Installing Python on a Mac and Running Your First Script

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Installing Python on a Mac and Running Your First Script
Installing Python on a Mac and Running Your First Script

While older Macs have a built-in Python version, it is out of date and incompatible with modern programs. To execute Python programs on your Mac, you must manually install the most recent version of Python on your machine.

So, here’s a step-by-step instruction to installing Python on your Mac and executing your first script.

Do Macs Still Come With Python Pre-Installed?

For many years, Macs came pre-installed with Python 2.7. This, however, is no longer the case. While you may still download and install Python on a Mac, Apple no longer includes it by default since Python 2.7 is no longer developed.

Apple first announced its intention to remove it from its operating system in the release notes of macOS Catalina in 2019, before actually doing so in macOS Monterey.

That being said, if your Mac’s version is between 10.8 and 12.3, there’s a strong possibility you still have Python 2.7 installed. The simplest approach to test is to launch Python using the macOS Terminal program.

How to Check the Pre-Installed Version of Python on Your Mac

If you’re using an earlier version of macOS, you may find out which version of Python is installed on your machine by following these steps:

  1. On your Mac, open the Terminal software. To accomplish this, open your Mac’s Launchpad and search for Terminal. You can also use Spotlight search to locate it.
  2. To verify the version of Python 2.7, run the following command and press return: Python If Python is already installed, you’ll receive a response with version information.
  3. If your Mac has various Python versions, you may input a command that specifies the Python version. The python —version tool may be used to determine the version of Python 2.7. You may also use the following command in Python 3: python3

How to Install Python With the Official Installer

The official website is the best place to get the most recent version of Python. What you need to do to get started is as follows:

  1. Download the installation package from the Python website.
  2. Wait for the download to finish. Once completed, double-click the package to begin the installation procedure. For this stage, you may use the Python installer’s on-screen instructions.
  3. When the installation is finished, the installer will open Python’s installation directory in a new Finder window.
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Confirming Your Python Installation

You must ensure that Python and IDLE, the integrated development environment that comes with Python—just one of many essential tools for Python developers—have been properly installed.

  1. A file called IDLE may be found in the Python installation directory. When you double-click it, IDLE will start a Python shell if the installation was successful.
  2. To confirm that everything is working properly, perform a simple Python print command in IDLE. print(‘Good day, world!’)
  3. If everything is working well, you should see your message written on the interface after pressing the Return (or Enter) key.

Install a Source-Code Editor on Your Mac

After you’ve installed Python on your Mac, you should install a free code editor to make coding quicker and simpler. Even though the Python package’s IDLE includes a source-code editor, and you may use it to get started, several better editors offer a far more efficient coding environment.

So, if you want a lightweight and powerful code editor, go at Visual Studio Code. And here’s how to set it up:

  1. Visual Studio Code is available for free download from the official website.
  2. When finished, double-click the downloaded file to extract its archived contents.
  3. VSCode should now be under the Application folder. This places it in the macOS launchpad for convenient access.
  4. Now, run VSCode and choose New File… to create a new file.
  5. To have Visual Studio Code recognize your file as a Python script, it must have suffix.
  6. Now, choose where you want to store your new Python script and click Create File.
  7. You will now be prompted to install a Python extension by VSCode. You may do that by selecting the Install option. You may, however, manually install the Python extension if you missed clicking on the pop-up that asks you to install the extension or if you mistakenly dismissed it. This is accomplished by selecting the Extensions icon (four boxes) on the left side of Visual Studio Code. This displays a list of the most popular Python extensions available in the Visual Studio Marketplace. Then, in the search results, type Python and install the first extension that shows.
  8. Select a Python interpreter after installing the Python extension by clicking the Select Python Interpreter button and picking the suggested one from the list.
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Running Your First Python Script on a Mac

You’ve made it this far because you’ve successfully installed Python on your Mac and set up a code editor. It’s now time to execute your first Python script on macOS. To do this, take these steps:

  1. Return to the Python file you just made and type any simple Python command, such as print(‘Hello, world!’) By selecting the Play button in the upper right corner of Visual Studio Code, you may compile and execute your code.
  2. If your code is accurate, the result will be shown in the integrated Terminal, indicating that you have successfully ran your first Python script.
  3. Open the Finder and go to the Application folder.

How to Uninstall Python From Your Mac

If you decide to stop using Python on your Mac and instead use another programming language, you may uninstall Python from macOS by following the procedures below.

Uninstalling Python From the Applications Folder

  1. Put all of your Python folders in the Trash. To delete a single version, make sure you just transfer the files from that version to the Trash.
  2. A dialog window may appear asking for your permission to delete the file. Enter your Mac’s password to allow Terminal to erase these files.
  3. To use Spotlight Search, press the Command + Space bar keys together. Launch Terminal by searching for it here.
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Uninstalling Python Framework From the /Library Directory

To totally remove Python from your system, you must also delete the Python framework from the /Library directory. The Python framework includes the Python interpreter, standard library, and site-packages directory.

All of these files will be removed from your system if you uninstall the Python framework. If you do not delete these files, Python will remain installed but unusable on your Mac.

  1. In Terminal, type the following command and press the Return (or Enter) key. /Library/Frameworks/Python.framework sudo rm -rf
  2. To allow permission to remove the files, enter your Mac’s password.
  3. Enter your Mac’s password to grant permission to delete the files.

This will remove the framework from all Python versions installed on your Mac. If you just wish to remove the framework of a certain version (for example, version 3.8), use the following command:

sudo rm -rf /Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/3.8

This will remove the Python framework for the selected version from your Mac.

Getting Started With Python on Your Mac Is Easy

Although there are other methods to install Python on macOS, the official installer is the most secure. You may, however, utilize a package manager for macOS such as Homebrew—an application that allows you to easily install and manage software, dependencies, and other tasks on your machine.

The greatest aspect is that you can use Homebrew to install not just any version of Python, but also a variety of other software.

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