So far in CS 106A, you've been programming in Python on your browser. Moving forwards, however, you will be writing your code on your computer using an application called PyCharm. PyCharm is what is known as an IDE, or Integrated Development Environment, which means that it allows us to edit our code, browse our files, run our programs and debug them, all in the same place. It's one of the most popular Python IDEs in the world, and used extremely commonly in industry. This handout is intended to take you through installing PyCharm on your own computer.
The Terminal, also sometimes called the Command Line or the Command Prompt on Windows, is a text-based interface for operating your computer. We'll be using it a bit throughout the quarter in order to run our programs, so make sure you know how to open the Terminal on your computer. This website explains how to find the Terminal application on your computer, as well as some further details on what you can do with it. You don't need to worry too much about those details just yet, although you're free to peruse them if you'd like. As we go through the quarter, we'll explore the capabilities of the terminal in much greater depth.
In order to be able to run Python programs on your computer, you need
to install a Python Interpreter. An interpreter is a program
that is capable of reading a
.py file that you have
written, and translating the Python code in that file to instructions
that your computer can easily execute. Begin by downloading Python:
Note: Macs come with a version of Python installed, but this is an older version of Python (specifically, Python 2). CS 106A requires the use of Python 3, so make sure to follow these instructions even if you think you already have Python installed. If you require the use of Python 2 for other work, you can still install Python 3, which exists alongside Python 2 rather than replacing it.
python3and press enter. You should see something that looks like this:
Python 3.7.3 (default, Mar 27 2019, 09:23:15) [Clang 10.0.1 (clang-1001.0.46.3)] on darwin Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information. >>>
pyand press enter. You should see something that looks like this:
Python 3.7.3 (v3.7.3:9a3ffc0492, Mar 27 2019, 09:23:15) Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information. >>>
To get started, download and install the community version of PyCharm (make sure not to download the free trial of the professional version):
.dmgfile and drag PyCharm into your Applications folder)
.exefile and install PyCharm, using all the default options. )
Now that you have PyCharm downloaded and installed, open it up and follow the setup wizard, which allows you to choose some default settings. Feel free to install any additional plugins it suggests, although none will be necessary for this class.
PyCharm models a program as a 'project', which consists of one or more Python files, as well as any additional resources like images or text files. To get you familiar with working with projects in PyCharm, we've provided a sample project, which you can download here. To test out this project, and to gain familiarity with the PyCharm environment, download the sample project and open it in PyCharm (using the 'open' option on the first screen). Now, follow the steps below to run the project in PyCharm:
python3 intro.py <YOUR NAME HERE>(or on Windows,
py intro.py <YOUR NAME HERE>) and press enter to see the program's output. Congratulations! You've successfully set up PyCharm!