Python 2.7 Windows Installation Checklist

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Installing Python on Windows is a bit more laborious than on Mac or Linux, because there’s a bit of manual configuring to do. Here’s an installation checklist to go through to get it done so that you have IPython ready, and you can install packages from PyPI. These instructions are for Python 2.7.

1. Python

Download the Python 2.7 Windows Installer from the download page. Choose either 32-bit or 64-bit version. Install it. Take note where you install it.

2. PyWin32

Download Python for Windows extensions or “pywin32” here. Install it. It should detect your Python directory. This is optional, but I recommend it.

3. Setuptools

Download setuptools from PyPi

4. Your PATH

Edit your PATH. Open My Computer properties, from there Advanced Settings, and open the Environment Variables property window. If you have a PATH variable set already, edit that. Otherwise add an environment variable called “PATH” and add your Python installation directory, and also the scripts directory. The paths are separated by semicolons. For example:



Here’s a screenshot:

If you need other users, or system services to use Python, you can add it to the System Path. If you only use it yourself, add it to your own path.

5. IPython

Open command prompt. Go to the installation folder you chose.

If you are using the 64-bit version, now is the time to run the which you downloaded earlier. The defaults are pretty much ok. If you have the 32-bit version, the setuptools should be installed already, so move on.

You can install stuff from the the Python Package Index using the easy_install command, which is in the Scripts folder. If you added it into your path, you can run it from anywhere.

To get a nicer shell, let’s install IPython. Run these commands (which were taken from this page):

Now you can start the IPython shell by running the ipython command:

Also, to get packages and libraries, just run easy_install to fetch and install it automatically.

If you create your own modules and packages, you can put them in this directory:


That way you can import them in your scripts easily.

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