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About Lesson

Before you start coding in Python, you need to install the language on your computer. Follow these steps to download and install Python:

  1. Visit the official Python website : Go to python.org, the official home of Python, to download the latest version of the language.

  2. Download Python : On the Python website, click the “Downloads” tab, and select the version appropriate for your operating system (Windows, macOS, or Linux). If you’re unsure, the website usually recommends the best version for your system.

  3. Run the installer : Locate the downloaded installer file on your computer and run it to start the installation process.

    a. Windows users : Run the Python installer (usually named python-3.x.x.exe, where 3.x.x is the version number). Make sure to check the “Add Python 3.x to PATH” checkbox to automatically configure your system’s PATH variable.

    b. macOS users : Run the Python installer (usually named python-3.x.x.pkg) and follow the on-screen instructions.

    c. Linux users : Python is typically pre-installed on most Linux distributions. To check your Python version, open the terminal and type python3 --version . If Python is not installed or you wish to upgrade, consult your distribution’s package manager documentation for installation instructions.

  4. Verify the installation : Once the installation is complete, open your command prompt (Windows) or terminal (macOS/Linux) and type python --version (Windows) or python3 --version (macOS/Linux) to ensure that Python has been installed successfully.

Choosing a Code Editor or IDE 

Now that Python is installed, you’ll need a code editor or integrated development environment (IDE) to write and execute Python code. Some popular options include:

  1. Visual Studio Code (VSCode) : A lightweight, open-source, and cross-platform code editor with excellent Python support through the Python extension.

  2. PyCharm : A powerful Python-specific IDE developed by JetBrains, available in both a free Community Edition and a paid Professional Edition with additional features.

  3. Jupyter Notebook : An interactive web-based environment that allows you to write, execute, and annotate Python code in “notebook” documents, making it ideal for data analysis and visualization.

  4. Sublime Text : A fast, versatile text editor with a robust package ecosystem, including packages for Python development.

  5. Atom : An open-source, hackable text editor developed by GitHub, with a variety of packages for Python development.

Configuring Your Python Environment 

After selecting a code editor or IDE, you may need to configure your environment to ensure seamless Python development:

  1. Install Python extensions or plugins : If you’re using a code editor like VSCode, Sublime Text, or Atom, install the relevant Python extensions or plugins to enable features like syntax highlighting, code completion, and linting.

  2. Set up a virtual environment : Using virtual environments allows you to isolate project-specific dependencies, making it easier to manage and share your projects. To create a virtual environment, open your terminal or command prompt, navigate to your project directory, and run python -m venv myenv (Windows) or python3 -m venv myenv (macOS/Linux), where “myenv” is the name of your virtual environment.

  3. Activate the virtual environment : Before working on a project, activate the virtual environment to ensure you’re using the correct Python version and dependencies. To activate the environment, follow the instructions for your operating system:

    a. Windows : Run myenvScriptsactivate in the command prompt.

    b. macOS/Linux : Run source myenv/bin/activate in the terminal.

  4. Install packages : With your virtual environment active, use the pip package installer to install Python libraries and packages specific to your project. For example, to install the popular web framework Flask, run pip install Flask .

  5. Configure your code editor or IDE : Some code editors and IDEs may require additional configuration for features like code completion, linting, or debugging. Consult your chosen editor’s documentation for specific setup instructions.

  6. Write and execute Python code : Now that your Python environment is set up and configured, you can start writing and executing Python code in your chosen editor or IDE. Create a new Python file (with a .py extension), write your code, and run it using your editor’s built-in functionality or by running python myfile.py (Windows) or python3 myfile.py (macOS/Linux) in the terminal or command prompt, where “myfile.py” is the name of your Python file.