00: Installing Python

This tutorial series will follow the Engineering 1D04 course at McMaster University. If you’re seeking help from another school and find that these tutorials can help you, please let me know!

Installing Python

Students in Engineering 1D04 should install Python 2.7 to follow closely with course material. Other readers can feel free to install the latest version of Python. (Currently 3.4.3)


  1. Download Python 2.7.x Windows Installer from here.
  2. Open and run the installer.
  3. Navigate to Start > All Programs > Python 2.7 > IDLE (Python GUI).


Mac OSX comes with Python pre-installed. However, it is likely that the version of Python is out of date (sometimes version 2.3).

To check if Python is already installed (and to check the current version)

  1. Open Terminal (Applications > Terminal).
  2. Type python.
  3. Terminal will start Python, and the version will be at the top.

If you have version 2.7.x, and are familliar with the Terminal, you don’t need to do any more! If you would like to update, or would like to use IDLE, follow these next steps:

Installing IDLE:

  1. Download “Python 2.7.x Mac OS X 64-bit/32-bit x86-64/i386 Installer” from here.
  2. Open python-2.7.x-macosx10.6.dmg.
  3. Run Python.mpkg.
  4. Follow the instructions provided. Default options are usually best.
  5. Navigate to Applications > Python 2.7 > IDLE.