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How-to install Python 3.6.1 on CentOS 7

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This article is a revisit to a previous article dating back a little over an year, in which I installed Python 3.5.1 from sources. This time I will install Python 3.6.1 from a yum repository.

Same as the last time, CentOS 7 still has Python 2.7 installed out of the box and is used by the system itself to enable the system commands, so let’s not mess with that installation.

Although as a developer I can do a lot with Python 2.7, I really want to utilize the new language features which comes with Python 3. Since Python 3.6 come out in the end of last year, we got even more goodies, such as Literal String Interpolation, or the f-strings, as they are called.

Let’s get started. By the way, this does not break the installation I made in the previous article, so no worries, if you are on the same server installation as the last time.


Install the necessary utilities

As all Linux tutorials out there, first thing is to install the updates. Then I can proceed with the installation of the necessary tools and utilities.

sudo yum update
sudo yum install yum-utils
sudo yum groupinstall development

Now all of the necessary packages have been installed.

Install Python 3.6.1

The standard yum repositories does not yet provide the latest Python release, so I need to install an additional repository, called IUM (Inline with Upstream Stable), which provides the necessary RPM packages.

So, to install IUM repository:

sudo yum install

Now with the repository installed, I can proceed to install Python 3.6:

sudo yum install python36u

Now it’s time to check the Python version with (should return Python 3.6.1 at the time of writing):

python3.6 -V

Next up, is pip to manage Python packages, and some development packages.

sudo yum install python36u-pip
sudo yum install python36u-devel

Ready to test:

# This should return the system Python version
python –V
# output:
Python 2.7.5

# This should return the Python 3 version
python3.6 –V
# output:
Python 3.6.1

That’s it. Now I have Python 3.6 ready to run my apps!

Creating a virtualenv

The preferred way to create a new virtualenv in Python 3 is to run (in your project directory):

python3.6 -m venv venv

… where the former venv is the command to create a virtualenv, and the latter venvis the name of the virtualenv.

To activate the virtualenv and start installing packages with pip, run:

. venv/bin/activate
pip install [package_name]
pip install -r requirements.txt

Happy coding!