Mac change default python path

So what's the plan? I have dozens of Python interpreters on my computer already, and I have no idea how to manage them effectively. I didn't want to download the latest release, move it into my path, and call it a day or use brew install python3 , which would do something similar. I figured it would cause breakages down the line in a really frustrating way that I wouldn't know how to troubleshoot. I thought the best path forward was to rip and replace whatever version of Python I was running to make a clear and definitive switch to the latest and greatest.


My first idea on how to make Python 3 the default Python on my system was to move the old version and add the new one:. Thankfully, MacOS protected me from breaking something I don't fully understand. Further research proves this is exactly what we shouldn't do. Now that we know what not to do, let's look at what we could do.

Your Answer

There are a couple options when we think about common installation patterns for applications on MacOS. Python's website has a MacOS Python 3 installer we can download and use.

  • Using Python environments in VS Code;
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  • Select and activate an environment.

What's nice about an alias is that it's specific to our command-line shell. Since I use zsh by default, I put the following into the. If you are using the default Bash shell, you can append this same text to your. This strategy works, but it isn't ideal for making future updates to Python. The Homebrew project provides a free and open source package manager for MacOS that many people rely on.

It gives Apple users a power similar to apt-get or yum.

Upgrading and Using Python 3 on a Mac

If you are a Homebrew user, you may already have Python installed. To quickly check, run:. Okay, great! The Homebrew maintainers have updated the default Python bottle to point to the latest release. Since the Homebrew maintainers are more dependable at updating the release than most of us, we can use Homebrew's version of Python 3 with the following command:. To make sure the path above points to where Homebrew installed Python in our environment, we can run brew info python and look for the path information.

This method, of using Homebrew to manage our Python environment, is a good starting place, and it made sense to me at the time. It makes sense for anyone new to Python to begin with Python 3. At any time, we can remove the aliases from our shell's configuration file to go back to using the default copy of Python on the system. The pip command is the default package manager specifically for Python packages.

Although we changed our default Python command to be version 3, we have to alias our pip command separately if it's on the previous version. First, we need to check what version we're on:. To ensure we're installing packages compatible with our new version of Python, we'll use another alias to point to the compatible version of pip. Since we're using Homebrew as our package manager in this situation, we know it installed pip3 when we installed Python 3.

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  • Running Multiple Python Versions in Mac OSX;
  • Running Multiple Python Versions in Mac OSX.

The default path should be the same as Python 3, but we can confirm this by asking the shell to find it:. Last, we can confirm that running pip points to pip3 by opening a new shell or by resetting our current shell and seeing what we point to:. When asking for a technical review of this article, Moshe Zadka gave me a warning that my solution could result in an unreliable idea of which Python is running that depends too closely on shells loading aliases.

I knew Moshe was familiar with Python, but I didn't know is that he is an author of many Python tutorials as well as an upcoming book on Python development on MacOS. He helped 40 colleagues develop Python safely and consistently on MacOS systems following one core principle:. How do we stop caring about the default?

Moshe recommends using pyenv to manage Python environments. When you installed Anaconda it should have added a new item to your PATH variable, right at the front. You can remove these lines, reopen any terminal window you have and your default Python should have been restored. Learn more about Teams. Asked 5 years, 11 months ago. Active 5 years, 8 months ago. Viewed 5k times. Hi I have a Mac and happen to have many different flavors of Python installed everywhere. Add an alias to.

Where the extension looks for environments

Parag Bafna Parag Bafna Aug 30 '13 at Sign in Sign up. Launching GitHub Desktop Go back. Launching Xcode Launching Visual Studio Latest commit 17f44b7 Jul 9, Simple Python Version Management: pyenv pyenv lets you easily switch between multiple versions of Python. Let you change the global Python version on a per-user basis.

Provide support for per-project Python versions. Allow you to override the Python version with an environment variable. Search commands from multiple versions of Python at a time. This may be helpful to test across Python versions with tox. In contrast with pythonbrew and pythonz, pyenv does not Depend on Python itself. There is no bootstrap problem of Python. Need to be loaded into your shell.

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  5. Manage virtualenv. Of course, you can create virtualenv yourself, or pyenv-virtualenv to automate the process. Understanding PATH When you run a command like python or pip , your operating system searches through a list of directories to find an executable file with that name.

    Is Python Pre-Installed on Every Mac Version? - Ask Different

    Locating the Python Installation Once pyenv has determined which version of Python your application has specified, it passes the command along to the corresponding Python installation. Managing Virtual Environments There is a pyenv plugin named pyenv-virtualenv which comes with various features to help pyenv users to manage virtual environments created by virtualenv or Anaconda.

    Python Tutorial: How to Set the Path and Switch Between Different Versions/Executables (Mac & Linux)

    Installation If you're on macOS, consider installing with Homebrew. You signed in with another tab or window. Reload to refresh your session. You signed out in another tab or window. Jun 21, Mar 2, Fix fish subcommand completion. Feb 9, Jul 9, Add CPython 3. Remove infocmp from shims. Apr 2, Apr 23, Dec 24, Add default-packages to. Aug 16, Find zlib from Xcode or brew on Mojave Jun 11, Apr 17, Adopt Contributor Covenant 1.

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