Mac OS X Setup Guide


OS X, like Linux, ships with Python already installed. But you don't want to mess with the system Python (some system tools rely on it, etc.), so we'll install our own version(s). There are two ways to install Python, (1) Homebrew and (2) Pyenv. If you plan to use multiple versions of Python (e.g. 2, 3, and anaconda) then you should use pyenv.

Homebrew method

The following command will install Python 2.7 and any dependencies required (it can take a few minutes to build everything):

$ brew install python

When finished, you should get a summary in the terminal. Running $ which python should output /usr/local/bin/python.

It also installed Pip (and its dependency Setuptools), which is the package manager for Python. Let's upgrade them both:

$ pip install --upgrade setuptools
$ pip install --upgrade pip

Executable scripts from Python packages you install will be put in /usr/local/share/python, we already had this in the file created before. Save the file and open a new terminal to take the new $PATH into account (everytime you open a terminal, .bash_profile gets loaded).

Pyenv method

Pyenv is a simple Python version manager that can manage and install different versions of Python. Works very much like rbenv for Ruby. First, we must install pyenv using homebrew:

$ brew install pyenv

To upgrade pyenv in the future, use upgrade instead of install. After installing, add pyenv init to your shell to enable shims and autocompletion.

$ echo 'eval "$(pyenv init -)"' >> ~/Projects/config/

Restart your shell so the path changes take effect. You can now begin using pyenv.

$ exec $SHELL

To list the all available versions of Python, including Anaconda, Jython, pypy, and stackless, use:

$ pyenv install --list

Then install the desired versions:

$ pyenv install 2.7.12
$ pyenv install 3.5.2

Use the global command to set global version(s) of Python to be used in all shells. For example, if you prefer 2.7.12 over 3.5.2:

$ pyenv global 2.7.12 3.5.2
$ pyenv rehash

The leading version takes priority. All installed Python versions can be located in ~/.pyenv/versions. Alternatively, you can run:

$ pyenv versions
  system (set by /Users/your_account/.pyenv/version)
* 2.7.12
* 3.5.2

This shows an asterisk * next to the currently active version.

Local application-specific Python version

The local command will set local application-specific Python version(s) by writing the version name to a .python-version file in the current directory. This version overrides the global version. For example, to install anaconda3-4.1.1 in path/to/directory:

$ pyenv install anaconda3-4.1.1
$ cd path/to/directory
$ pyenv local anaconda3-4.1.1
$ pyenv rehash
$ pyenv versions 
* anaconda3-4.1.1 (set by /Users/your_account/path/to/directory/.python-version)

P.S if you can't access pip.

This Guide will help you install pip if it is not already installed with the python installation that OSX ships with.


Open your teminal window and enter the following command

    curl >

then enter

    sudo python

Enter your password when prompted, Once the installation runs through you are done.

to verify pip is installed properely enter

    pip --version

If it tells you the version of pip you've installed, you are all set to use pip.