How to Install Latest Python 3.6 Version in Linux

Several top universities around the globe use Python to introduce students to programming. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the University of Texas at Arlington, and Stanford are only a few examples of institutions that use this language extensively.

Additionally, it is important to note that Python is also useful for a wide variety of educational, enterprise, and scientific purposes – from web development to desktop applications to machine learning and everything in between.

Read Also: How to Install Python 3.6 in Ubuntu

Currently, there are two major Python versions in use – 2 and 3, with 2 rapidly losing grounds to 3 since the former is no longer under active development. Since all Linux distributions come with Python 2.x installed.

Suggested Read: Getting Started with Python Programming and Scripting in Linux – Part 1

In this article we will show how to install and use Python 3.x in CentOS/RHEL 7, Debian and its derivatives such as Ubuntu (latest LTS version already has latest Python installed) or Linux Mint. Our focus will be installing the core language tools that can be used in the command line.

However, we will also explain how to install the Python IDLE – a GUI-based tool that allows us to run Python code and create standalone functions.

Install Python 3.6 in Linux

At the time of this writing (October 2017), the latest Python 3.x versions available in CentOS/RHEL 7 and Debian 8/9 are 3.4 and 3.5 respectively.

Although we can install the core packages and their dependencies using yum and aptitude (or apt-get), we will explain how to perform the installation from source instead.

Why? The reason is simple: this allows us to have the latest stable release of the language (3.6) and to provide a distribution-agnostic installation method.

Prior to installing Python in CentOS 7, let’s make sure our system has all the necessary development dependencies:

# yum -y groupinstall development
# yum -y install zlib-devel

In Debian we will need to install gcc, make, and the zlib compression / decompression library:

# aptitude -y install gcc make zlib1g-dev

To install Python 3.6, run the following commands:

# wget
# tar xJf Python-3.6.3.tar.xz
# cd Python-3.6.3
# ./configure
# make
# make install

Now relax and go grab a sandwich because this may take a while. When the installation is complete, use which to verify the location of the main binary:

# which python3
# python3 -V

The output of the above command should be similar to:

Check Python Version in Linux
Check Python Version in Linux

To exit the Python prompt, simply type.


and press Enter.

Congratulations! Python 3.6 is now installed on your system.

Install Python IDLE in Linux

Python IDLE is a GUI-based tool for Python. If you wish to install the Python IDLE, grab the package named idle (Debian) or python-tools (CentOS).

# apt-get install idle       [On Debian]
# yum install python-tools   [On CentOS]

Type the following command to start the Python IDLE.

# idle

In this article we have explained how to install the latest Python stable version from source.

Last, but not least, if you’re coming from Python 2, you may want to take a look at the 2to3 official documentation. This is a program that reads Python 2 code and transforms it into valid Python 3 code.

Do you have any questions or comments about this article? Feel free to get in touch with us using the form below.

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15 thoughts on “How to Install Latest Python 3.6 Version in Linux”

  1. Installing from source as *root* is usually a bad idea. There is no uninstall step. You are likely to overwrite packages maintained by your system package manager (yum, apt, etc.) On Red Hat you can break yum which is difficult to recover from.

    Install packages if they are available. There are several choices of Python 3 packages for most distributions.

    Only build from source if you have to for some reason and then install someplace other than /usr.


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