How to install the Python language on Linux

Python is a popular and versatile programming language that can be used for a variety of purposes, such as web development, data analysis, task automation, and more.

In this post, we will learn how to install the Python programming language on Linux, a free and open source operating system.

There are two main ways to install the Python programming language on Linux: using your Linux distribution’s package manager or downloading the source code from the official Python website.

In this post we will look at each of them in detail.

Using the package manager

Most Linux distributions come with a version of Python pre-installed, but the installation may not be complete or it may not be the version you want to use.

📝 To install a specific version of the Python programming language, use the search function in your distribution’s package manager.

Arch Linux

Official website of the Arch Linux Linux distribution.

Type in the terminal:

sudo pacman -S \
python\
python-pip\
python-lsp-server\
tk

🚨 If sudo is not configured, use the root account (without sudo) to install the packages.

Chromebook (ChromeOS)

To install the Python programming language on ChromeOS Linux support must be active:

Once Linux support is active on Chrome OS, open the terminal application and run the command:

sudo apt install\
python3\
python3-dev \
python3-venv\
python3-pip\
python3-tk\
build-essential\
libssl-dev\
libffi-dev\
python3-pylsp \
python-is-python3\
idle3

📝 Depending on the version of Debian running in the container, it is possible to use the python3-full package.

Fedora

Official website of the Fedora Linux distribution.

🚨 Command tested on Fedora 40.

Type in the terminal:

sudo dnf install \
python3\
python3-devel\
python3-tools\
python3-idle \
python3-pip\
python3-tkinter\
python-lsp-server\
python-unversioned-command

openSUSE Tumbleweed

Official website of the openSUSE Tumbleweed Linux distribution.

Type in the terminal:

sudo zypper install \
python312 \
python312-tk \
python312-idle \
python-python-lsp-server

Ubuntu and derivatives

Official website of the Ubuntu Linux distribution.

🚨 Command tested on Ubuntu 24.04.

Type in the terminal:

sudo apt install\
python3\
python3-dev \
python3-venv\
python3-pip\
python3-tk\
python3-pylsp \
python-is-python3 \
idle3

📝 Depending on the Ubuntu version, it is possible to use the python3-full package.


How to install the Python language from source

Installing the Python programming language using the source code is very simple, but you will need the compilation tools we’ll see below.

Arch Linux

sudo pacman -S \
base-devel

Fedora

sudo dnf group install \
"C Development Tools and Libraries" \
"Development Tools"

openSUSE Tumbleweed

sudo zypper install \
-t pattern \
devel_basis

Ubuntu

sudo apt install \
build-essential

Another way to install the Python programming language on Linux is by downloading the source code from the official Python website and compiling it on your system.

This way allows you to have more control over the Python version and settings, but it also requires more time and technical knowledge.

To download the Python source code, go to https://www.python.org/downloads/ and choose the version you want to install.

Then download the corresponding *.tar.xz file and save it in a directory of your choice.

Open a terminal and navigate to the directory where you saved the file and extract the file contents with the command:

tar -xvf Python-3.xxtar.xz

🚨 This will create a folder called Python-3.xx, where xx is the version you downloaded.

Access the folder with the command:

cd Python-3.xx

Now, you need to configure the source code so that it is compatible with your system.

To do this, type:

./configure

This command will check the dependencies needed to compile Python and create a Makefile with the appropriate instructions.

After the command finishes, you can start the Python compilation with the command:

makeup

Wait for the make command to finish (no errors).

Finally, you can install the Python programming language with the command:

sudo make install

The command will copy the Python programming language files, binaries, and libraries to the appropriate locations on your Linux distribution.

To check the installation, close the terminal, open it again and type the command:

python3 --version

If you have more than one version of the Python programming language installed, run:

python3.x --version

🚨 Replace the x with the version you installed. Example 3.11, 3.12, 3.13, etc.

Ready! Now you know how to install the Python programming language on Linux.

I hope this post was useful to you, if you have any questions, please get in touch 😊.