If you are working on your computer at home, you may need to install Python on your machine first. You will likely need the help of the owner of the machine (e.g. your parents) to accomplish that.
If you don’t yet know how to use the console/shell on your machine, you should read Shells and Consoles: Windows into your Computer first and then return here.
Students at Home¶
On Linux or Mac machines open a console/terminal and type:
$ python3 Python 3.7.5 (default, Apr 19 2020, 20:18:17) [GCC 9.2.1 20191008] on linux Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information. >>>
You can get out of the interpreter by hitting <CTRL-D> or <COMMAND-D> (that is, hold down the Ctrl key and tap the D key).
You may wish to install a capable editor, such as Microsoft’s Visual Studio Code to edit your Python code.
Open a PowerShell console and type:
You can exit the interpreter by hitting <CTRL-Z> <ENTER> at the start of a line (that is, hold down the Ctrl key and tap the D key, release Ctrl and tap the enter key).
These instructions were written in 2016, they are likely out of date and it should be far easier to start a console in Python today.
Get logged into your TDSB account
The same account you use for school https://aw.tdsb.on.ca
Start Button | type “py” | Choose “Idle” or “Pyscripter 3.7”
If you don’t see Python, choose another machine but log out first
If you are offered a choice between Python 2 and Python 3, choose Python 3
If you’ve started Idle or Pyscripter you are running an Integrated Development Environment which includes a Python Interpreter window. Normally this shows up at the bottom or bottom-right corner of the IDE. You’ll recognize it because it has a prompt that has 3 greater than symbols:
If you’ve just started Python you will see a (black) window with the prompt:
$ python Python 3.7.5 (default, Apr 19 2020, 20:18:17) [GCC 9.2.1 20191008] on linux Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information. >>>
Don’t worry if the numbers are slightly different, or there are different descriptions of the program. What we care about is that you are seeing the >>> prompt and that the version of Python starts with 3. If your version starts with 2, such as 2.6 or 2.7, then you’ll need to deal with some minor changes throughout the course.
You can exit the interpreter by hitting your platform’s
<end of input>
key combination. On Windows this is
<ctrl-z><enter>. On Linux
So you’ve started Python, you should be looking at the interpreter. The interpreter is just a program that listens to what you type, tries to turn it into Python code, and prints the results back to you. It likely looks something like this:
In the interpreter, the
>>> prompt tells you that you can enter Python
code and have it executed when you hit
If you are using the IPython interpreter, the prompt may look like:
instead of >>>