Setting up Python developing environment on Xubuntu 12.04 LTS / 14.10 LTS

Installing ActivePython

[Last update: 03/07/2014]

My favourite cross-platform binary distribution is ActivePython. Check download area for latest release and adapt version number and platform accordingly.

[Note: If you mainly use Unix-based systems, setting up different Python versions and virtual environments using pyenv might be even more convenient than ActivePython.]

On Ubuntu/Xubuntu 64-bit (12.04 LTS / 14.04 LTS), I use the following commands and install ActivePython in the location /opt/ActivePython-X.X.X.X:

cd /tmp
wget http://downloads.activestate.com/ActivePython/releases/3.3.4.1/ActivePython-3.3.4.1-linux-x86_64.tar.gz
tar -xvf ActivePython-3.3.4.1-linux-x86_64.tar.gz
cd ActivePython-3.3.4.1-linux-x86_64
sudo ./install.sh

Setting up virtual environment

Use ActivePython’s pre-configured pyvenv.py script to generate a virtual environment.

cd /opt/ActivePython-3.3.4.1/bin/
./pyvenv ~/venv/apy3341

Activating virtual environment

cd ~/venv/apy3341
source bin/activate

The name of the activated virtual environment is shown in brackets at the beginning of the commandline prompt:

(apy3341) mki@ubuntu:~$

Using python in the virual environment

(apy3341) mki@ubuntu:~$ python
ActivePython 3.3.4.1 (ActiveState Software Inc.) based on
Python 3.3.4 (default, Sep 16 2013, 23:12:56) 
[GCC 4.0.2 20051125 (Red Hat 4.0.2-8)] on linux
Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.
>>>

Deactivating virtual environment

(apy3341) mki@ubuntu:~$ deactivate

commandline prompt returns back to normal and system-wide python binaries are used (here Xubuntu 12.04 LTS):

mki@ubuntu:~$ python
Python 2.7.3 (default, Sep 26 2013, 20:03:06) 
[GCC 4.6.3] on linux2
Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.
>>>