If you are a macOS user like me, you know the default version of Python that comes by default with your mac is version 2.X. Most of the time, you’ll end up needing Python 3.X — which I’m told you can run using the
python3 command. But let’s set the default version to Python 3 — so you can run it using the default
Step #1: Install Homebrew#
Homebrew is an excellent package manager for macOS. Install it if you haven’t already by running the following command:
/bin/bash -c "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/HEAD/install.sh)"
Step #2: Install Python with brew#
The simplest way to get this working is to install Python via brew. Run the following command in your terminal to install Python.
brew install python
It will install Python 3.
Step #3: Symlink Python#
Now let’s create the right set of symlinks for Python 3.X so that it becomes the default
python command in your macOS. Run the following command:
ls -l /usr/local/bin/python*
This should output something like the following:
/usr/local/bin/python -> /usr/local/bin/python3
/usr/local/bin/python3 -> ../Cellar/[email protected]/3.9.2_1/bin/python3
/usr/local/bin/python3-config -> ../Cellar/[email protected]/3.9.2_1/bin/python3-config
/usr/local/bin/python3.9 -> ../Cellar/[email protected]/3.9.2_1/bin/python3.9
/usr/local/bin/python3.9-config -> ../Cellar/[email protected]/3.9.2_1/bin/python3.9-config
Take a look at the first line. It shows default
python being symlinked to the brew installed
python3. If you don’t see that in the output, then we can be sure to set it as the default
python symlink run the following:
ln -s -f /usr/local/bin/python3 /usr/local/bin/python
And we are all set.
Step #4: Verify
python 3.X install#
To make sure we did everything right, let’s reload the shell/terminal — you can do that manually or by running the following command to trigger a reload:
exec $SHELL -l
Tip: I have set an alias for this command to reload the shell,
alias reload="exec $SHELL -l" which comes in handy all the time.
Now run the following:
and you should see this output:
… and finally, you can run the version check command:
All this should confirm Python 3.X install, as it outputs
Python 3.9.2 for me. Easy peasy lemon squeezy. Use your code for good.
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