Installing Python

This page will detail a couple of the recommended ways to install Python 3 on the three major operating systems.

We recommend installing the latest version of Python (3.10 at the time of writing), however any version from 3.8 onwards will work with RobotPy (the set of Python libraries used to program robots in FRC).

Windows

Before continuing, it is recommended you check whether you already have Python installed.

  1. Open a Command Prompt, Windows Terminal, or PowerShell window – from here on this will be referred simply as the terminal.

  2. Type python --version – this should either tell you Python is not installed from the Microsoft Store, or tell you what version of Python you have.

  3. Type py -0 – this will either error, or tell you what versions of Python you have installed via other means.

From the Microsoft Store

This is probably the easiest way to get started with Python on Windows.

  1. Run python in your terminal to go to the Microsoft Store page.

  2. Press install.

This will provide both a python and python3 command. However, it does not install a py command.

From Python.org

  1. Visit Python.org.

  2. Download and install the latest version of Python.

Note that there are a few subtle differences with the Python.org installer:

  • By default you do not get a python command. This can be changed by checking the "Add to PATH" option when installing.

  • You will not get a python3 command.

  • The "Python Launcher for Windows" will be installed as the py command.

    • This can be used as an alternative to the "Add to PATH" option, which can have unintended side-effects (however these are minor).

macOS

Homebrew

Homebrew is a popular package manager for macOS.

If you do not already have Homebrew installed:

  1. Open the Terminal app.

  2. Visit https://brew.sh in your browser and follow the instructions provided.

  3. Run brew upgrade on a regular basis to keep everything up-to-date.

To install Python using Homebrew:

  1. Run brew install python in your terminal.

You should now have python and python3 commands available and up-to-date.

Built-in

Newer versions of macOS ship with a version of Python 3 built into the OS. This will be outdated, however it is likely new enough for FRC, assuming you keep the OS up-to-date.

macOS 11 (Big Sur) shipped with Python 3.8.

From Python.org

This is not recommended by the macOS users on the team, however it is an option. This method of installation makes it difficult to uninstall later, which means it is difficult to update.

GNU/Linux

Please install python3 from your package manager. If you require more instruction here, please contact Davo to add instructions for your distro.

Cross-platform

These ways of installing Python will work across different OSes.

conda

Conda is a package manager, built for the Anaconda distribution of Python, popular in the data science field.

The easiest way to install robotpy-cscore on Windows is by using conda with the conda-forge repository. If you plan to contribute to our vision code, this may be a good way to do so.

nix

Nix is a functional package manager, with NixOS being a distro that solely uses it. It is however available for any Linux distro and macOS.