Python Intro for Libraries: Setup

Installing Python Using Anaconda

Python is great for general-purpose programming and is a popular language for scientific computing as well. Installing all of the packages required for this lessons individually can be a bit difficult, however, so we recommend the all-in-one installer Anaconda.

Regardless of how you choose to install it, please make sure you install Python version 3.x (e.g., Python 3.6 version). Also, please set up your Python environment at least a day in advance of the workshop. If you encounter problems with the installation procedure, ask your workshop organizers via e-mail for assistance so you are ready to go as soon as the workshop begins.

Windows - Video tutorial

  1. Open http://continuum.io/downloads with your web browser.

  2. Download the Python 3 installer for Windows.

  3. Double-click the executable and install Python 3 using MOST of the default settings. The only exception is to check the Make Anaconda the default Python option.

macOS - Video tutorial

  1. Open http://continuum.io/downloads with your web browser.

  2. Download the Python 3 installer for macOS.

  3. Install Python 3 using all of the defaults for installation.

Linux

Note that the following installation steps require you to work from the shell. If you run into any difficulties, please request help before the workshop begins.

  1. Open http://continuum.io/downloads with your web browser.

  2. Download the Python 3 installer for Linux.

  3. Install Python 3 using all of the defaults for installation.

    a. Open a terminal window.

    b. Navigate to the folder where you downloaded the installer

    c. Type

    $ bash Anaconda3-
    

    and press tab. The name of the file you just downloaded should appear.

    d. Press enter.

    e. Follow the text-only prompts. When the license agreement appears (a colon will be present at the bottom of the screen) hold the down arrow until the bottom of the text. Type yes and press enter to approve the license. Press enter again to approve the default location for the files. Type yes and press enter to prepend Anaconda to your PATH (this makes the Anaconda distribution the default Python).

Starting Python

We will teach Python using Spyder. If you installed Python using Anaconda, Spyder should already be on your system. If you did not use Anaconda, use the Python package manager pip (see the Spyder website for details.)

To start Spyder, open a terminal or Git Bash and type the command:

$ spyder

To start the Python interpreter without Spyder, open a terminal or Git Bash and type the command:

$ python3