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.
Checking your Python installation
- Start up a Terminal. You can find the Terminal application through Spotlight, or navigate to Applications/Utilities/Terminal.
This Terminal gives you something called a terminal prompt. This terminal 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 terminal prompt.
- Test your Python install at the command prompt. Type
and press Enter. You should see something like
Python 2.7.5 (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.
Check the Python version in your Terminal output (the version in the example above is 2.7.5). It needs to be a version between Python 2.5 and Python 2.7 for this class. If you have too old or too new a version, please visit http://python.org/ftp/python/2.7.5/python-2.7.5-macosx10.6.dmg to download and install Python version 2.7.5.
- To exit the Python prompt, type
exit()and press Enter. This will take you back to the OS X terminal prompt.
You have tested your Python installation.