# path to python in WinXP

Tim Chase python.list at tim.thechases.com
Tue Jan 31 12:22:28 EST 2006

> I have a real newbie question here.

Well, as a starter, it would be helpful if you included a
Subject: line in your mail...my spam filters flagged it and I
almost tossed it in my bit-bucket because the subject was empty. :*)

> On WinXP I open a command line and type 'python' and get 'PYTHON' is
> not recognized as an internal or external command,
> operable program or batch file.
>
> So I downloaded the Python 2.4.2 install package and installed it in XP.
>
> I go to a command line prompt and type 'python' and still get the
> error. - not good.

The general problem is that in your cmd.exe/command.com
environment, you don't have your PATH variable set up to point to
the location in which the python executable is found.

If you want to do it for a single dos session, you can do the
following:

c:\> path %path%;c:\path\to\python\exe

This will add the location of the python exe (in this example,
it's in "c:\path\to\python\exe" folder...adjust accordingly for

For a more persistant solution, go to your system properties and
dig around for the "Environment variables" button.  I've got
Win2k here, not XP, so I don't know the exact sequence, but here
it is on Win2k

winkey+break   (pulls up the system properties)
"environment variables" button

On that screen, you should see the "Path" in the "System
variables" list.  Edit it to include the above path to your
python binaries.  Start a new command-prompt.

Voila!

Alternatively, instead of running python directly, you should
also be able to run

c:\> start python

which will likely start it in a new window.

-tim