Python3 Development Environment

We use the latest version of Python 3 for a lot of our application and GUI development. PySide2 is our GUI toolkit.

We recommend either VSCode, Atom, or NINJA-IDE as our main Python IDE, although you can use whatever you’re most comfortable with.

Installing Python

Installing Python on Linux

Operating systems based on Ubuntu 16.04 or later ship with Python3 by default. It is included in the installation command below anyway, just in case you’ve removed it, or are on a system where it isn’t installed by default.


If you type in the following commands, make sure you scroll and get the entire command. If you prefer to copy and paste, triple-click the third command so you get the whole thing.

We’ll also install the libraries and development tools we use for Python3.

$ sudo apt update
$ sudo apt install python3 python3-pip python3-virtualenv pylint3 python-dev python3-dev virtualenv


Do not ever use sudo pip. If you want to install packages via pip, use a virtual environment.

Installing Python on Mac

We can install Python and everything else we need using Homebrew or MacPorts.

Installing Via MacPorts

$ sudo port install python36 py36-pip py36-virtualenv py36-pylint
$ sudo port select --set python python36
$ sudo port select --set pip py36-pip
$ sudo port select --set virtualenv py36-virtualenv
$ sudo port select --set pylint py36-pylint

Installing Via Homebrew

$ brew install python
$ pip install virtualenv pylint

Installing Python on Windows

Download and install the latest version of Python 3.6 from

Once that is installed, start your Command Prompt, and run the following command to install the rest of what we need.

python -m pip install --upgrade pip wheel setuptools
python -m pip install virtualenv pylint

Installing PySide2

Installing PySide2 on Linux

We’ll create a new virtual environment for PySide2. You can reuse these instructions to create a different virtual environment for any project you’re working on using PySide2, but this provides a good general testing ground.

$ virtualenv --no-site-packages --python=python3 ~/pyside2-venv
$ source ~/pyside2-venv/bin/activate
$ pip install pyside2
$ deactivate

Any time you want to use that virtual environment, just run source ~/pyside2-venv/bin/activate. The command deactivate exits the virtual environment.

SOURCE: Qt For Python/Getting Started

Installing PySide2 on Mac

$ pip install pyside2

Installing PySide2 on Windows

In your Command Prompt, run the following...

python -m pip install pyside2

Choosing an IDE

There are quite a few IDEs and editors for the Python language. We personally recommend Visual Studio Code or NINJA-IDE. Atom is another option.

If none of these strike your fancy, there are dozens of other options, including PyCharm Community Edition, Brackets, EricIDE, Spyder, and PyPE.