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HowTo: Install Python idle IDE On Linux Operating System

Python is preinstalled on my Ubuntu / Debian Linux desktop. I’m unable to find IDLE integrated development environment for Python. How do I install IDLE IDE?

IDLE is an integrated development environment for Python. You need to install the following package:

  1. python-tools : This RHEL / CentOS / Fedora Linux package for IDLE includes several tools to help with the development of Python programs, including IDLE (an IDE with editing and debugging facilities), a color editor (pynche), and a python gettext program (pygettext.py).
  2. idle – This Debian or Ubuntu Linux meta package for IDLE. You may need to install idle-python2.5 package for Python v2.5, idle-python2.6 package for Python v2.6, idle-python3.1 package for Python v3.1.

IDLE Linux Installation

If you are using Debian / Ubuntu Linxu, type the following apt-get command to install idle IDE:
$ sudo apt-get install idle

If you are using RHEL / CentOS / Scientifc / Fedora Linxu, type the following yum command to install idle IDE:
# yum install python-tools

How do I start IDLE under Linux?

Type the following command:
$ idle
OR Visit menu option

Applications > Programming > IDLE

Sample outputs:

Fig.01: Python shell IDLE Screenshot

Fig.01 Python IDLE IDE in action

See also
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{ 20 comments… add one }
  • meow December 6, 2012, 12:34 pm

    There is really no need to use idle, the python shell — ipython under linux is way better than idle, it has both terminal and graphical(QT) versions.

  • Sebastian.S May 25, 2013, 6:32 pm

    Great information :)

    I saw a little spelling mistake on the line: idle – This Debian or Ubunut

  • Anonymus September 8, 2013, 1:51 pm

    Thanks a lot.

  • Vladimir F March 7, 2015, 6:34 pm

    Thanks a lot.

  • niceoty July 5, 2015, 11:15 pm

    Merci !

  • Ahmet July 22, 2015, 12:11 am

    Thank you very much ı searching good python ide for 2 hours at last ı found it here,thanks really

  • cselftrain July 27, 2015, 3:13 pm

    sudo apt-get install idle-python3.4
    idle-python3.4 It worked! Lubuntu 15.04 with both python2.7 and python3.4 preinstalled.

  • NAJI August 8, 2015, 6:58 pm

    I need your help
    i downloaded python 3.4.1 in ubuntu but i am trying to download IDLE on ubuntu but i couldn’t
    can someone send me the right command ?
    best regards

    • Foday S.N Kamara April 11, 2016, 3:07 pm


      • Prakash June 12, 2016, 11:41 am

        sudo apt-get install idle

        I hope it hels.

    • Ashish July 16, 2016, 7:57 am

      Type the following command in the Terminal to get the latest version of IDLE

      sudo apt-get install idle-python3.5

  • NN September 10, 2015, 7:38 am

    Thank you friend, It’s so great!

  • linuxlover January 31, 2016, 11:17 am

    thank you a lot.

  • WBI February 26, 2016, 11:31 am

    ‘sudo apt-get install idle’ seems to install the Python shell, not the IDE package. Any ideas on how to install the IDE.

    PS Just tried the same command on my laptop and it worked on there. Both machines running Xubuntu 14.04

    • WBI February 26, 2016, 11:41 am

      Actually – no it didn’t work on the laptop.

  • mike March 10, 2016, 1:26 am

    Thank you very much.

  • Vinay April 1, 2016, 12:48 pm

    how to change the font size on the sell.

  • alok June 3, 2016, 4:12 pm

    Hello Everyone!

    Could you please help me in getting python installed on my pc redhat 7 64 bit (VM). I am new in this. I have installed python 3.2 package but now able to start the program. I have checked this article and it says, for redhat python-tools has to be installed which includes IDLE. But I am not getting this package for redhat 7 64 bit. Please help !

  • Rodrigo July 9, 2016, 8:03 pm

    It worked but I would like to use Python 3 with Idle. How do I install / invoke idle 3 from the terminal? Thanks

  • Diouf November 13, 2016, 11:41 pm

    How to remove older python2.7 of my laptop and keep only python3.4?

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