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Set Up Instructions* (for installing Python on your laptop)

*Lifted from Software Carpentry Setup Instructions

  • Python is a popular language for research computing, and great for general-purpose programming as well. Installing all of its research packages individually can be a bit difficult, so we recommend Anaconda, an all-in-one installer. Please follow the installation instruction below (corresponding with the operating system you have installed on your computer).
  • Regardless of how you choose to install it, please make sure you install Python version 3.x (e.g., 3.6 is fine).
  • We will teach Python using the Jupyter notebook, a programming environment that runs in a web browser. For this to work you will need a reasonably up-to-date browser. The current versions of the Chrome, Safari and Firefox browsers are all supported (some older browsers, including Internet Explorer version 9 and below, are not).


  • Open with your web browser.
  • Download the Python 3 installer for Windows.
  • Install Python 3 using all of the defaults for installation except make sure to check "Add Anaconda to my PATH environment variable."



  • Open with your web browser.
  • Download the Python 3 installer for Linux.
  • Install Python 3 using all of the defaults for installation. (Installation requires using the shell. If you aren't comfortable doing the installation yourself stop here and request help at the workshop.)
  • Open a terminal window.
  • Type: bash Anaconda3-
    and then press tab. The name of the file you just downloaded should appear. If it does not, navigate to the folder where you downloaded the file, for example with:
    cd Downloads
  • Press enter. You will follow the text-only prompts.
    1. To move through the text, press Spacebar. Type yes and press enter to approve the license. Press enter to approve the default location for the files. Type yes and press enter to prepend Anaconda to your PATH (this makes the Anaconda distribution the default Python).
    2. Close the terminal window.
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