Other Pythons on Mac OS X

This web site is mainly about MacPython-OSX, the version of Python that has all sorts of Macintosh goodies in addition to the standard Python distribution. But there are other options for running Python on Mac OS X as well:

  • Mac OS X 10.3 includes what is basically a full MacPython 2.3 distribution, with the exception of the waste module, the IDE and the Package Manager.
  • Mac OS X 10.2 includes a standard unix commandline version of Python 2.2. You can find it in /usr/bin/python, which is normally on your $PATH.
  • Through Fink you can easily download and install a unix commandline version of Python 2.2.3 into /sw/bin on OSX 10.2.
  • You always have the option to build MacPython from source. For MacPython-OSX this should be fairly simple if you have some unix programming experience. See the Developers section for more information.
  • For specific use cases MacPython-OS9 may be a better solution than standard MacPython. MacPython-OS9 is a CFM-based application (whereas MacPython-OSX is Mach-O based), so if you want to use Python to embed into an existing CFM-based application you are better off with the OS9 version.
  • Yet another way to run Python programs on your Macintosh is to use Jython, the Python interpreter written in Java. Note that the "Macintosh Intallation Instructions" on that site are for Mac OS 9, not Mac OS X.