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Install Python pip on Linux

The Python package manager (pip) is a useful tool for running and developing Python scripts and is easy to install on Linux.

The most popular Python package manager, pip, used to be included in a typical Python install, but lately, it's been excluded. Pip is a useful tool for running and developing Python scripts and is easy to install.

[ Get the pip cheat sheet to help you install, manage, and use Python software packages. ]

There are just two steps to install pip on Linux:

First, get the installer:

$ wget https://bootstrap.pypa.io/get-pip.py

Next, run the installer:

$ python3 ./get-pip.py

Now that you've installed pip, you might want to know more about what it's good for. Here are some basic uses of the pip command.

[ Get the guide to installing applications on Linux. ]

Install dependencies

When you download a script or an application written in Python, it may require specific Python libraries (or "modules" in Python terminology) to run. An application may not bundle support libraries along with its own code because the library isn't maintained by the same developer. If it were bundled with unrelated application code, it would be difficult for you to update it independently of the application.

Usually, a developer includes a list of dependencies in a file called requirements.txt in the application directory. If that file exists, you can process it with pip:

$ python3 -m pip install -r requirements.txt

If the developer hasn't included a list of dependencies, it's up to you to read the documentation to learn what dependencies are required.

If you install software with dnf or Flatpak, you may never have to use pip for this because those packaging systems automatically install dependencies.

Install a Python utility

You can use pip for quick installs of useful Python utilities. For instance, yamllint is a must-have command for anyone writing YAML files, whether for Kubernetes or Ansible or just for arbitrary config files. It's one pip command away:

$ python3 -m pip install yamllint

Or maybe you want to try the Ranger file manager:

$ python3 -m pip install ranger

There's a lot out there for Python, so look at Python Package Index (PyPi) to see what's available.

See installed packages

To see what Python packages are already installed, use the freeze command:

$ python3 -m pip freeze
Brlapi==0.8.2
chardet==4.0.0
chrome-gnome-shell==0.0.0
cupshelpers==1.0
dasbus==1.4
dbus-python==1.2.18
gpg==1.15.1
idna==2.10
[...]

Use pip

Pip works well for users without root access and developers using Python virtual environments. It's an easy command to use and helps you manage your Python install.

[ Learn how to manage your Linux environment for success. ]

Check out these related articles on Enable Sysadmin

Topics:   Python   Linux  
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Seth Kenlon

Seth Kenlon is a UNIX geek and free software enthusiast. More about me

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