Summary: Installing Python is really simple. We will explore some of the different types of installing Python in this section .
- Install Python from scratch
- Anaconda – Data Science specific distribution
- Manage Python Virtual Environment
Install Python from scratch
Installing python is really easy. Just go to https://www.python.org and hover over the download item in the menu. The latest version of python should be available for download.
Double click on the executable and you should see a pop-up like this.
Make sure you click on the check box “Add Python 3.7 to PATH” . Click on Install now. If you do not have administrative privileges, you might see a different path.
If you already have python installed, you might see a pop-up like this. You can choose to upgrade or customize your existing installation .
Test your python installation
If you have installed python with admin rights on your computer, you should be able to quickly test it by going to the command prompt and typing in python.
1. Run the command prompt ( Windows + r opens the run panel, type in cmd and hit enter )
2. enter the python command and you should see the Python shell. If you don’t see this, you might have not selected the “Add Python 3.7 to PATH” checkbox during installation.
type exit() to exit the command prompt ( the black window above ). That’s it – python is installed.
Anaconda – Data science specific distribution
Since we are learning python with the specific goal of learning data science and machine learning, we might as well install a focused distribution of python called Anaconda. Anaconda is a full-fledged software distribution for data science that includes python, IDE, packages, package manager and much more.
We do not recommend Anaconda for beginners. Although it has most of the stuff that a data science learner needs, these are all things that you should be able to get on your own. Like
- installing a package manager
- installing packages
- installing an IDE of your choice
etc. However, installing Anaconda is not a bad choice either.
Go to https://www.anaconda.com and download the latest distribution. It is going to be a big file – be patient. Once the download is complete, use the installation instructions given in the slideshow below. It is mostly a straight forward process.
Open the Anaconda navigator and get started from there.
Manage Python Virtual Environment
This is only needed when you have multiple projects. Please refer to Python Virtual Environment to understand more about