Python 1.5.x vs Python 2.x.x

Paul Boddie paul at
Thu Dec 20 06:29:10 EST 2001

Fernando Pérez <fperez528 at> wrote in message news:<9vr8gp$3af$1 at>...
> yes, this will work. You can install the python2 rpm alongside with 
> python1.5. Look into /usr/bin/python*, you'll see both side by side. The 
> trick is, python1.5 is the default, and *don't change that* (you'll break 
> everything if you do). But as long as you don't mind changing by hand 
> references to python2 in everything else you write or use, you'll be fine.

This came up on the Webware list, and I subsequently posted an entry
onto the Webware Wiki:

To summarise, I installed Python into /usr/local and changed my
environment variables so that my user only ever saw Python 2.0 rather
than the Red Hat default. Since I don't see the need to repeatedly
upgrade Python, this situation has been appropriate for me until now.
When I upgrade to Python 2.2, I think I'll assess the implications on
the different pieces of software, make any necessary modifications,
and make a complete transition (replacing 2.0).
> This is clumsy, and is why yesterday I wrote a detailed post on the issue 
> hoping to hear from the redhats for a reasonable  explanation. As far as I 
> can tell, their python distribution is simply broken. The problems can be 
> worked around, but it's an annoyance.

In my opinion, it's rarely worth installing repackaged distributions
of things like Python on Linux systems. Usually, the packages want to
install in some strange place, have things missing, or aren't compiled
to use the things you want; so, in the end, you have to compile the
thing from source, and that's easier to do using the Python source
distribution than invoking whichever bizarre rpm command line switches
are required to perform the same work.

[RPM querying]

> query for the package name only, not the  full filename. The rpm querying is 
> tricky to use, fire up kpackage and just look at the  list, much easier.

I tend to do something like...

  rpm --query --all | grep whatever


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