In this article, we will discuss how to easily install Python on MAC OS. This guide will provide you with a comprehensive guide on installing Python on your Mac, setting up the environment, and choosing an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for your programming needs. Let’s get started!
MacOS often comes pre-installed with Python, although it might not be the latest version. In this guide, I will walk you through the process of installing the most recent version of Python on your Mac.
Checking System Requirements
Before you begin, make sure your Mac meets the minimum system requirements for running Python. Generally, you will need:
- A Mac running macOS 10.9 or later
- At least 100 MB of free disk space
Downloading Python Installer for macOS
First, navigate to the official Python website at https://www.python.org/downloads/mac-osx/. Select the most recent stable release for macOS and download the installer.
Running the Python Installer
Once the installer has been downloaded, find the file in your Downloads folder and double-click it to launch the installation process.
Follow the on-screen prompts and accept the default settings, unless you have specific customization requirements.
If you want to customize the installation, click on the “Customize Installation” button during the installation process.
By doing custon option you can choose which components to install, such as documentation, pip, IDLE etc. You can also change the installation directory, but it is recommended to keep it with the default location.
Verifying the Installation
To ensure that Python was installed successfully, open the Terminal app on your Mac and type the following command:
If the installation was successful, you should see the version number of the Python interpreter you just installed.
Adding Python to PATH
To make Python accessible from any location within the Terminal, you need to add its installation directory to the PATH environment variable. To do this, open the Terminal and enter the following command:
echo 'export PATH="/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/3.x/bin:$PATH"' >> ~/.zshrc
Replace “3.x” with the version number of the Python installation. Restart the Terminal for the changes to take effect.
Setting Up a Virtual Environment
Using virtual environments allows you to work on multiple Python projects with different dependencies and package versions. To create a virtual environment, first, install the
virtualenv package using the following command:
pip3 install virtualenv
Next, navigate to the directory where you want to create the virtual environment and run the following command:
python3 -m venv my_project_env
my_project_env with the desired name for your virtual environment. To activate the virtual environment, enter the following command:
You should now see the virtual environment name in your Terminal prompt. To deactivate the virtual environment, simply type
Python IDEs for macOS
Choosing the right Integrated Development Environment (IDE) is essential for efficient coding. Here are some popular IDEs for Python development on macOS:
Visual Studio Code
Visual Studio Code is a lightweight, open-source code editor developed by Microsoft. It supports Python and many other languages, with features like syntax highlighting, code completion, debugging, and extensions for additional functionality. You can download Visual Studio Code at https://code.visualstudio.com/. I personally prefer this one, but it’s per your personal choice.
PyCharm is a powerful, feature-rich IDE developed by JetBrains specifically for Python development. It offers advanced features like code refactoring, debugging, and integrated tools for database management, version control, and more. PyCharm comes in two editions: Community (free) and Professional (paid). Download PyCharm at https://www.jetbrains.com/pycharm/.
Sublime Text is a fast, customizable, and extensible text editor with Python support. Its powerful features include multiple selections, split editing, and a vast ecosystem of plugins. Sublime Text is available for a one-time purchase, with a free evaluation period. Download Sublime Text at https://www.sublimetext.com/.
Why do I need to use virtual environments in Python?
Virtual environments allow you to isolate project dependencies and Python versions, making it easier to work on multiple projects without conflicts.
Can I have multiple versions of Python installed on my Mac?
Yes, you can have multiple versions of Python installed. They will be stored in separate directories under
What is the difference between Python 2 and Python 3?
Python 2 and Python 3 are two major versions of the language, with Python 3 being the latest and most widely used. Python 2 is no longer supported, and it is recommended to use Python 3 for new projects.
Do I need to uninstall the pre-installed Python version on my Mac before installing a new one?
No, you don’t need to uninstall the pre-installed Python version. You can have multiple versions installed simultaneously, and the new installation won’t interfere with the existing one.
How do I update Python on my Mac?
To update Python, download the latest version from the official Python website and run the installer. It will automatically update the existing installation.
That’s it now you know how to install Python on your Mac, set up the environment, and choose an appropriate IDE for your needs. With these tools in place, you’re ready to start developing Python applications on macOS.