OSX set up Python (Anaconda)

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Revision as of 03:02, 15 January 2020 by Jtmorgan (talk | contribs) (→‎Success!)

Download and install Python

We're going to be installing Python using a collection of software that includes Python that, as a collection, is called Anaconda. Anaconda includes the Python programming language and a bunch of different pieces of software that are useful for data science and analysis. Although the collection includes all free software, it is put together by a commercial company called Continuum Analytics.

Note: Even if you already have a version of Python on your computer, we suggest you follow these instructions and download Anaconda. This will help ensure that you can follow along during our in-class activities, and will make it easier for mentors to help you if you get stuck on something.

Installation option #1

Try to download and install Anaconda from this file which contains Python 3.7 for OSX.

Installation option #2

If option 1 above doesn't work for any reason, download and install the Python 3.7 option from Anaconda's website, on the right. If necessary, scroll down to the "Anaconda 2019.10 for macOS Installer" section.

Install notes

  • If you get stuck during the install process, ask a neighbor or raise your hand for help. These instructions may also be helpful.
  • At the end of the installer, you may be prompted if you'd like to send the installation package to the trash. Doing so won't damage the installation and will free up ~600MB of disk space on your computer.
Prompt from Package Installer asking if it is OK to trash the installation package.

Test your Python install

To use Anaconda on MacOS, you will primarily use the Anaconda Navigator. This software helps manage multiple versions of Anaconda, as well as helps make it easy to launch Jupyter.

The easiest way to launch the Anaconda Navigator is from inside the Applications folder:


The navigator will start up and greet you with a list of installed and available tools:


Find the tile that says "jupyter Notebook" and click "launch".

After a few seconds, you should see a new tab open in your default browser. It will look something like this:

20200112 2.PNG

Once you see this window, congratulations! Your software is running and ready to go. If you *don't* see something like this in your browser, let a mentor know and we'll help you figure it out.

Note: An application called "Terminal" may also launch when the browser tab opens. You don't need to do anything with this application right now, but it needs to continue running in the background whenever you are using Anaconda and Jupyter. You can minimize the application window, or just ignore it.

To close Anaconda, click "Quit" on the Jupyter tab in your browser. You can then quit the Anaconda Navigator and Terminal.


You have installed and configured Python. You can move on to the next step.