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how does python work on ubuntu?

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I am using Ubuntu 13.04. I have never coded or know how to. I can only click on an icon and hope it runs.

Now, I want to learn Python. I extracted a Python 3.3.2 xzipped source tarball to a file I made in Home/Programs and now have Home/Programs/Python-3.3.2.

However, I can't find any icon to start this program. Do I have to use a Terminal?

Is it possible to install a icon or what must I type in the Terminal.


To install python3

Open a terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T) and run:

sudo apt-get install python3

(You must enter your user's password. The terminal won't show anything new while you type, but that's normal.)

Now to start using Python3 run:


Python is an interpreter, meaning that you start it and then it waits for commands to be executed:

$ python3
>>> print('Hello World!')
Hello World!

If you want a fancier interpreter install IPython3:

sudo apt-get install ipython3

I think a launcher icon is installed for IPython3.

Read An Informal Introduction to Python for some basic stuff you can do in the interpreter.

Remark. As you can see there's no need to go to the Python website to download it, (almost) everything is in the repositories for Ubuntu. You just need to open the Software Center or learn some basic apt-get and apt-cache usage. My recommendation is you first familiarize with Ubuntu as a casual user (or power user), learn more about the terminal (and bash), learn more about APT, learn more about Unix/Linux tools; then read the Python tutorials/books. This way you'll learn about different ways to do things the Linux way (and why Python is awesome :P).

Since you're a novice at Python, install IDLE3 from the Ubuntu Software Center. If you install IDLE3 it will also install the python3 package if necessary as a dependency. IDLE3 is an Integrated Development Environment for Python (using Python 3.x). IDLE3 is easier to use as a Python IDE than the terminal, easy to learn and will help you get your feet on the ground with Python. If you type idle in the Dash you will see the icon for IDLE3.

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