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We strongly recommend using Python version 3.5 or higher for the exercises in the CodeRefinery workshop. If you only have version 2.7 installed, the instructions below describe how you can set up an isolated Python 3 environment.

Installation on Linux and macOS

Although Python is likely already installed on your laptop, to avoid any possible conflicts we recommend that you install a fresh Python environment through either a full Anaconda installation or a (much) more lightweight Miniconda installation. If you are very comfortable with Python and know how to install packages without root privileges, you can jump directly to the packages listed below and install them.

Follow these links for download and installation instructions:

Note that it is best to install Anaconda/Miniconda into a directory in the home folder, rather than in a system directory, and one should not sudo it. Also note that Python 2 and Python 3 versions of Anaconda are conventionally installed in folders anaconda2 and anaconda3, respectively (and similarly for Miniconda).

If you already have an Anaconda2 distribution installed, you don’t need to install the full Anaconda3 distribution. Instead, you can create a separate Python3 conda environment under your Anaconda2 installation, as described here.

After installing Anaconda/Miniconda you can install the required packages (listed below) via conda install (recommended) or pip install.

Anaconda/Miniconda prepends your PATH with $HOME/anaconda3/bin (or $HOME/miniconda3/bin), assuming that $HOME/anaconda3 is where you installed Anaconda3, by adding lines to your .bash_profile file. To verify your Anaconda/Miniconda installation, open a new terminal (or type source .bash_profile in the terminal session in which you installed Anaconda/Miniconda).

If you for some reason prefer not to install Anaconda/Miniconda, an alternative is to use virtualenv. You first need to install the virtualenv package into your root Python by:

$ sudo pip install virtualenv

Then create a virtual environment by:

$ virtualenv -p python3.6 venv

(replacing python3.6 with the correct name of your preferred Python version if necessary) and then type:

$ source venv/bin/activate

We do not recommend to install Python packages system-wide using the root account.

Installing required packages

We will use the following Python packages in the CodeRefinery exercises:

  • numpy
  • matplotlib
  • jupyter
  • jupyterlab
  • ipywidgets
  • pandas
  • seaborn
  • sphinx
  • sphinx_rtd_theme
  • pytest
  • pycodestyle

If you have installed a new Python environment via Anaconda, you will already have all these packages installed on your system.

If you installed Miniconda, you can install the required packages via the conda package manager:

$ conda install <package-name>

If you’re using virtualenv, and you have activated it with source $HOME/venv/bin/activate, your pip should be the one located in $HOME/venv/bin/ and you can type

$ pip install <package-name>

Please also verify your installation.

Installation on Windows

Watch the video tutorial (copyright Software Carpentry).

  • Open with your web browser.
  • Download the Python 3 installer for Windows.
  • Install Python 3 using all of the defaults for installation except make sure to check Make Anaconda the default Python.

Anaconda contains almost all the required Python packages which will be used during the CodeRefinery workshop.

How to verify the installation

In the command prompt, type:

$ python --version

If your installation was successful, you will see your Python version. It needs to start with a “3”:

Python 3.6.5 :: Continuum Analytics, Inc.

Check whether you can import pytest - this should not produce an error:

$ python -c "import pytest"

Now check that you can start pytest and sphinx-build directly from the command line (not a problem if versions differ a bit):

$ pytest --version

This is pytest version 5.2.1

$ sphinx-build --version

sphinx-build 2.2.0

Please also verify that sphinx_rtd_theme (Sphinx Read the Docs theme) is installed:

$ python -c "import sphinx_rtd_theme"

If sphinx_rtd_theme is not part of your Anaconda installation, you can install it with:

$ conda install sphinx_rtd_theme

Finally verify that you can run both Git and Python commands in the same environment. This should not produce an error:

$ python --version
$ git --version