Centos Install Python 3.8

admin13 April 2024Last Update :

Understanding CentOS and Python 3.8

CentOS, a community-driven free software effort focused on delivering a robust open-source ecosystem, is known for its reliability and compatibility with Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). With the growing demand for Python in the development world, installing a specific version like Python 3.8 can be crucial for developers working on CentOS-based systems.

Prerequisites for Installing Python 3.8 on CentOS

  • A system running CentOS 7 or 8
  • Access to a user account with sudo privileges
  • An internet connection to download necessary packages
  • Basic knowledge of Linux command line interface

Installing Development Tools and Required Packages

Before diving into the installation of Python 3.8, it’s essential to set up the development environment by installing the required packages and development tools.

yum groupinstall "Development Tools"
yum install openssl-devel bzip2-devel libffi-devel

Downloading Python 3.8 Source Code

The next step involves downloading the source code for Python 3.8 from the official Python website.

wget https://www.python.org/ftp/python/3.8.0/Python-3.8.0.tar.xz
tar xvf Python-3.8.0.tar.xz

Building and Installing Python 3.8

Once the source code is ready, you can proceed with compiling and installing Python 3.8 on your CentOS system.

cd Python-3.8.0
./configure --enable-optimizations
make altinstall

Why Use ‘altinstall’ Instead of ‘install’

Using make altinstall prevents replacing the default python binary file /usr/bin/python.

Verifying Python 3.8 Installation

After the installation process completes, verify that Python 3.8 has been installed correctly.

python3.8 --version

Setting Up pip for Python 3.8

pip is a package manager for Python that allows you to install and manage additional libraries and dependencies that are not distributed as part of the standard library.

python3.8 -m ensurepip --upgrade

Configuring Virtual Environments with Python 3.8

Virtual environments enable you to create isolated spaces on your system for project-specific Python dependencies.

python3.8 -m venv my_project_env
source my_project_env/bin/activate

Handling Multiple Python Versions on CentOS

When multiple versions of Python are installed on your system, managing them becomes critical to avoid conflicts.

Using update-alternatives

The update-alternatives tool helps in maintaining symbolic links for default commands.

update-alternatives --install /usr/bin/python python /usr/local/bin/python3.8 1

FAQ Section

How do I switch back to the default Python version after using update-alternatives?

You can use the update-alternatives –config python command to select the default version.

Can I use yum to install Python 3.8 directly?

As of CentOS 7 and 8, the default repositories do not contain Python 3.8, hence the need to compile from source.

Is it safe to remove Python 2.7 from CentOS?

It is not recommended to remove Python 2.7 from CentOS systems as it may cause issues with the yum package manager and other system components.

Best Practices for Python Development on CentOS

  • Always work within virtual environments to avoid polluting the global namespace.
  • Keep your Python versions and packages updated to benefit from security patches and new features.
  • Use version control systems like Git to manage your Python code effectively.


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