Install Python Using Homebrew

In this chapter, you learn how to install Python on MacOS, Windows, and Linux. We will look at multiple installation methods per platform and discuss what I think is the best option to choose from.

Installing Python 3.6 on macOS. It is recommended to not use Python 2 anymore. There seem to be a lot of code still out there running 2.x, but 3.x is the way of the future and I’d like to ensure I have that installed on my machine. On MacOS, the recommended way to get Python 3.x on your machine is to use the HomeBrew utility. Install Apache Spark using Homebrew. Homebrew can be used to install other technologies like Apache Spark. Apache Spark is not the easiest to install, but Homebrew makes it easier. The steps below go over how to install Apache Spark using Homebrew. Look to see if there is a Apache Spark package on Homebrew using the command below. Python 3 will be among the items on the list. Let’s go ahead and install it: brew install python3 The Terminal window will give you feedback regarding the installation process of Python 3, it may take a few minutes before installation is complete. Along with Python 3, Homebrew will install pip, setuptools and wheel.

Most of the time, it’s not advisable to use the official installer from the python.org website. Instead, it’s better to go for the version packaged by your operating system. The advantage of OS supplied version, is that you’ll get automatic updates.

Install Python on Windows

There are three methods you can choose from on Windows.

Jun 24, 2013 It is generally recommended to avoid installing pip on the OS-provided python commands, and to install Python via the installers or using something like Homebrew or pyenv. Python 3.4+ will have ensurepip, so if you're unable to run python3 -m pip - run python3 -m ensurepip and it'll install pip for you. How to install Python on macOS / Mac OS X? Like Linux, macOS also comes with Python pre-installed on the system. It might be Python version 2 or some similar outdated version. To update to the latest version, we will use the Homebrew Package manager. It is one of the best and convenient methods to install Python on macOS.

Using The Microsoft Store

Microsoft hosts a community release of Python 3 in the Microsoft Store. This is the recommended way to install Python on Windows because it handles updates automatically and can be uninstalled easily too.

To use this method:

  • Pick the newest version and install it

With the official installer

You can download a Python installer from the official Python download website too. This method does not give you automatic updates, and I would recommend it only if you don’t have access to the Microsoft store.

Inside WSL

If you’re familiar with Windows Subsystem For Linux, you may want to consider that option too. It’s what I use myself, and I’m truly loving it. It offers me the advantages that Windows has to offer (mainly great hardware support), while still enjoying Linux which is, in my opinion, the best platform for Python development.

To install in WSL, you’ll first need to install WSL itself. Go for WSL2 if you can. It’s much better. After that, simply follow the Linux installation instructions below!

Installation on MacOS

On most versions of MacOS before Catalina, a distribution of Python is already included. Unfortunately, it’s almost certainly an old version, Python 2.7. Luckily, there are two ways to install Python 3 on a Mac with ease.


First and foremost, I recommend looking into Homebrew. It allows you to install almost anything easily. The added benefit is that it’s also easy to upgrade to newer versions later on.

Once you are up and running with homebrew, installing Python on MacOS is as easy as:

Official installer

Alternatively, you can download an installer from the Python download website. The downside to this approach is that you won’t get automatic updates.

Install Python on Linux

There are several ways to install Python on Linux, that is, if you need to install it at all!

Check what’s installed first

Most Linux distributions include Python. Many will include both Python 2 and Python 3.

If you enter python --version on the command line, you’ll see the version number. It’s probably version 2.7:

You don’t want Python 2, but some OS’es still ship with it, unfortunately.

Now try python3 --version. If you get a “command not found,” you need to install Python 3. If your output looks similar to this, you’re in luck:

Using a package manager

Depending on the distribution of Linux you are running, you can install Python with the default package manager: Yum, APT, etcetera. You’ll need to find out for your specific Linux distribution which package manager is used and how to use it.

If you’re on Ubuntu, Linux Mint, or Debian, you can install using apt:


Another interesting option for Linux is using Homebrew. That’s right, the package manager for Macs also works on Linux.

The major advantages of using Homebrew:

  • You’ll get the latest version of Python, instead of the version your OS shipped with
  • You don’t need root access to your system. All the software installed with Homebrew is installed in your home directory

I find myself using Homebrew more and more while working under Linux — give it a try!

Python in your browser

If you don’t feel like installing Python, or you are unable to install it for whatever reason, I’ll offer an alternative too: you can use Python right from your browser; no installation necessary!

Superpowers for your Mac
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The macOS command line interface can be intimidating — but there’s lots of value inside. By using the command line, you can solve many tasks on Mac by running commands in Terminal. It helps streamline a lot of work, especially for software developers.

Package managers like Homebrew make the command line interface even more powerful. In this tutorial, we describe how to safely install and uninstall Homebrew on Mac.

What is Homebrew?

“Homebrew installs the stuff you need that Apple didn’t” — this is how Homebrew creators describe it, and we agree. If you want a more informative definition, Homebrew is a free and open-source package manager for macOS, helping you install, update, uninstall, and manage developer tools like Python, Ruby, and Node.js on your Mac.

Install python using homebrew software

Why do you need it? With Homebrew, you can benefit from tons of command line tools to automate your work. Best of all, they are all installed, uninstalled, and updated in one location on your Mac. Here are just a few examples of the useful tools you can get through Homebrew:

  • imagemick to convert images to other formats
  • archey to share the localhost with your team
  • hub for a better experience with Git
  • tldr for practical examples on how to use the command line.

How Homebrew works

To go easy on the coding jargon, we won’t be explaining how Homebrew works under the hood. The main thing you should know as a user is that Homebrew acts through Terminal commands — you can install, update, and uninstall packages by typing a few words. There are some simple default brew commands for installing single-file utilities, and more advanced subcommands called casks — you’ll have to use those to install multi-directory utilities.

Get an offline dev toolkit

DevUtils is an upgrade to your workflow (we even dare to say it can replace Homebrew for you!)

Install Python 3.9 With Homebrew

If you already feel confused…

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How to install Homebrew on Mac

Moving to the main part — ”install Homebrew Mac” — we should explain that the installation method we describe uses curl to download the installation script. This method is the easiest and it’s recommended by the Homebrew team. The same applies to the process of uninstalling Homebrew. Since some people don’t want to use curl for security reasons, there are ways to manually download and execute the script (but we won’t go into that here).

Before you dive into the process, make sure your macOS meets the following requirements:

  • Apple Silicon or 64-bit CPU
  • macOS 10.14 or later
  • Bourne-compatible shell (bash or zsh syntax)
  • Xcode’s command line tools (we explain how to install the tools in the following section).

Step 1: Install command line tools for Xcode

Xcode is Apple’s native IDE, an integrated development environment that has all the tools you need for software development on Mac. To install some of the Homebrew package components, you need to install Xcode’s command line tools first (in case you haven’t done it before).

Here’s how to install command line tools for Xcode:

  1. Open Terminal and type the following command: xcode-select --install
  2. In the new dialog window, confirm you want to install the Xcode tools
  3. Agree to a license agreement and wait for the installation process to complete. It might take a while.

Install Python Using Homebrew Using

Step 2: Install Homebrew on Mac

Now your Mac is ready for Homebrew. Here’s the full installation process:

Install Python Using Homebrew Free

  1. Open Terminal and type the following command:
  2. /bin/bash -c '$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/HEAD/install.sh)'

  3. Type your admin password (note that you won’t see your keystrokes in the Terminal window — it’s a security measure) > hit Return
  4. Wait a few minutes until you see the “Installation successful” message in Terminal.

Step 3: Set up Homebrew

In Terminal, run brew help to get started. You’ll see examples of commands that will help you install different software, configs, and updates through Homebrew. For example, to install a package, you should type brew install ‘package name’ in Terminal. There are also a few useful troubleshooting commands you should take note of, such as brew doctor that can detect installation issues.

Step 4: Update Mac Homebrew

Anything you install via Homebrew needs to be updated regularly. You should also update the package manager occasionally to make sure it works properly and you’re not missing some important new features:

  • To update Homebrew, run brew update in Terminal
  • To find out what packages need updating, run brew outdated in Terminal
  • To update a specific package, run brew update package name in Terminal.

If you’re new to Homebrew, follow Homebrew’s Community Discussion — you’ll find lots of insights and troubleshooting tips from other Mac users in there.

Bonus: More tools like Homebrew

Homebrew is a step forward in your workflow. But you can take a few more steps with Setapp! Gitfox and DevUtils are two stellar apps that will help developers and anyone working with Git save a few hours every week.

If you use Homebrew to connect to repositories, you’ll love Gitfox. Not only is it a better alternative to Homebrew’s hub command, Gitfox makes the whole process of working with Git smarter. You can use this app to improve the quality of your code and commit faster.

DevUtils gives you access to a huge set of dev tools. It’s hard to describe what exactly this app does because the options are endless. From formatting JSON to debugging a JWT token, you can do all that locally on your Mac, without internet connection.

Install Python Using Homebrew

How to uninstall Homebrew from Mac

If you haven’t found much value in the Homebrew Mac tools, you can easily uninstall the package manager through Terminal. Here’s the command you should run:

/bin/bash -c '$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/HEAD/uninstall.sh)'

You’ll be warned about all the Homebrew files that will be deleted from your Mac.

How to uninstall Homebrew packages from Mac

If you don’t want to get rid of the package manager itself — but rather remove specific packages — you can do that. Here are the detailed instructions:

  1. Make sure there are no dependencies between the package you want to delete and the ones that are in use by running the following command: brew deps package name
  2. If you’ve found dependencies and decide to ignore them, type the following: brew uninstall --ignore-dependencies package name
  3. To uninstall the package, run the command brew uninstall package name.

Homebrew leaves your Mac cluttered. Here’s how to fix it

The most common problem with Homebrew is that once you start using it, versatile files and configs start piling up on your drive. This seems logical because the whole point of using Homebrew is to help you install some extra stuff on your computer. But the problem is Homebrew also generates a lot of clutter you don’t need.

Install Python Packages With Homebrew

Every time you update a specific package or Homebrew itself, a copy of the old version is created. These copies don’t go anywhere — they just sit there, eating up your storage space. You can check how much space is occupied by old copies if you run the command brew cleanup -n in Terminal. The worst thing is it’s nearly impossible to delete all these leftovers by simply uninstalling Homebrew.

CleanMyMac X is the only app that can remove Homebrew completely, with all the files, directories, and copies associated with it. Just run a System Junk cleanup > Clean. Before you agree to delete the junk CleanMyMac X has found on your Mac, you can click on Review Details to make sure you don’t remove anything important. Spoiler: That won’t happen because CleanMyMac X is smart enough to remove only the clutter you don’t need.

If you want a more thorough cleanup, use the Smart Scan feature. It removes the clutter as well as detects malware and optimizes your Mac’s speed and overall performance. Whether you’re new to Mac or a pro user, CleanMyMac X will give you a moment of bliss. Imagine how much time and effort you save by never having to free up storage manually!


If you’re looking to improve your productivity and do more with a Mac, command-line package management is the right direction. Homebrew is one of the best free package managers that is relatively easy to use if you have some experience with Terminal. And if it’s not for you, you can work on boosting your work with tools like Gitfox and DevUtils.

Install Python Using Homebrew Download

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