Installing Python on CentOS 6 - a big pain

Benjamin Kaplan benjamin.kaplan at
Wed Jan 18 13:30:00 EST 2012

On Wed, Jan 18, 2012 at 1:00 PM, John Nagle <nagle at> wrote:
>  It turns out that installing Python 2.7.2 on CentOS 6.0 is a lot of work.
>  Here are the official CentOS install instructions:
> Not only do you have to build Python from source, you have to install
> a lot of stuff before you can even build it.  Then you have to install
> various Python packages from multiple sources.  Python doesn't work
> with "yum"; you have to do it the hard way.
> I know how to do all this, but it takes hours.  I'm bringing up
> a bare dedicated server remotely, which is a routine operation.
>   Python does not "just work".  I should be able to command
> "yum install python27".  (And not clobber the Python 2.6 that
> comes with CentOS.)
>   This sort of thing is why Python is losing market share.
>                                        John Nagle
> --

What does this have to do with Python? It's CentOS (and Red Hat's)
decision not to provide a package for Python 2.7. It's not feasible
for the Python community to provide a repository for each of the 200+
Linux distributions. The instructions for building Python are exactly
the same as to build any other large project and there is absolutely
nothing that we can do about that- you can't compile a program without
a compiler and you can't link to other programs without the
development headers. You'll have the exact same problems if you want
to install gcc 4.6.2 unless some 3rd party has decided to build the
rpm for you.

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