Installing Python On Your Home Computer

Note: If you are hoping to use python in your Intro CS class, we strongly recommend using the CS Virtual Machine or x2go. CS installs a large number of python packages that aren't included in the default python install. Some of these are difficult to install; you might find it easier to use one of our prebuilt tools.

Installing Python On Your Home Computer

In 2015/16, CS Intro Courses will be using Python 3, so you should download and install Python 3.6.1 ;  if for some reason you want Python 2, here is the link for Python 2.7.13.

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.


If you run into trouble, please contact Mike Tie (