Running Python Scripts on Linux: A Beginner’s Guide

Running Python scripts on Linux is a practical skill that can streamline your development process and enhance your computing experience. Whether you’re automating tasks, analyzing data, or building applications, knowing how to execute Python scripts on a Linux system is essential. This beginner’s guide will walk you through the basics, from setting up Python on your Linux machine to running your first script.

Introduction to Python and Linux

Python is a high-level, interpreted programming language known for its readability and versatility. Linux, on the other hand, is a free, open-source operating system that’s widely used for its security and flexibility. Together, they form a powerful combination for developers and system administrators.

Installing Python on Linux

Most Linux distributions come with Python already installed. However, to ensure you have the latest version, you can install or update Python using your distribution’s package manager.

### For Ubuntu and Debian-based systems:
– Open a terminal and run: `sudo apt update`
– Then, install Python by running: `sudo apt install python3`

### For Fedora and RedHat-based systems:
– Open a terminal and run: `sudo dnf update`
– Then, install Python by running: `sudo dnf install python3`

Verifying Python Installation

To verify that Python is installed on your system, open a terminal and type:
python3 –version
This command should return your Python version, indicating that Python is correctly installed.

Writing Your First Python Script

Before running a Python script, you need to write one. Open your favorite text editor, and write a simple Python script. For example, a script that prints Hello, World! to the terminal:
print(Hello, World!)
Save this file with a `.py` extension, for example, ``.

Running Python Scripts on Linux

To run your Python script, open a terminal, navigate to the directory containing your script, and run:
If everything is set up correctly, you should see Hello, World! printed to the terminal.

Executing Python Scripts Directly

To run Python scripts more conveniently, you can make them executable and run them directly like any other script or program on Linux.

### Making Your Script Executable
1. Add a shebang line at the beginning of your Python script: `#!/usr/bin/env python3`
2. Save your changes.
3. Make your script executable by running: `chmod +x`

### Running Your Executable Script
Once your script is executable, you can run it directly by typing:

Using Python Virtual Environments

It’s a good practice to use virtual environments for your Python projects. Virtual environments allow you to manage separate package installations for different projects, preventing potential conflicts between package versions.

### Creating a Virtual Environment
– Navigate to your project directory.
– Run `python3 -m venv my_project_env` to create a virtual environment named `my_project_env`.

### Activating a Virtual Environment
– Navigate to your project directory.
– Activate the virtual environment by running: `source my_project_env/bin/activate`

You’ll notice that the prompt changes to indicate that your virtual environment is active. Now, any Python or pip commands will use the versions in the virtual environment, not the global Python installation.

Useful Tips and Resources

Automating Tasks: Python scripts can automate mundane tasks, simplifying your workflow. For more information on automating tasks with Python, visit [Automate the Boring Stuff with Python](
Python Documentation: For comprehensive Python documentation, refer to [Python’s Official Documentation](


Running Python scripts on Linux is a straightforward process that opens up a world of possibilities for automation, data analysis, and application development. By setting up Python, writing your script, and making it executable, you can efficiently run Python scripts on your Linux system. Using virtual environments further enhances your workflow by isolating project dependencies. Whether you’re a beginner looking to execute your first Python script, a developer managing multiple projects, or a system administrator in need of automation tools, these skills will provide a solid foundation for your endeavors.

For beginners, starting with simple scripts and gradually incorporating virtual environments and automation tasks is the best approach. Developers can leverage these skills to manage project dependencies more efficiently and streamline their development process. System administrators may find the ability to automate tasks and run scripts directly invaluable for managing systems and networks.


How do I check if Python is installed on my Linux system?

To check if Python is installed, open a terminal and run python3 --version. If installed, this command will return the version of Python on your system.

Can I run Python 2 scripts on Linux?

Yes, you can, but it’s strongly recommended to use Python 3, as Python 2 has reached the end of its life and no longer receives updates or support.

What is a Python virtual environment?

A Python virtual environment is an isolated environment that allows you to manage per-project dependencies, avoiding conflicts between package versions.

How do I make a Python script executable on Linux?

Add a shebang line (#!/usr/bin/env python3) to the beginning of your script, save it, and then make it executable with chmod +x

Can I use Python for system administration tasks on Linux?

Absolutely. Python is a powerful tool for scripting and automation, making it ideal for a wide range of system administration tasks.

We encourage you to dive into the world of Python on Linux. Experiment with different scripts, explore virtual environments, and automate some of your daily tasks. If you have any corrections, comments, questions, or experiences you’d like to share, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Your feedback and interaction enrich the learning experience for us all.