[Tutor] how to install python on unix machine if you don't have root

David Primmer dave@primco.org
Fri, 15 Mar 2002 23:30:25 -0800

You don't need root but you do need write privledges to a dir. This will
most likely be your homedir and so I use ~ in these docs. I did this
tonight on my web host http://www.webaxxs.net because they only offer
1.5.2. (newer accts get 2.1 I think) They're running redhat linux 6.2 on

Read the README doc in the root of the tarball for more detailed info.

Get python http://python.org (I used the lynx browser to get it)

Download Python-2.2.tgz to your homedir or somewhere like that and
extract to Python-2.2 with the commands:

	tar zxf Python-2.2.tgz

	cd Python-2.2

Next, type this command to configure options for your system


Normally you'd type 'make' in the root of Python-2.2 but if you run make
now you'll probably have some problems because this will attempt to
install everything in /usr/local/. These instructions are modified so
that python is installed into your home directory.

	make altinstall prefix=~ exec-prefix=~

'prefix=~' installs all platform-independent files in ~/lib and
'exec-prefix=~' installs all binary and other platform-specific files in

This installs the same set of files as "make install" except it doesn't
create the hard link to "python<version>" named "python" and it doesn't
install the manual page at all.

I create a link in ~/bin with 
	ln -s python2.2 python

And since my system has python 1.5.2 in /usr/bin, in my .bashrc I
short-circuit that with 

	alias python='~/bin/python'

hope this helps out some newbies.