Coders need an editor to compose and test their programs in. PyCharm fits the bill when it comes to cross platform code editors for Python beginners. It is easy to install on Windows, macOS and Linux. Best of all the community version is “free” – perfect if you are thinking about learning Python but unsure. For experienced coders looking for features, PyCharm Pro may be the way to go. PyCharm Pro is project oriented, makes refactoring a breeze, has built-in SQL tooling and supports an autocomplete. PyCharm is one of the most popular integrated development environment (IDE) with Linux users. Like similar code editors there are community (free and open source), educational (free and open source) and (paid) professional versions.
Download Python and PyCharm
Install Python. You can download the latest version of Python from python.org. Should any compatibility issues arise there are specific Python releases available. Older, unmaintained API projects may not support the latest release (3.10 as of this article). There’s lots of documentation on python.org for the beginner as well as advanced user. With Python installed the next step is to load an editing interface where we can manipulate code.
For this we introduce the development software (people love buzz words – an unnecessary complication) known as an integrated development environment or IDE. The IDE is simply the software necessary to develop the code – in this case PyCharm. Some may question this choice for newbies but the goal here is to use the tools a professional would use at the onset and not dumb down the endeavor, while at the same time have an easy to use interface. Like using any software there is a learning curve. Most Python editors are similar (and similar to other types of editing software packages) making any future transitions relatively easy.
Installation of PyCharm
Like-wise easy is the installation of PyCharm. A recommendation would be to try the community version and master it to some level before installing the free 30 day trial of the professional version. The community version is fully functional as an editor goes (less expanded bundles, capabilities and support). Jet Brains has a comparison between PyCharm Pro and the PyCharm Community versions. As an initial install PyCharm Community is excellent to learn on and has a support forum should any technical issues arise. You can pick between Professional and Community downloads appropriate for your operating system here.
If you are looking to install the education version PyCharm Edu use this link – the site automatically detects your OS for the download. You will need to apply for the free educational licensure. The educational version is unique in that the interface aids you in learning about the interface itself, a big help starting out.
Windows and macOS
As with any other software package, once downloaded right click and select either “open” or “install”, agree to the terms and conditions and you are ready. If you created a desktop icon during the install, click to launch, otherwise search your program listings or use your OS’s search bar.
Jet Brains has done an awesome job at making their IDEs accessible, especially to the Linux community. For most versions you simply download the tarball from Jet Brain’s “Toolbox App web page” and it’s a standard package installation per your flavor of Linux. Ubuntu makes installing PyCharm even easier. Open the Ubuntu Software store and type “pycharm” in the search window. By default you will see three options:
- PyCharm CE
- PyCharm Pro
- PyCharm EDU
The principle focus of this tutorial is the installation of PyCharm. Hopefully this overview has been of insight. Again Jet Brains has excellent documentation and covers all this information. The documentation is highly recommended as it will also aid you in getting started, configuring PyCharm and projects. Don’t underestimate the simplicity of the interface.
Guess you could say this was a piece of pie.