How To 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?

Tutorial details
Difficulty level Easy
Root privileges Yes
Requirements Linux
Est. reading time 1m
IDLE is an integrated development environment for Python. You need to install the following package on Linux:
  1. python-tools (python3-idle) : 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 (
  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.

How to search for package names on Linux

Run commands as per your operating systems:
# Debian/Ubuntu/Linux mint and co #
sudo apt search idle
sudo apt-cache search idle | grep IDE
# RHEL/CentOS/Fedora #
sudo yum search idle
sudo dnf search idle
# OpenSUSE or SUSE Enterprise Linux #
sudo zypper search idle | grep python
# Alpine Linux #
apk search python*idle
# Arch Linux search package #
pacman -Ss idel

Please note down package names as per your Linux distro.

IDLE Linux Installation Command

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

If you are using RHEL / CentOS / Scientifc / Fedora Linxu, type the following yum command to install idle IDE:
# yum install python-tools
Fedora and latest version of RHEL 8/CentOS 8 users can run the following dnf command to install the same:
$ sudo dnf install python3-idle
SUSE or OpenSUSE Linux user type the following zypper command:
sudo zypper in python3-idle
Alpine Linux Python users run apk command to install the same:
sudo apk add python3-idle

How do I start IDLE under Linux?

Type the following command:
$ idle
OR Visit menu option

Applications > Programming > IDLE

Fig.01 Python IDLE IDE in action

IDLE running on Ubuntu Linux 20.04 workstation:

Summing up

You learned how to install idle IDE on Linux using various commands. IDLE is Python’s Integrated Development, and Learning Environment created for new Python users. Once you become comfortable with Python programming, you may wish to switch to well-established code editors such as Vim, Emacs, PyCharm, and more. See

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🐧 23 comments so far... add one

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23 comments… add one
  • meow Dec 6, 2012 @ 12:34

    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 @ 18:32

    Great information :)

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

  • Anonymus Sep 8, 2013 @ 13:51

    Thanks a lot.

  • Vladimir F Mar 7, 2015 @ 18:34

    Thanks a lot.

  • niceoty Jul 5, 2015 @ 23:15

    Merci !

  • Ahmet Jul 22, 2015 @ 0:11

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

  • cselftrain Jul 27, 2015 @ 15:13

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

  • NAJI Aug 8, 2015 @ 18:58

    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 Apr 11, 2016 @ 15:07


      • Prakash Jun 12, 2016 @ 11:41

        sudo apt-get install idle

        I hope it hels.

    • Ashish Jul 16, 2016 @ 7:57

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

      sudo apt-get install idle-python3.5

  • NN Sep 10, 2015 @ 7:38

    Thank you friend, It’s so great!

  • linuxlover Jan 31, 2016 @ 11:17

    thank you a lot.

  • WBI Feb 26, 2016 @ 11:31

    ‘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 Feb 26, 2016 @ 11:41

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

  • mike Mar 10, 2016 @ 1:26

    Thank you very much.

  • Vinay Apr 1, 2016 @ 12:48

    how to change the font size on the sell.

  • alok Jun 3, 2016 @ 16:12

    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 Jul 9, 2016 @ 20:03

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

    • dafyd Jan 25, 2017 @ 23:35

      I have seen a idle3 command that runs IDLE with python 3x.
      It is included in ubuntu14 hopefully ubuntu16 as well.
      That may work, good luck

      • Python lover boy Mar 5, 2021 @ 7:06

        yes by default it seems to pick up latest Python version. on my my Ubuntu 20.10 version it is runs with Python 3 :)

  • Diouf Nov 13, 2016 @ 23:41

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

  • Chaul Jhin Kim Mar 5, 2021 @ 6:15


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    I am so sick of this chubby Asian man body!

    Thank you!


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