Installing Python Distribution on Your Computer

NOTE:  IT APPEARS THAT AN ACADEMIC LICENSE MAY NO LONGER BE AVAILABLE FROM ENTHOUGHT. Assuming this is true, please check out the Miniconda distribution instead.  If it is NOT true, please let me know what revisions are needed to the links and instructions below.

Please carefully follow these steps to install the Enthought Canopy distribution (which is an integrated Python development environment) on your laptop (or other computer).  If you have trouble, I will try to help, either by email or in person.

  1. Start by visiting the following page:
  2. Click on the blue “Request your license” button on the right.
  3. Fill out the “create your account” portion of the form.  You should give UW-Madison as the organization.  You should probably use your Wiscmail email address rather than a private address, as they might check this as evidence that you’re really at the university.  Your password can be whatever you want, but it should probably be different than your NetID password for security reasons.
  4. Once you’ve created your account and have an academic license, you should be led to a download page.  If you can’t find it, try going to this page:
  5. Make sure that the version displayed matches your laptop’s operating system:  Mac, Windows, or Linux.  You may also have to determine whether you should install a 32-bit or 64-bit package (see “Pick your flavor” near the top).  There should be guidance on the web page for how to determine this.
  6. Either way, you should choose the “Canopy Express Installer” (if you even have that choice).
  7. Windows users should view this page for details about installation:
    Mac users should view this page:
  8. Once you have successfully installed Canopy on your laptop, the next step is to set things up so you can run it from the command line (see here for details):For Windows machines, paste the following into your command line (via “All Programs -> Accessories -> Command Prompt”):
    Canopy\App\Canopy_cli.exe setup C:\Python27

    For Macs, paste the following into your command line (via the Terminal application found in the Applications/Utilities folder):

    /Applications/ setup  ~/canopy

    If prompted whether to make Canopy your default Python installation, choose “Yes”. Once installed, you should be able to execute the following at the command line:

    ipython notebook

If you are unable to successfully complete ANY of the steps in this email, please make a note of where you ran into trouble, and email me.