How to install a specific Python version on Linux

Hello, 👋

In this article I will show you how to install Python versions on Linux using the following methods: compiling from source, dead snakes ppa and pyenv.

To make things easier, if you want to follow along in an environment that you can break, you can create a local Kubernetes cluster using Minikube.

Next, I’m going to use the following yaml file to create an Ubuntu pod:

apiVersion: v1
kind: Pod
  name: ubuntu
    app: ubuntu
  - image: ubuntu
      - "sleep"
      - "604800"
    imagePullPolicy: IfNotPresent
    name: ubuntu
  restartPolicy: Always

Save the above yaml in a file ubuntu_pod.yaml and run:

kubectl apply -f ./ubuntu_pod.yaml

To get a shell on the Ubuntu pod, run:

kubectl exec -it ubuntu -- /bin/bash

To start from scratch, simply delete the pod with kubectl delete pod/ubuntu and then recreate it.

Compiling Python from source

Before compiling Python, you will need to setup the build environment, thankfully, it is straightforward.

Pyenv has great instructions on it:

On Ubuntu, to build Python, install the following packages:

apt-get update; apt-get install make build-essential libssl-dev zlib1g-dev \
libbz2-dev libreadline-dev libsqlite3-dev wget curl llvm \
libncursesw5-dev xz-utils tk-dev libxml2-dev libxmlsec1-dev libffi-dev liblzma-dev

Then, search the desired python version here and, for example to install Python 3.9, run:

tar -xzf Python-3.9.9.tgz
cd Python-3.9.9

Then, run configure:

./configure --enable-optimizations

And finally run make install if you want to replace the default Python installation or make altinstall to install python under the binary name of python3.9

make altinstall

To test the installation run:

python3.9 --version
Python 3.9.9

pip3.9 --version
pip 21.2.4 from /usr/local/lib/python3.9/site-packages/pip (python 3.9)

Installing Python via a third party PPA deadsnakes

To install Python using the deadsnakes ppa run:

apt-get update
apt-get install software-properties-common
add-apt-repository ppa:deadsnakes/ppa
apt-get update
apt install python3.9 python3-pip

Then, to test the installation run:

root@ubuntu:/# python3.9 --version
Python 3.9.10

root@ubuntu:/# python3.9 -m pip --version
pip 20.0.2 from /usr/lib/python3/dist-packages/pip (python 3.9)

Installing Python via Pyenv

I already written an article on how to install Python using Pyenv, check it out if you wish.

Thanks for reading! 📚

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