Installing a Python development environment in Linux.

Installing a Python development environment in Linux.

Python is one of the best, if not the best, programming language for developing cross-platform software. There are so many pre-programmed libraries and functions with Python making it one of the fastest ways to write prototypes and programs.

Getting setup with a solid Python development environment is key to thriving with your software development endeavors. One problem that I consistently see is that every Linux distribution has it’s own way of installing and managing Python. Ubuntu tries to make their users use the operating system level package manager (apt install etc…) while Python itself wants users to use the Python based manager (pip install etc…).

The reals problems come when you are developing Python programs for 2.x versions of Python and 3.x versions at the same time. Hell, even 3.5 vs 3.7 have enough of a difference to cause problems.

Anaconda

Anaconda is a self contained, native Python software development environment. This means that everything you need to develop software with Python is ready to go. No more hacking modules and different versions of Python to get things working. Anaconda is not manage by any specific Linux distribution and you can even download versions for Windows and Mac OSX.

One reason that I use Anaconda is for the machine learning tools that can be installed with just a few clicks of the mouse or a single command in the terminal. I use Tensorflow and other machine learning libraries which can be problematic if you install with your operating system’s native Python installation. Using Anaconda, installing Python modules is a pinch.

Also note that you can still install Python modules with the pip command if Anaconda isn’t already maintaining them.

To get started you’ll want to head over the Anaconda download page and download the version for your computer platform.

Updating Anaconda

Once installed, you’ll want to learn to use the command line prompt for your operating system. Windows uses the powershell command line and the OSX and Linux versions uses command line prompts for those operating systems. Learning to use your systems terminal program will open up a whole other world of technology that you can use for investing.

conda

“conda” is the anaconda command that you will use to install Python modules.

One of the first commands you’ll want to learn is the update command. This will keep your Anaconda Python modules up-to-date.

conda update --all

Install Python modules with Anaconda.

To install a Pyhton module you simply need type the conda install command followed by the name of the module you want to install. “conda” will download all the per-prequired modules for you.

conda install fbprophet

Anaconda modules for machine learning.

These are the following modules that I recommend for developing machine learning software. This is the short list, but will get your started for most of the stuff I work on.

• fbprophet – A forecasting module that using a simple linear approach to forecasting data.

• matplotlib – A charting and plotting library.

• tensorflow – A machine learning and artificial intelligence module.

• pillow – An image manipulation modules.

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