First published in with a name inspired by the British comedy group Monty Python, the development team wanted to make Python a language that was fun to use. Easy to set up, and written in a relatively straightforward style with immediate feedback on errors, Python is a great choice for beginners and experienced developers alike. Python 3 is the most current version of the language and is considered to be the future of Python. This tutorial will guide you through installing Python 3 on your local macOS machine and setting up a programming environment via the command line.
The command line, also known as a shell, can help you modify and automate many of the tasks you do on a computer every day, and is an essential tool for software developers. The macOS Terminal is an application you can use to access the command line interface. Like any other application, you can find it by going into Finder, navigating to the Applications folder, and then into the Utilities folder.
From here, double-click the Terminal like any other application to open it up. Alternatively, you can use Spotlight by holding down the command and spacebar keys to find Terminal by typing it out in the box that appears.
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There are many more Terminal commands to learn that can enable you to do more powerful things. Xcode is an integrated development environment IDE that is comprised of software development tools for macOS. You may have Xcode installed already. To check, in your Terminal window, type:. If you received an error, then in your web browser install Xcode from the App Store and accept the default options.
Once Xcode is installed, return to your Terminal window. At this point, Xcode and its Command Line Tools app are fully installed, and we are ready to install the package manager Homebrew. While the OS X Terminal has a lot of the functionality of Linux Terminals and other Unix systems, it does not ship with a good package manager. A package manager is a collection of software tools that work to automate installation processes that include initial software installation, upgrading and configuring of software, and removing software as needed.
They keep installations in a central location and can maintain all software packages on the system in formats that are commonly used. Homebrew provides OS X with a free and open source software package managing system that simplifies the installation of software on OS X.
The curl command pulls a script from the specified URL. This script will explain what it will do and then pauses the process to prompt you to confirm. This provides you with a lot of feedback on what the script is going to be doing to your system and gives you the opportunity to verify the process. To save your changes, hold down the control key and the letter o , and when prompted press the return key. Now you can exit nano by holding the control key and the letter x.
Once you have done this, the changes you have made to the PATH environment variable will be effective. Otherwise, you may get a warning to run another command such as brew update to ensure that your installation of Homebrew is up to date. The Terminal window will give you feedback regarding the installation process of Python 3, it may take a few minutes before installation is complete. Along with Python 3, Homebrew will install pip , setuptools and wheel. A tool for use with Python, we will use pip to install and manage programming packages we may want to use in our development projects. You can install Python packages by typing:.
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So if you would like to install NumPy, you can do so with the command pip3 install numpy. This will output the specific version of Python that is currently installed, which will by default be the most up-to-date stable version of Python 3 that is available. Now that we have Xcode, Homebrew, and Python installed, we can go on to create our programming environment.
Setting up a programming environment provides us with greater control over our Python projects and over how different versions of packages are handled. This is especially important when working with third-party packages. You can set up as many Python programming environments as you would like. Each environment is basically a directory or folder in your computer that has a few scripts in it to make it act as an environment.
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Choose which directory you would like to put your Python programming environments in, or create a new directory with mkdir , as in:. Once you are in the directory where you would like the environments to live, you can create an environment by running the following command:. This is good practice for version control and to ensure that each of your projects has access to the particular packages that it needs. To use this environment, you need to activate it, which you can do by typing the following command that calls the activate script:.
Note: Within the virtual environment, you can use the command python instead of python3 , and pip instead of pip3 if you would prefer. Exit nano by typing the control and x keys, and when prompted to save the file press y.
The hello. At this point you have a Python 3 programming environment set up on your local Mac OS X machine and can begin a coding project!
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To set up Python 3 on another computer, follow the local programming environment guides for Ubuntu If you want to run your scripts, use Method 2 instead. Open up a Terminal window. Navigate to the Documents folder by typing in cd Documents and hit enter. This is the preferred way for running your code. I recommend that you familiarize yourself with the iPython Notebook , which comes included with Anaconda Python.
The link provides an overview of the Notebook. I now use the iPython Notebook for developing all of my code. In the same window it allows you to write blocks of code, run them, check whether they worked as intended and, if not, modify them. Highly recommended for learning as it allows for quick error checking. Annotation of your code is also facilitated. Wait a few seconds, and a browser window will open. This is your iPython Notebook interface. An example is below. Hit New Notebook and another browser window will open. This is where you will type in your print "Hello, world!
One final step remains. Et voila! You now know 4 different ways of running Python code. Until you learn a bit more, concentrate on the last method and do your coding in the iPython Notebook. About Me Media Mentions Contact.
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