[Pythonmac-SIG] why does the Mac installer hack the user's .bash_profile?

Christopher Barker Chris.Barker at noaa.gov
Fri Apr 8 01:07:19 CEST 2011

On 4/7/11 3:37 PM, Ned Deily wrote:

> The Python 2.7.1 installer welcome file, the text that is shown in the
> first installer screen, says this:
> "This package will by default update your shell profile to ensure that
> this version of Python is on the search path of your shell. Please
> deselect the "Shell profile updater" package on the package
> customization screen if you want to avoid this modification.
> Double-click Update Shell Profile at any time to make 2.7.1 the default
> Python."
> (Earlier installers had slightly different wordings.)
> The command that does this is in /Applications/Python m.n/Update Shell
> Profile.command.  Normally, it should have saved your .bash_profile as
> ~/.bash_profile.pysave, but, even if it didn't, the only modification it
> makes to your original .bash_profile is to append these (or similar)
> lines to the end of the file:
> # Setting PATH for Python 2.7
> # The original version is saved in .bash_profile.pysave
> PATH="/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/2.7/bin:${PATH}"
> export PATH

And a note: before the installer did that, we had a LOT of newbies 
installing python and then having no idea how to get it to run.

I'm a bit confused, Bill. You're just that kind of guy that shouldn't 
have any problem hacking your .bash_profile! i.e. you are not the target 
audience for the installer.

Also: I'm pretty sure it's Apple's fault that a de-installer is not a 
easy and obvious part of a .mpg bundle. I don't think I've ever seen one 
with a uninstaller, as a matter of fact.


Christopher Barker, Ph.D.

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Chris.Barker at noaa.gov

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