How to Install Python 3.8 on Ubuntu 18.04

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Python is one of the most widely used programming languages in the world. With its simple and easy to learn syntax, Python is a popular choice for beginners and experienced developers. Python is quite a versatile programming language. It can be used to build all kinds of applications, from simple scrips to complex machine learning algorithms.

Python 3.8 is the latest major release of the Python language. It includes many new features such as assignment expressions, positional-only parameters, f-strings support, and more.

Python 3.8 is not available in Ubuntu’s default repositories. In this tutorial, we’ll cover two different ways to install Python 3.8 on Ubuntu 18.04. The first option is to install the deb package from the deadsnakes PPA, and the second one is by building from the source code.

The same steps apply for Ubuntu 16.04 and any Ubuntu-based distribution, including Kubuntu, Linux Mint, and Elementary OS.

Installing Python 3.8 on Ubuntu with Apt

Installing Python 3.8 on Ubuntu with apt is a relatively straightforward process and takes only a few minutes:

  1. Run the following commands as root or user with sudo access to update the packages list and install the prerequisites:

    sudo apt update
    sudo apt install software-properties-common
  2. Add the deadsnakes PPA to your system’s sources list:

    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:deadsnakes/ppa

    When prompted press Enter to continue:

    Press [ENTER] to continue or Ctrl-c to cancel adding it.
  3. Once the repository is enabled, install Python 3.8 with:

    sudo apt install python3.8
  4. Verify that the installation was successful by typing:

    python3.8 --version
    Python 3.8.0

    At this point, Python 3.8 is installed on your Ubuntu system, and you can start using it.

Installing Python 3.8 on Ubuntu from Source

In this section, we’ll explain how to compile Python 3.8 from the source.

  1. Update the packages list and install the packages necessary to build Python:

    sudo apt update
    sudo apt install build-essential zlib1g-dev libncurses5-dev libgdbm-dev libnss3-dev libssl-dev libreadline-dev libffi-dev wget
  2. Download the latest release’s source code from the Python download page using wget:

    wget https://www.python.org/ftp/python/3.8.0/Python-3.8.0.tgz

    At the time of writing this article, the latest release is 3.8.0.

  3. When the download finishes, extract the gzipped archive:

    tar -xf Python-3.8.0.tgz
  4. Switch to the Python source directory and execute the configure script which performs a number of checks to make sure all of the dependencies on your system are present:

    cd Python-3.8.0
    ./configure --enable-optimizations

    The --enable-optimizations option optimizes the Python binary by running multiple tests. This makes the build process slower.

  5. Start the Python 3.8 build process:

    make -j 8

    For faster build time, modify the -j to correspond to the number of cores in your processor. You can find the number by typing nproc.

  6. When the build process is complete, install the Python binaries by typing:

    sudo make altinstall

    Do not use the standard make install as it will overwrite the default system python3 binary.

  7. That’s it. Python 3.8 has been installed and ready to be used. Verify it by typing:

    python3.8 --version

    The output should show the Python version:

    Python 3.8.0

Conclusion

You have installed Python 3.8 on your Ubuntu 18.04 machine, and you can start developing your Python 3 project.

Next, you can read about How to Use Pip and How to Create Python Virtual Environments for different Python projects.

If you have any questions or feedback, feel free to comment below.