Install Python 3.7 on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS

Python is one of the most popular and on-demand general-purpose programming languages. It is an interpreted high-level programming language that supports multiple programming paradigms, including procedural, object-oriented, and functional programming. Due to its comprehensive standard library, it is often described as a “contains battery” language.

It is a widely used and versatile programming language used by beginners for scientists for different types of activities. It is used for system programming and scripting, automate repetitive tasks, build websites and web applications, machine learning algorithms, data analysis, and more.

In this tutorial, we will learn how to install Python 3.7 in Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Bionic Beaver. We will introduce two main ways to install it on Ubuntu 18.04 machine, one is through Deadsnakes PPA using APT package manager, and the other is compiling from source code.

Install Python 3.7 on Ubuntu using APT (and PPA)

Ubuntu 18.04 comes with Python 3.6.9 by default. You can get the python version by running the following command:

python3 --version
Python 3.6.9

First, we need to make sure to update the Ubuntu package repository index of the Ubuntu 18.04 computer. This can be done by executing the following command:

$ sudo apt update

After the update is complete, we need to ensure that the “software-properties-common” package is installed on the computer so that PPA can be added to the computer.

$ sudo apt install software-properties-common

Now we can easily add Deadsnakes PPA using the following command:

$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:deadsnakes/ppa

Finally, after adding the required PPA to our Ubuntu 18.04 computer, we can now simply install Python 3.7 using the apt command.

of -y The option in the apt notify command will set the prompt to automatic yes.

$ sudo apt install python3.7 -y
$ sudo apt install python3.7 -y
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
The following additional packages will be installed:
  libpython3.7-minimal libpython3.7-stdlib python3-distutils python3-lib2to3
Suggested packages:
  python3.7-venv python3.7-doc binfmt-support
The following NEW packages will be installed:
  libpython3.7-minimal libpython3.7-stdlib python3-distutils python3-lib2to3
  python3.7 python3.7-minimal
0 upgraded, 6 newly installed, 0 to remove and 321 not upgraded.
Need to get 4,792 kB of archives.
After this operation, 26.6 MB of additional disk space will be used.
Do you want to continue? [Y/n] y
Get:1 bionic/main amd64 libpython3.7-minimal amd64 3.7.7-1+bionic1 [596 kB]
Get:2 bionic-updates/main amd64 python3-lib2to3 all 3.6.9-1~18.04 [77.4 kB]
Get:3 bionic/main amd64 python3.7-minimal amd64 3.7.7-1+bionic1 [1,839 kB]
Get:4 bionic-updates/main amd64 python3-distutils all 3.6.9-1~18.04 [144 kB]
Get:5 bionic/main amd64 libpython3.7-stdlib amd64 3.7.7-1+bionic1 [1,784 kB]
Get:6 bionic/main amd64 python3.7 amd64 3.7.7-1+bionic1 [351 kB]
Fetched 4,792 kB in 7s (737 kB/s)                                              
Selecting previously unselected package libpython3.7-minimal:amd64.
(Reading database ... 134446 files and directories currently installed.)
Preparing to unpack .../0-libpython3.7-minimal_3.7.7-1+bionic1_amd64.deb ...
Unpacking libpython3.7-minimal:amd64 (3.7.7-1+bionic1) ...
Selecting previously unselected package python3.7-minimal.
Preparing to unpack .../1-python3.7-minimal_3.7.7-1+bionic1_amd64.deb ...
Unpacking python3.7-minimal (3.7.7-1+bionic1) ...
Selecting previously unselected package libpython3.7-stdlib:amd64.
Preparing to unpack .../2-libpython3.7-stdlib_3.7.7-1+bionic1_amd64.deb ...
Unpacking libpython3.7-stdlib:amd64 (3.7.7-1+bionic1) ...
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Selecting previously unselected package python3-distutils.
Preparing to unpack .../4-python3-distutils_3.6.9-1~18.04_all.deb ...
Unpacking python3-distutils (3.6.9-1~18.04) ...
Selecting previously unselected package python3.7.
Preparing to unpack .../5-python3.7_3.7.7-1+bionic1_amd64.deb ...
Unpacking python3.7 (3.7.7-1+bionic1) ...
Processing triggers for mime-support (3.60ubuntu1) ...
Processing triggers for desktop-file-utils (0.23-1ubuntu3.18.04.2) ...
Setting up libpython3.7-minimal:amd64 (3.7.7-1+bionic1) ...
Setting up python3.7-minimal (3.7.7-1+bionic1) ...
Processing triggers for man-db (2.8.3-2ubuntu0.1) ...
Processing triggers for gnome-menus (3.13.3-11ubuntu1.1) ...
Setting up python3-lib2to3 (3.6.9-1~18.04) ...
Setting up python3-distutils (3.6.9-1~18.04) ...
Setting up libpython3.7-stdlib:amd64 (3.7.7-1+bionic1) ...
Setting up python3.7 (3.7.7-1+bionic1) ...

Now, to ensure that python is successfully installed, we can check the python version to the following.

$ python3.7 -V
Python 3.7.7

Install Python 3.7 on Ubuntu from source

In this method, we will learn how to install Python 3.7 on an Ubuntu 18.04 computer by compiling from source. To move forward, we need to ensure that certain prerequisites are met. First, we need to make sure that the build tools needed to compile the source code are installed on our computer.

To do this, we first need to update apt’s local repository index as follows:

$ sudo apt update

With the update of the local repository index, we will now install the dependencies needed to compile and install python3.7. To do this, we need to execute the following command:

$ sudo apt install -y build-essential wget zlib1g-dev libncurses5-dev libgdbm-dev libnss3-dev libssl-dev libreadline-dev libffi-dev

Once all dependencies are installed and ready, we will use the wget command to download the latest version of Python 3.7 from the official python website as follows:

$ wget
--2020-03-17 16:19:44--
Resolving (, 2a04:4e42:2::223
Connecting to (||:443... connected.
HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 200 OK
Length: 23161893 (22M) [application/octet-stream]
Saving to: ‘Python-3.7.7.tgz’

Python-3.7.7.tgz    100%[===================>]  22.09M  2.50MB/s    in 9.2s

2020-03-17 16:19:54 (2.41 MB/s) - ‘Python-3.7.7.tgz’ saved [23161893/23161893]

At the time of writing this tutorial, the release of python 3.7 is the latest version 3.7.7. Therefore, we will only download and extract the tgz file using the tar command.

$ tar -xf Python-3.7.7.tgz

After extracting the source code from the tgz file, we will now cd into the directory and then execute the configure script to evaluate whether the dependencies required for compilation are met. The –enable-optimizations flag optimizes python binaries and improves code execution by 10-20%.

$ cd Python-3.7.7
$ ./configure --enable-optimizations
checking if the dirent structure of a d_type field... yes
checking for the Linux getrandom() syscall... yes
checking for the getrandom() function... yes
checking for pkg-config... no
checking for openssl/ssl.h in /usr/local/ssl... no
checking for openssl/ssl.h in /usr/lib/ssl... no
checking for openssl/ssl.h in /usr/ssl... no
checking for openssl/ssl.h in /usr/pkg... no
checking for openssl/ssl.h in /usr/local... no
checking for openssl/ssl.h in /usr... yes
checking whether compiling and linking against OpenSSL works... yes
checking for X509_VERIFY_PARAM_set1_host in libssl... yes
checking for --with-ssl-default-suites... python
configure: creating ./config.status
config.status: creating Makefile.pre
config.status: creating Misc/python.pc
config.status: creating Misc/
config.status: creating Modules/ld_so_aix
config.status: creating pyconfig.h
creating Modules/Setup
creating Modules/Setup.local
creating Makefile

After successfully executing the configure script, we will now install python 3.7 on an Ubuntu 18.04 LTS computer by using the make command with the altinstall parameter. The altinstall parameter ensures that it is not installed as the system’s default python version.

$ sudo make altinstall
changing mode of /usr/local/bin/idle3.7 to 755
changing mode of /usr/local/bin/pyvenv-3.7 to 755
changing mode of /usr/local/bin/pydoc3.7 to 755
changing mode of /usr/local/bin/2to3-3.7 to 755
rm /usr/local/lib/python3.7/lib-dynload/
rm -r /usr/local/lib/python3.7/lib-dynload/__pycache__
Creating directory /usr/local/share/man/man1
/usr/bin/install -c -m 644 ./Misc/ 
if test "xupgrade" != "xno"  ; then 
	case upgrade in 
		upgrade) ensurepip="--altinstall --upgrade" ;; 
		install|*) ensurepip="--altinstall" ;; 
	 ./python -E -m ensurepip 
		$ensurepip --root=/ ; 
Looking in links: /tmp/tmp06ih2lq9
Collecting setuptools
Collecting pip
Installing collected packages: setuptools, pip
Successfully installed pip-19.2.3 setuptools-41.2.0

Now we can check if python 3.7 was successfully installed by checking its version as follows.

$ python3.7 -V
Python 3.7.7

in conclusion

Finally, we have successfully installed python 3.7 on an Ubuntu 18.04 LTS computer. At the time of writing this tutorial, the latest version of Python 3.7 is 3.7.7, so you may want to replace the 3.7.7 version with the latest version of that release. Now we can easily execute python scripts and code written for 3.7. If you have any questions, suggestions or feedback, please write in the comment box below.

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