This appendix provides additional installation and configuration details as a resource for people new to such topics.
Because you need the Python interpreter to run Python scripts, the first step in using Python is usually installing Python. Unless one is already available on your machine, you’ll need to fetch, install, and possibly configure a recent version of Python on your computer. You’ll only need to do this once per machine, and, if you will be running a frozen binary (described in Chapter 2), you may not need to do it at all.
Before you do anything else, check whether you already have a recent Python on your machine. If you are working on Linux, Mac OS X, and some Unix systems, Python is probably already installed on your computer. Type
python at a shell prompt (sometimes called a terminal window), and see what happens. Alternatively, try searching for “python” in the usual places—/usr/bin, /usr/local/bin, etc.
On Windows, check whether there is a Python entry in the Start button’s All Programs menu (at the bottom left of the screen). If you find a Python, make sure it’s version 2.5 or later; although any recent Python will do for most of this text, you’ll need at least version 2.5 to run some of the examples in this edition.
If there is no Python to be found, you will need to install one yourself. The good news is that Python is an open source system that ...