Python is a cross-platform programming language, meaning, it runs on multiple platforms like Windows, MacOS, Linux and has even been ported to the Java and .NET virtual machines. It is free and open source.
Even though most of today’s Linux and Mac have Python preinstalled in it, the version might be out-of-date. So, it is always a good idea to install the most current version.
The easiest way to run Python is by using Thonny IDE.
The Thonny IDE comes with the latest version of Python bundled in it. So you don't have to install Python separately.
Follow the following steps to run Python on your computer.
If you don't want to use Thonny, here's how you can install and run Python on your computer.
Once you finish the installation process, you can run Python.
Once Python is installed, typing python in the command line will invoke the interpreter in immediate mode. We can directly type in Python code and press enter to get the output.
Try typing in 1 + 1 and press enter. We get 2 as the output. This prompt can be used as a calculator. To exit this mode type quit() and press enter.
1 + 1
We can use any text editing software to write a Python script file.
We just need to save it with the .py extension. But using an IDE can make our life a lot easier. IDE is a piece of software that provides useful features like code hinting, syntax highlighting and checking, file explorers etc. to the programmer for application development.
By the way, when you install Python, an IDE named IDLE is also installed. You can use it to run Python on your computer. It's a decent IDE for beginners.
When you open IDLE, an interactive Python Shell is opened.
Now you can create a new file and save it with .py extension. For example, hello.py
Write Python code in the file, save it. To run the file go to Run > Run Module or simply click F5.
Now that we have Python up and running, we can write our first Python program.
Let's create a very simple program called "Hello World!". A "Hello, World!" is a simple program that outputs Hello, World! on the screen. Since it's a very simple program, it's often used to introduce a new programming language to a newbie.
Type the following code in any text editor or an IDE and save it as helloWorld.py
Then, run the file. You will get the following output.
Congratulations! You just wrote your first program in Python.
As we can see, it was pretty easy. This is the beauty of Python programming language.