Fix Python – How to run multiple Python versions on Windows

Question

Asked By – Bilal Basharat

I had two versions of Python installed on my machine (versions 2.6 and 2.5). I want to run 2.6 for one project and 2.5 for another.

How can I specify which I want to use?

I am working on Windows XP SP2.

Now we will see solution for issue: How to run multiple Python versions on Windows


Answer

Running a different copy of Python is as easy as starting the correct executable. You mention that you’ve started a python instance, from the command line, by simply typing python.

What this does under Windows, is to trawl the %PATH% environment variable, checking for an executable, either batch file (.bat), command file (.cmd) or some other executable to run (this is controlled by the PATHEXT environment variable), that matches the name given. When it finds the correct file to run the file is being run.

Now, if you’ve installed two python versions 2.5 and 2.6, the path will have both of their directories in it, something like PATH=c:\python\2.5;c:\python\2.6 but Windows will stop examining the path when it finds a match.

What you really need to do is to explicitly call one or both of the applications, such as c:\python\2.5\python.exe or c:\python\2.6\python.exe.

The other alternative is to create a shortcut to the respective python.exe calling one of them python25 and the other python26; you can then simply run python25 on your command line.

This question is answered By – aodj

This answer is collected from stackoverflow and reviewed by FixPython community admins, is licensed under cc by-sa 2.5 , cc by-sa 3.0 and cc by-sa 4.0