Python on TUNI Windows computers
Python is a programming language used in basic programming courses and in scientific computing. There is a wide range of additional add-ons called libraries available for Python. The optimal method to install Python depends on your requirements.
Basic Python installation
There is a basic Python installation in Windows student computer labs. Some labs also have an editor called PyCharm installed. This same package is available also for staff computers. It is primarily intended for teachers of the basic programming courses. The version is automatically updated following the same schedule than the installations in student computer labs.
It is possible to install additional libraries to this installation. Advanced users can utilize the command pip. Note! If you install additional libraries, use the parameter --user to make the libraries install to your own account! This way automatic upgrades don’t get mixed with the installations you have made. This command can also be used by students in the student lab computers.
Example command to install a new library with pip: pip install --user library_name
If you want the basic Python installation and PyCharm editor on your work computer, install packages ”Python” and ”PyCharm” from Software Center.
Additional Python libraries related to teaching
Additional Python libraries have been installed to the student lab computers based on teachers’ requests. The same library package is available for staff computers. List of those libraries in on the page Python in the software list.
If you install this library package on your work computer, note that the package will be updated in the same schedule as on the student lab computers. Such update will uninstall all libraries that are installed system-wide (with admin rights). Libraries that have been installed using the --user parameter of the pip command will not be uninstalled.
If you want this library package on your work computer, install “Python Studentlab Libraries” from Software Center.
If the update schedules for Python packages in Software Center are not good for your requirements, we suggest to use an advanced installation method, see below.
Advanced Python installation: Anaconda and Miniconda
If you need an advanced Python programming environment on TUNI Windows computer, we suggest to install it yourself. With this method you can choose the version of Python and libraries you need, and they will be updated on the schedule of your choice. It is, however, your responsibility to ensure all security updates are installed.
For these needs we suggest to use Python distributions called Anaconda or Minicoda. They both have a tool called conda for managing installation of additional libraries. Anaconda contains a large collection of scientific libraries. Miniconda is a minimal Python installation, and you can install just the libraries you need. For more information on the differences, see the page: https://docs.conda.io/projects/conda/en/latest/user-guide/install/download.html#anaconda-or-miniconda
You can download the installer of your choice from the pages:
- Anaconda: https://www.anaconda.com/products/individual#windows
- Miniconda : https://docs.conda.io/en/latest/miniconda.html
When you start the installer (exe file) of Anaconda of Miniconda, run it with your own basic user privileges. When the installer asks you to choose between per-user or per-system installation, choose “Just Me (recommended)”.
Do not use administrator or High Flexibility rights when installing Python, even if you have those privileges. The management of additional libraries and updates will work as intended when the installation is made per user.
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