Installing Python at Home

These instructions are intended to get you an environment very similar to the one you’ll be using during the Coder’s Club. Before you start:

  • you will be installing software from the internet, you MUST get permission from the owner of the computer to do this (likely your parents)
  • there are different instructions for Windows, Mac (Apple/OS-X) and Linux, you need to choose the set for your computer

You do not need a particularly powerful computer to program. While most programmers use ridiculously powerful machines, you can start with any old machine.

What We are Doing

At the end of this process, you should have:

  • the programming language Python (version 2.7 on everything save Mac)
  • the multimedia/graphics/audio library Pygame (version 1.9)
  • an editor for (Python) code (PyScripter, Eric or PyCharm)


You did get permission from the owner of the machine, right? Do that now.

Windows Installation (XP, Vista, 7, 8+)

We are going to download these packages to your computer and then run the installers we have downloaded:

You will need to click through installation warnings for each of those.

Mac/OS-X Installation


Appologies up-front, this is the least pleasant environment to setup. OS-X has Python installed, but most Python packages, and particularly Pygame, don’t work well with the built-in Python interpreter.

You should follow these instructions which will set you up with a Python 3 environment, but are at least known to work.

Linux Installation

You need the following packages on Debian/Ubuntu machines (this includes the Raspberry Pi):

  • python2.7 (this is likely already installed)
  • python-pygame
  • eric (a full-featured Python IDE, for non-Raspberry Pi devices, if you are using Rasbian you can use Idle)

You can install them at the command-prompt with:

$ sudo apt-get install python2.7 python-pygame eric