Installing Python On Your Home Computer

Installing Python On Your Home Computer

Depending on your class, download and install either Python 3.2.2 or Python 2.7.5 for your platform.

At this point, if you're using Mac or Linux, you're done.

If you're using Windows, you'll need to set the path correctly.

Add python to your path:

  1. Right click on my computer, and pull down to properties.
  2. Skip this step if you are not running Windows XP. Click on "Advanced system settings" on the left "Tasks" bar.
  3. Click on Advanced.
  4. Click on Environment Variables
  5. In the "system variables" list, select "Path", and click on Edit.
  6. Add either ";c:\Python27" or ";c:\Python32", depending on your version, to the end of the "Variable value:" field. Note: DO NOT ADD the double quotes
  7. Click "ok" three times.

To test the path:

  1. Click Start/All Programs/Accessories/Command Prompt.
  2. Type "python" without the double quotes.
  3. You should see a python prompt; try entering "1+1", if you get "2" then everything is running correctly.

If you are looking for a windows editor that has more functionality than notepad and still saves files as text only, you might want to try ConTEXT or emacs.

Adding Package


To add packages such as PIL on a map, use Enthought:

  • Download the installer:
  • Run the installer and follow the instructions
  • Run Canopy once
  • Your python shell should now be using Enthought's version of python. This will contain PIL

If you want to investigate other options talk to Mike Tie, or look at MacPorts


If you run into trouble, please contact Mike Tie (