How to Install Python IDLE in Linux

IDLE is an Integrated and learning environment created with Python using the GUI Tkinter toolkit. This is mainly used by beginners to get familiar with Python. IDLE is a cross-platform application that works with Mac OS, Windows, and Linux. In windows, IDLE comes by default with the installation. For Mac OS and Linux, we have to install the IDLE separately.

IDLE Features

  • Interactive Interpreter.
  • A multi-window text editor.
  • Smart intends.
  • Code coloring.
  • Call tips.
  • Auto indentation.
  • Debugger with persistent breakpoints.
  • Stepping and Viewing of local and global Namespace.

If you are a beginner to Python programming or new to programming, IDLE is the best place to start with. But if you are an experienced programmer switching from another language to Python then you may try more advanced editors like Pycharm, VScode, Sublime Text, VIM, etc.

Install Python IDLE IDE in Linux

In most of today’s modern Linux distributions, Python is installed by default and it comes with the IDLE application. However, If isn’t installed, you can install it using your default package manager as shown.

$ sudo apt install idle                [On Debian/Ubuntu for Python2]
$ sudo apt-get install idle3           [On Debian/Ubuntu for Python3]
$ sudo yum install python3-tools       [On CentOS/RHEL and Fedora]

Once the installation is completed type "idle" from the terminal or go to start menu type "idle" Launch application.

$ idle

When you open the IDLE, the interactive terminal will be displayed first. The interactive terminal provides auto-completion too, you can press (ALT + SPACE) for auto-completion.

IDLE Interactive Terminal
IDLE Interactive Terminal

Writing First Python Program Using IDLE

Go to File → New File → To open the text editor. Once the editor is opened you can write the program. To run the program from the text editor, save the file and press F5 or Run → Run Module.

Write First Python Program
Write First Python Program

To access the debugger go to Debug → Debugger. Debug mode will be on, you can debug and step through the code.

Python IDLE Debug
Python IDLE Debug

Go to Options → Configure IDLE. This will open settings windows.

Python IDLE Settings
Python IDLE Settings

That’s all for today. We have seen what IDLE is and how to install it in Linux. How to write the first python program through interpreter and Text editor. How to access the builtin debugger and how to change the settings of IDLE.

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  1. I just installed IDLE but how do you make sure modules like numpy that are already installed for the terminal don’t need to be installed separately?

  2. Hi, I am dealing with an issue. I have Linux mint and pre-installed python 3.8. Now I installed recently released 3.10 but IDLE is always starting up with version 3.8. How do I get IDLE for version 3.10? (Version 3.10 is working fine in the terminal.) Thanks.

      • The python package in arch contains /usr/bin/idle.

        There is no desktop file created for it, though, so you either have to create your own under your home directory or launch it manually.


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