For Windows Users 


A Byte of Python 

Go to the Table of Contents. Visit the Gifcom web site.

Visit Python.org/download and download the latest version from this website (which was 2.3.4 as of this writing. This is just 9.4 MB which is very compact compared to most other languages. The installation is just like any other Windows-based software.

Caution

When you are given the option of unchecking any optional components, don't uncheck any! Some of these components can be useful for you, especially IDLE.

An interesting fact is that about 70% of Python downloads are by Windows users. Of course, this doesn't give the complete picture since almost all Linux users will have Python installed already on their systems by default.

Using Python in the Windows command line

If you want to be able to use Python from the Windows command line, then you need to set the PATH variable appropriately.

For Windows 2000, XP, 2003 , click on Control Panel -> System -> Advanced -> Environment Variables. Click on the variable named PATH in the 'System Variables' section, then select Edit and add ;C:\Python23 (without the quotes) to the end of what is already there. Of course, use the appropriate directory name.

For older versions of Windows, add the following line to the file C:\AUTOEXEC.BAT : 'PATH=%PATH%;C:\Python23' (without the quotes) and restart the system. For Windows NT, use the AUTOEXEC.NT file.

Summary

For a Linux system, you most probably already have Python installed on your system. Otherwise, you can install it using the package management software that comes with your distribution. For a Windows system, installing Python is as easy as downloading the installer and double-clicking on it. From now on, we will assume that you have Python installed on your system.

Next, we will write our first Python program.