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How To Install Python IDLE on Ubuntu for Python 3 Programming

Ubuntu 8

Python is a widely-used high-level programming language known for its simplicity and readability. IDLE (Integrated Development and Learning Environment) is an integrated development environment for Python, which is bundled with every Python distribution. It’s a lightweight and simple IDE that supports different Python versions. This article will guide you through the steps to install Python IDLE on Ubuntu for Python 3 programming.

Quick Answer

To install Python IDLE on Ubuntu for Python 3 programming, you can use the following command:

sudo apt-get install idle3

After the installation is complete, you can launch Python IDLE by running the command idle3 in the terminal.


Before starting, ensure you have the following:

  • A system running Ubuntu
  • Access to a terminal window/command line
  • Sudo or root privileges

Installing Python 3

Python 3 is usually installed by default on Ubuntu. However, if it’s not installed or you want to upgrade to the latest version, you can do so by running the following command:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install python3

The sudo command allows you to run programs with the security privileges of another user (by default, as the superuser). apt-get is the package handling utility in Ubuntu that handles packages. update is used to resynchronize the package index files from their sources and install is used to install the newest versions of all packages currently installed on the system.

Installing Python IDLE

Once Python 3 is installed, you can install IDLE. The package to install IDLE for Python 3 from the official Ubuntu repositories is idle3. Run the following command to install it:

sudo apt-get install idle3

This command works similarly to the previous one, but it installs the idle3 package.

Launching Python IDLE

After the installation is complete, you can launch Python IDLE by running the following command in the terminal:


Alternatively, you can search for “IDLE” in the application menu and click on the icon.


Congratulations! You have successfully installed Python IDLE for Python 3 programming on your Ubuntu system. You can now start developing Python applications using this lightweight and easy-to-use IDE. For more information on how to use Python IDLE, you can check the official Python documentation.

Remember to keep your system and packages updated to ensure you have the latest features and security fixes. You can do this by regularly running sudo apt-get update and sudo apt-get upgrade.

Happy coding!

Can I use Python IDLE for Python 2 programming?

No, Python IDLE is specifically designed for Python 3 programming. If you want to use Python 2, you can install IDLE for Python 2 by running sudo apt-get install idle instead.

Can I use Python IDLE on other operating systems?

Yes, Python IDLE is available for Windows, macOS, and Linux operating systems. The installation process may vary slightly depending on the operating system, but you can generally find the installation instructions on the official Python website or through package managers specific to your operating system.

Can I customize the appearance of Python IDLE?

Yes, you can customize the appearance of Python IDLE by going to the "Options" menu and selecting "Configure IDLE". From there, you can modify various settings such as font size, theme, and indentation preferences.

Can I install third-party packages using Python IDLE?

No, Python IDLE does not have built-in package management capabilities. To install third-party packages, you would need to use a package manager such as pip. You can install packages using pip by running commands in the terminal, outside of Python IDLE.

Can I debug my Python code using Python IDLE?

Yes, Python IDLE provides a basic debugging feature. You can enable it by going to the "Debug" menu and selecting "Debugger". This will open a new window where you can set breakpoints, step through your code, and inspect variables. However, for more advanced debugging features, you might want to consider using a more powerful IDE such as PyCharm or Visual Studio Code.

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