Fix Python – Multiple Python versions on the same machine?

Question

Asked By – Andriy Drozdyuk

Is there official documentation on the Python website somewhere, on how to install and run multiple versions of Python on the same machine on Linux?

I can find gazillions of blog posts and answers, but I want to know if there is a “standard” official way of doing this?

Or is this all dependent on OS?

Now we will see solution for issue: Multiple Python versions on the same machine?


Answer

I think it is totally independent. Just install them, then you have the commands e.g. /usr/bin/python2.5 and /usr/bin/python2.6. Link /usr/bin/python to the one you want to use as default.

All the libraries are in separate folders (named after the version) anyway.

If you want to compile the versions manually, this is from the readme file of the Python source code:

Installing multiple versions

On Unix and Mac systems if you intend to install multiple versions of Python
using the same installation prefix (–prefix argument to the configure
script) you must take care that your primary python executable is not
overwritten by the installation of a different version. All files and
directories installed using “make altinstall” contain the major and minor
version and can thus live side-by-side. “make install” also creates
${prefix}/bin/python3 which refers to ${prefix}/bin/pythonX.Y. If you intend
to install multiple versions using the same prefix you must decide which
version (if any) is your “primary” version. Install that version using
“make install”. Install all other versions using “make altinstall”.

For example, if you want to install Python 2.5, 2.6 and 3.0 with 2.6 being
the primary version, you would execute “make install” in your 2.6 build
directory and “make altinstall” in the others.

This question is answered By – Felix Kling

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