MacPython on Older Systems

Hot news: MacPython-OS9 2.3.3 finally released

MacPython-OS9 2.3.3 was delayed for months because of a Kafka-esque discussion with MindVision on the installer license. For many years MacPython has used their Installer Vise software, through a free licensing for freeware developers program. That program has been terminated, however, and for some reason I don't understand MacPython does not qualify for the continuation of that program for old freeware licensees.

The Python Software Foundation stepped in, and paid the $500 for an Installer Vise license. If you want to show your appreciation for this please visit the PSF Donation page.

MacPython-OS9 2.3

MacPython-OS9 2.3.3 is actually the successor of what used to be called simply MacPython 2.2. It has most of the functionality of MacPython-OSX 2.3 (IDE, Carbon interfaces, QuickTime, Applescript support; the Package Manager is missing), and runs on the following platforms:

  • Mac OS 9 or 9.1 with CarbonLib 1.3 or later installed
  • Mac OS 9.2
  • Mac OS X, in either native mode or in Classic mode.

Despite earlier statements that MacPython-OS9 2.3 would run on MacOS 8.6 this is not the case, at least not completely, and not without some surgery. Contact the mailing list if you are desparate to get this working.

You need CarbonLib 1.3 or later. This can be downloaded from Apple, but it may be easier to find through VersionTracker.

Because there is no Package Manager MacPython-OS9 comes with a number of popular third-party packages included: Numeric (for scientific computing), PIL (for image processing) and Img (for image file I/O). MacPython-OS9 2.3 does not include Tkinter, use 2.2 if you really need Tkinter support.

MacPython 2.3.3 can be found at the download page.

MacPython-OS9 2.2

MacPython-OS9 2.2.3, which is the "new style name" for what used to be called simply "MacPython 2.2", is the current stable distribution for Mac OS 8.1, or for Mac OS 8.5 or later if you need a non-Carbon interpreter (for a Carbonized Python 2.3 is preferred).

2.2.3 comes in a Carbon flavor (if you have CarbonLib installed, as on OS9 and OSX) and a classic flavor, and you can dynamically switch between the two. The classic flavor has two advantages:

  • it runs on systems as far back as Mac OS 8.1 (but you may need to install Appearance Manager 1.1)
  • it includes Tkinter

Even older

Many old versions of MacPython are still available through the download page. One version that deserves specific mention is 1.5.2, which is the last version that could still run on 68K macintoshes.