GNU/Linux and UNIX Overview
In order to install software in GNU/Linux, you must know the
administrator, or “root” password. If you are the person who
installed the GNU/Linux, you had to pick an administrator password during
the installation. If someone else did the installation, you'll need to get
the password from them.
Normally, we never log in to GNU/Linux as
except when we are installing software. In this case, because we are going
to be installing software, we need to log in as
using the administrative password.
If you are a GNU/Linux newbie and are in the habit of logging in as
root, you're going to have to get a good GNU/Linux
book, create another username for yourself, and start using a proper
root. When you work as
root, you run a terrible risk of damaging or corrupting
something. When you are logged on as anyone other than
root, you will find that you can't delete or alter
Do You Already Have Python? Many GNU/Linux and Unix systems have Python installed. On some older
[Linuxi? Lini? Linen?]
there may be an older
version of Python that needs to be upgraded. Here's what you do to find
out whether or not you already have Python.
You'll need to run the Terminal tool. The
GNOME desktop that comes with Red Hat and Fedora has a
Here icon which displays the applications that are configured
into you GNOME environment. The
Tools icon includes the Terminal
application. Double click Terminal icon, or pick
it off the menu, and you'll get a window which prompts you by showing
[slott@linux01 slott]$. In response to this
env python, and see what happens.
Here's what happens when Python is not installed.
tcsh: python: not found
Here's what you see when there is a properly installed, but
out-of-date Python on your GNU/Linux box.
slott% env python
Python 2.3.5 (#1, Mar 20 2005, 20:38:20)
[GCC 3.3 20030304 (Apple Computer, Inc. build 1809)] on darwin
Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.
In this case, the version number is 2.3.5, which is good, but we need
to install an upgrade.
Unix is not Linux. For non-Linux commercial Unix installations
HP/UX™, etc.), check with your vendor (Sun, IBM,
HP, etc.) It is very likely that they have an extensive collection of open
source projects like Python pre-built for your UNIX variant. Getting a
pre-built kit from your operating system vendor is the best way to install