Installing Jupyter and Python

Python is a programming language. I expect everyone to program using a recent version of Python 3. (Currently, my computer is running Python 3.8.2.)

Jupyter Notebook is a notebook interface to Python that connects with a browser. This interface makes it easy to display graphs and other images.

Ideally everyone in the class should have access to Jupyter running locally on your own computer. It is also possible to use a website to access Jupyter and Python, but students have often had connection issues and other problems with this solution. Jupyter will be more responsive and cause you less issues if you run it on your own machine. Also you won't have to worry about keeping your computer connected to the internet.

Installing on various operating systems

There are a lot of operating systems currently in use by students. The best way to run Jupyter would be on a laptop or desktop computer.

I run linux, which means that I can't test the installation instructions for other systems. If you run into trouble, please let me know so I can update these instructions.

Windows and MacOS

The simplest way to get Jupyter and Python running seems to be to install Anaconda (Individual Edition). Download the Windows or MacOS installer from the bottom of that page. Once Anaconda is installed you should be able to run “Anaconda Navigator” and then “launch” Jupyter Notebook.

There are other approaches for installing Jupyter Notebook on the Jupyter website, but these seem less user friendly.


Linux is an open-source operating system which is free and fairly easy to use. It also makes it very easy to install Jupyter and Python, though directions will depend on the linux distribution. My guess is noone in the class uses Linux (but you should — Ubuntu is a good version to start with if you are interested). If you have linux installed on your computer and need help installing Jupyter and Python, send me an email. You can install Anaconda as above, but you are probably better off using your distribution's package manager.

Chrome OS (chromebooks)

This will be more challenging. You can try following these instructions. We won't use R.

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Last modified on November 19, 2020.
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