Python 3.8.1 Linux Install Without Root

I wanted to install the latest Python on Linux in a low powered user’s home directory and not have the install interfere with the Python that comes with Linux. I wanted my own local copy of Python that I could install Python packages to without interfering with anything else. I was willing to use root to install the needed Linux packages, but everything else was done with my low powered user.

I did a yum update on my Oracle Enterprise Linux 7.7 install before I started to get everything on the latest version. As root I used yum to install the Linux packages I needed to install Python 3.8.1 from source:

I must have already installed these on this VM. I did the rest of these steps as my low powered user “bobby”. The next thing I did was download the latest Python source, the 3.8.1 version. I had to use the -k option to get around certificate issues:

[bobby@pythonvm ~]$ curl -k -O
  % Total    % Received % Xferd  Average Speed   Time    Time     Time  Current
                                 Dload  Upload   Total   Spent    Left  Speed
100 22.8M  100 22.8M    0     0  7830k      0  0:00:02  0:00:02 --:--:-- 7828k

For some reason I had to do this twice. The first download failed. Next I gunzipped and untarred this archive under my home directory:

tar zxfv Python-3.8.1.tgz

[bobby@pythonvm ~]$

I created a directory called “python” under my home directory to use as the top-level directory for my Python install. This directory tree will hold the binaries and any Python packages that I install.

[bobby@pythonvm ~]$ mkdir python

After changing directory to where I untarred the source files I configured the Python make and install to use the directory I just created as a “prefix”:

[bobby@pythonvm ~]$ cd Python-3.8.1

[bobby@pythonvm Python-3.8.1]$ pwd

./configure --prefix=/home/bobby/python

config.status: creating Misc/python-embed.pc
config.status: creating Misc/
config.status: creating Modules/ld_so_aix
config.status: creating pyconfig.h
creating Modules/Setup.local
creating Makefile

If you want a release build with all stable optimizations active (PGO, etc),
please run ./configure --enable-optimizations

Then I did the make and make altinstall from the same directory:

So, now Python 3.8.1 is installed in /home/bobby/python but I want to put the bin directory in the path so I can run python or pip and by default have them be this version. The install created python and pip as python3.8 and pip3.8 but I created links to them so that I could access them without 3.8 at the end of their names:

[bobby@pythonvm Python-3.8.1]$ cd /home/bobby/python/bin
[bobby@pythonvm bin]$ ls -al
total 16704
drwxr-xr-x. 2 bobby bobby     4096 Feb 10 15:36 .
drwxrwxr-x. 6 bobby bobby       52 Feb 10 15:36 ..
-rwxrwxr-x. 1 bobby bobby      109 Feb 10 15:36 2to3-3.8
-rwxrwxr-x. 1 bobby bobby      249 Feb 10 15:36 easy_install-3.8
-rwxrwxr-x. 1 bobby bobby      107 Feb 10 15:36 idle3.8
-rwxrwxr-x. 1 bobby bobby      231 Feb 10 15:36 pip3.8
-rwxrwxr-x. 1 bobby bobby       92 Feb 10 15:36 pydoc3.8
-rwxr-xr-x. 1 bobby bobby 17075312 Feb 10 15:35 python3.8
-rwxr-xr-x. 1 bobby bobby     3095 Feb 10 15:36 python3.8-config

[bobby@pythonvm bin]$ ln -s python3.8 python
[bobby@pythonvm bin]$ ln -s pip3.8 pip

Then I added/home/bobby/python/bin to the front of the path to keep these new python and pip links ahead of the python links or binaries in the rest of the path.

[bobby@pythonvm bin]$ cd
[bobby@pythonvm ~]$ vi .bashrc

export ORACLE_HOME=/home/oracle/app/oracle/product/12.1.0/client_1
export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/home/oracle/app/oracle/product/12.1.0/client_1/lib
export PATH=/home/bobby/python/bin:$PATH

".bashrc" 17L, 451C written     

I logged out and in as bobby and tried python and pip to see that they were the correct version:

[bobby@pythonvm ~]$ python
Python 3.8.1 (default, Feb 10 2020, 15:33:01)
[GCC 4.8.5 20150623 (Red Hat 4.8.5-39.0.3)] on linux
Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.
[bobby@pythonvm ~]$ pip list
Package    Version
---------- -------
pip        19.2.3
setuptools 41.2.0
WARNING: You are using pip version 19.2.3, however version 20.0.2 is available.
You should consider upgrading via the 'pip install --upgrade pip' command.
[bobby@pythonvm ~]$   

Finally, I updated pip just to show that we can update something in this new install. Then I installed numpy to see if I could install a new package.

This is a quick and dirty post, but I want to remember these steps for myself and it might be helpful for someone who uses Redhat/Centos/OEL.


About Bobby

I live in Chandler, Arizona with my wife and three daughters. I work for US Foods, the second largest food distribution company in the United States. I have worked in the Information Technology field since 1989. I have a passion for Oracle database performance tuning because I enjoy challenging technical problems that require an understanding of computer science. I enjoy communicating with people about my work.
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2 Responses to Python 3.8.1 Linux Install Without Root

  1. Tim N. says:

    Happy Friday Mr. Durrett!

    I work a few miles away from you and cruise by your musings regularly going back a long time. Many times I have wanted to comment with additional tidbits/experiences and never find the spare time. sigh

    This post hits on my pet peeve (s?) about RH packages lagging years behind current feature levels in the name of “stability”.

    Would you do some write ups how to self-build other packages from latest source as joe-non-root user? Git, sqlite3, 4-5 other packages I will think of later, would do nicely. And include notes how to keep them patched up to pass security scanners. Hah, yes, all in jest, except the pet peeve is real .

    Know that your time and efforts are appreciated and read. Thank you.


    • Bobby says:

      I will get right on that. šŸ™‚

      It does seem like you can compile a lot of things from source but you need all the right Linux packages in place and you can’t update them without root.

      Thanks for your comment and I am glad that you are getting something out of the blog.


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