various versions of Python are available and can be installed with e.g. pkgutil -i python27.

## 2.2. Building Python¶

If you want to compile CPython yourself, first thing you should do is get the source. You can download either the latest release’s source or just grab a fresh clone. (If you want to contribute patches, you will need a clone.)

The build process consists of the usual commands:

./configure
make
make install


Configuration options and caveats for specific Unix platforms are extensively documented in the README.rst file in the root of the Python source tree.

Warning

make install can overwrite or masquerade the python3 binary. make altinstall is therefore recommended instead of make install since it only installs exec_prefix/bin/pythonversion.

## 2.4. Miscellaneous¶

To easily use Python scripts on Unix, you need to make them executable, e.g. with

\$ chmod +x script


and put an appropriate Shebang line at the top of the script. A good choice is usually

#!/usr/bin/env python3


which searches for the Python interpreter in the whole PATH. However, some Unices may not have the env command, so you may need to hardcode /usr/bin/python3 as the interpreter path.

To use shell commands in your Python scripts, look at the subprocess module.

## 2.5. Editors and IDEs¶

There are a number of IDEs that support Python programming language. Many editors and IDEs provide syntax highlighting, debugging tools, and PEP 8 checks.

Please go to Python Editors and Integrated Development Environments for a comprehensive list.