Looking for tips on running Python version 2.6 and 3.0 together on same *WINDOWS* machine

Dutch Masters gregory.matous at gmail.com
Wed Feb 25 08:34:21 CET 2009

There is some documentation on the subject at:


In general, there are several options in maintaining separate

1) Create a separate user for each environment. This allows you to
keep things such as Path and file associations so that you are
selecting a certain install whenever you are logged in as that user.
This may NOT be an option on Vista though. The Python installer will
tell you whether you can install for only the current user.

2) Use batch scripts to setup your PATH and PYTHONPATH. This will not
solve the file association problem, but you can probably set up your
"SEND TO" folder to handle the different versions.

3) Use something like virtualenv.

I'm using option 2).

A couple more hints: if you are using a windows installer for a third-
party lib, (like wxpython), the installer will look in the registry
for a matching python installation. If there isn't one, it shouldn't
be a problem, just install it where it needs to go. (in the
appropriate Python folder).

You can also use the repair option for the python installer to get the
registry set up for a particular install. For example, if you
installed Python 3, but want to then use associations with 2.6, just
use repair with the 2.6 installer. (Not sure what else repair does

Finally, you can use the --prefix option to setup.py to get installs
to go where you want on win.

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