Installing Python on Windows

First, download the latest version of Python 2.7 from the official Website. If you want to be sure you are installing a fully up-to-date version then use the “Windows Installer” link from the home page of the Python.org web site .

The Windows version is provided as an MSI package. To install it manually, just double-click the file. The MSI package format allows Windows administrators to automate installation with their standard tools.

By design, Python installs to a directory with the version number embedded, e.g. Python version 2.7 will install at C:\Python27\, so that you can have multiple versions of Python on the same system without conflicts. Of course, only one interpreter can be the default application for Python file types. It also does not automatically modify the PATH environment variable, so that you always have control over which copy of Python is run.

Typing the full path name for a Python interpreter each time quickly gets tedious, so add the directories for your default Python version to the PATH. Assuming that your Python installation is in C:\Python27\, add this to your PATH:

C:\Python27\;C:\Python27\Scripts\

You can do this easily by running the following in powershell:

[Environment]::SetEnvironmentVariable("Path", "$env:Path;C:\Python27\;C:\Python27\Scripts\", "User")

The second (Scripts) directory receives command files when certain packages are installed, so it is a very useful addition. You do not need to install or configure anything else to use Python. Having said that, I would strongly recommend that you install the tools and libraries described in the next section before you start building Python applications for real-world use. In particular, you should always install Setuptools, as it makes it much easier for you to use other third-party Python libraries.

Setuptools + Pip

The most crucial third-party Python software of all is Setuptools, which extends the packaging and installation facilities provided by the distutils in the standard library. Once you add Setuptools to your Python system you can download and install any compliant Python software product with a single command. It also enables you to add this network installation capability to your own Python software with very little work.

To obtain the latest version of Setuptools for Windows, run the Python script available here: ez_setup.py

You’ll now have a new command available to you: easy_install. It is considered by many to be deprecated, so we will install its replacement: pip. Pip allows for uninstallation of packages, and is actively maintained, unlike easy_install.

To install pip, run the Python script available here: get-pip.py

Virtual Environments

A Virtual Environment is a tool to keep the dependencies required by different projects in separate places, by creating virtual Python environments for them. It solves the “Project X depends on version 1.x but, Project Y needs 4.x” dilemma, and keeps your global site-packages directory clean and manageable.

For example, you can work on a project which requires Django 1.3 while also maintaining a project which requires Django 1.0.

To start using and see more information: Virtual Environments docs.


This page is a remixed version of another guide, which is available under the same license.

Python Guide.

This opinionated guide exists to provide both novice and expert Python developers a best-practice handbook to the installation, configuration, and usage of Python on a daily basis.

Get Updates

Receive updates on new releases and upcoming projects.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Donate

If you enjoy this guide, consider supporting the author on Gittip:

Table Of Contents

Related Topics

This Page

Fork me on GitHub