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Install Python From Source#

These instructions describe how to install Python from source on a Linux server.

Install required dependencies#

First, enable the optional and required repositories by following the steps here.

Next, use the following commands to install the dependencies required to build and run Python for your Linux distribution.

$ sudo yum-builddep python python-libs
$ sudo yum install libffi-devel sqlite-devel zlib zlib-devel
$ sudo apt-get build-dep python
$ sudo apt-get install libffi-dev libgdbm-dev libsqlite3-dev libssl-dev zlib1g-dev
$ sudo zypper install \
    automake \
    fdupes \
    gcc \
    gcc-c++ \
    gcc-fortran \
    gdbm-devel \
    gettext-tools \
    gmp-devel \
    intltool \
    libbz2-devel \
    libexpat-devel \
    libffi-devel \
    libnsl-devel \
    lzma-devel \
    make \
    ncurses-devel \
    netcfg \
    openssl-devel \
    pkgconfig \
    readline-devel \
    sqlite-devel \
    xz \

Specify Python version#

Specify the version of Python that you want to install:

$ export PYTHON_VERSION=3.7.7
$ export PYTHON_MAJOR=3

A list of available Python versions can be found on

Download and extract Python#

Download and extract Python, then navigate into the Python directory:

$ tar -xvzf Python-${PYTHON_VERSION}.tgz
$ cd Python-${PYTHON_VERSION}

Build and install Python#

Configure, make, and install Python:

$ ./configure \
    --prefix=/opt/python/${PYTHON_VERSION} \
    --enable-shared \
    --enable-ipv6 \

$ make
$ sudo make install

Install pip and virtualenv#

Install pip and virtualenv into the version of Python that you just installed:

$ curl -O
$ sudo /opt/python/${PYTHON_VERSION}/bin/python${PYTHON_MAJOR}
$ sudo /opt/python/${PYTHON_VERSION}/bin/pip install virtualenv

Verify Python installation#

Verify that Python is installed by running the following command:

$ /opt/python/${PYTHON_VERSION}/bin/python${PYTHON_MAJOR} --version

(Optional) Add Python to the system PATH#


You can configure Python on the system PATH so that users can use pip within a terminal to install packages to their home directory, similar to how R works with install.packages().

The recommended method to add Python to the PATH is to append the version of Python that you installed to the system-wide PATH variable. For example, this can be defined in a script within the /etc/profile.d/ directory:

File: /etc/profile.d/

where <PYTHON-VERSION> is the version of Python that you installed earlier.

(Optional) Install multiple versions of Python#

If you want to install multiple versions of Python on the same server, you can repeat these steps to specify, download, and install a different version of Python alongside existing versions.

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