OSX set up Python

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Lucky for us, OS X comes with Python installed! All we need to do is make sure we have an appropriate version of Python installed and make sure we can start a Terminal and run Python from the command line.

  1. Start up a Terminal. You can find the Terminal application through Spotlight, or navigate to Applications/Utilities/Terminal.

    This Terminal contains something called a command prompt. This command prompt is another way of navigating your computer and running programs -- just textually instead of graphically. We are going to be running Python and Python scripts from this command prompt.
  2. Test your Python install at the command prompt. Type

    and hit enter. You should see something like

    Python 2.7.1 (r261:67515, Feb 11 2010, 00:51:29) 
    [GCC 4.2.1 (Apple Inc. build 5646)] on darwin
    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) is not a number between 2.4 and 2.7 (ignoring the number after the second dot), tell a staff member.
  3. To exit the Python prompt, type
    and press Enter. This will take you back to the OS X command prompt.


You have tested your Python installation.