2.4.1. Choosing a Python distribution and installing it

The following sections discuss some of your installation options. One of the options is recommended. Unless you really know what you’re doing, you should do that. Choosing a Python distribution (you’re-on-your-own options)

You can choose to install a different distribution or continue with one that is lready installed on your machine. If you do, you will have to install at least the following to complete all the work in this course:

  1. numpy
  2. matplotlib
  3. YAML
  4. NLTK
  5. networkx
  6. pandas
  7. Ipython

If you do opt to install one of the standard Python distributions, make sure you have Python 2.7.3 or later, but do not use Python 3.0 or later; these versions are, of course, the cutting edge versions, but many of the packages we will be using do not yet have Python 3.X support, and until they do, 3.X is not that appealing. For a good discussion of what is and is not available in Python 3.X, see Choosing Python versions.

Caution Other distributions that are acceptable:

  • Anaconda Seems to include everything we need for this course. In some demos I will be using the Enthought GUI Canopy, so things will look a little different. Otherwise, seems quite appropriate for this course (note: this means I am guessing, I havent tried it).
  • Active State Everything in the standard distribution plus, but does not yet have all the modules we will be using.
  • Carnegie Python Has scipy and numpy.
  • Python.org. Standard distribution. Quite a lot of amazing extras come with the standard Python distribution, but some critical modules we will be using will have to be installed separately.

Stop Installing Python

The exact details of how you install your Python will vary depending on the Python distribution you choose. Details are available on the individual distribution sites.

One of the advantages of the recommended Enthought version is that it will install easily.

  1. MacOSX installation
  2. Windows installation
  3. Linux installation