Windows set up Python (Anaconda)

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Download and install Python[edit]

We're going to be installing Python using a collection of software that includes Python that, as a collection, is called Anaconda. Anaconda includes the Python programming language and a bunch of different pieces of software that are useful for data science and analysis. Although the collection includes all free software, it is put together by a commercial company called Continuum Analytics.

To install Python, you should:

  • Download and install Anaconda. Follow the link and click on the big blue Download Anaconda button in the top right corner. The website will ask you for your email address when you log in. There's no reason to leave the checkbox marked saying that you want mail from Continuum.
  • On the next page, click on the link to download the version of Python 2.7 (not Python 3.0).
  • Use all of the defaults for installation, except make sure to check Make Anaconda the default Python.

Note This install will take just over 366MB for the 64-bit installer (which is most likely the version you'll be installing.)

Test to make sure Python is working[edit]

  1. Open a Command Prompt. You can do this by hitting WIN+R, and typing in powershell.
    • This is called a "command line interface"---a way of interacting with your computer by typing.
  2. Test your Python install at the command prompt. Type
    python
    and hit enter. You should see something like
Python 2.7.8 |Anaconda 2.1.0 (64-bit)| (default, Jul  2 2014, 15:12:11) [MSC v.1500 64 bit (AMD64)] on win32
Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.
>>>
  1. You just started Python! The >>> indicates that you are at a new type of prompt: a Python prompt. The command prompt lets you navigate your computer and run programs, and the Python prompt lets you write and run Python code interactively.
  2. To exit the Python prompt, type
    exit()
    and press Enter. This will take you back to the Windows command prompt.

Success![edit]

You have Python installed and configured.

Alternative Setup[edit]

If you do not want to use the Anaconda installer, you can take a look at this page. This set up will be significantly more difficult and may cause problems later in the workshops.