Python in the Terminal


You’d like to learn to run Python in the terminal. Here we will cover:

  1. Installing Python in the terminal

  2. Running Python code in the terminal





Installing and Running Python


  • Time to learn: 20 minutes

Installing Python in the Terminal

If you are running Python in the terminal, it is best to install Miniconda. You can do that by following the instructions for your machine.

Learn more about Conda here

Then create a Conda environment with Python installed by typing the following into your terminal:

$ conda create --name pythia_foundations_env python

You can test this by running python in the command line.

Running Python in the Terminal

On Windows, open Anaconda Prompt. On a Mac or Linux machine, simply open Terminal.

  1. Activate your Conda environment:

    $ conda activate pythia_foundations_env
  2. Create a directory to store our work. Let’s call it pythia-foundations.

    $ mkdir pythia-foundations
  3. Go into the directory:

    $ cd pythia-foundations
  4. Create a new Python file:

    $ touch
  5. And now that you’ve set up our workspace, edit the script using your favorite text editor (e.g., nano):

    $ nano
  6. Change the script to include the classic first command: printing, “Hello, world!”.

    print("Hello, world!")
  7. Save your file and exit the editor. How to do this is dependent on your chosen text editor.

    • In Vim, revert to command mode by pressing esc. Then, the command is :wq.

    • In Nano it is Ctrl+O to save and Ctrl+X to exit (where you will be prompted if you want to save it, if modified).

  8. In the terminal, execute your script:

    $ python

Congratulations! You have just set up your first Python environment and run your first Python script in the terminal.


Running Python in the terminal is a good option if you are familiar with Linux commands or scripting on a supercomputer. It requires the use of a text editor.

What’s Next?

Resources and References