Installing 3.1 questions

Benjamin Kaplan benjamin.kaplan at
Tue Jun 2 00:32:36 EDT 2009

On Mon, Jun 1, 2009 at 10:15 PM, <jyoung79 at> wrote:

> Can anyone give me info on what and where Python installs on OS X?
> I ran the installers for version 2.6 and 3.0 and only installed Python
> (not IDLE, etc).  I then added this to my .profile:
> PATH="/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/3.0/bin:${PATH}"
> PATH="/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/2.6/bin:${PATH}"
> PATH="/System/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/Current/bin:${PATH}"
> export PATH
> Seems to work, but I'd like to know where Python installs its items.  I'm
> wanting to test version 3.1 and downloaded the 'Bzipped source tar ball'
> file (not sure of the difference between it and the 'Gzipped' one).  Do I
> need to run some sort of 'install' command from the Terminal to get
> 3.1 to work?  Or can I manually drag the items to a correct location and
> then update my .profile?
> Thanks for taking the time to look at my questions.

I take it you've never compiled anything yourself before, so I'll go through
it step by step. The bzip and gzip are just two different compression
methods, so it doesn't matter which tarball you download. In order to go
further, you'll need to register at and download Xcode.
You won't need to use Xcode itself, but you need the compilers that come
with it. It's a pretty big download, so this will take a while.

Once you install Xcode, open up a terminal
(/Applications/Utilities/ and cd (change directory) to wherever
you put the extracted tarball. In that directory, run the configure file.
Since your on OS X, you probably want a framework build (installed to
/Library/Frameworks) instead of a normal build, which installs to
/usr/local. To do this, execute the command "./configure
--enable-framework". If you want to look up the other options, run
"./configure --help".

You'll probably get an error about missing dependencies. The easiest place
to find these is in a package manager such as fink ( or
macports ( Fink is easier and faster, but macports is
usually more up-to-date and flexible since it compiles everything locally.
Both of them will work. Just don't forget to add the paths (macports is in
/opt/local/ and fink is in /sw/)

Once the configure command works successfully, run the commands "make" and
"sudo make install". The first one will compile everything, the second will
put it where it's supposed to be. After running the latter, you'll be
prompted to enter your password. That should install it to
/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/versions/3.1. I haven't installed 3.1
myself but assuming it does the same thing as 3.0, it should a python3.1
executable (symlink actually) to /usr/local/bin so you shouldn't need to add
anything to the path.

> Jay
> --
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