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How to Run Python Files in Terminal Mac


How to Run Python Files in Terminal on Mac

Python is a versatile programming language that is widely used for its simplicity, readability, and vast library support. If you are a Mac user and want to run Python files in the Terminal, this article will guide you through the process. We will also address some frequently asked questions at the end.

Running Python files in the Terminal allows you to execute your code without the need for an integrated development environment (IDE). It is a convenient way to test and run your scripts quickly. Here’s how you can do it:

Step 1: Open Terminal
To open Terminal on your Mac, you can go to Applications > Utilities > Terminal, or you can use the Spotlight search by pressing Command + Space and typing “Terminal.”

Step 2: Navigate to the Directory
Use the “cd” command to navigate to the directory where your Python file is located. For example, if your Python file is on the Desktop, you can type:
cd Desktop

Step 3: Check Python Version
To verify that Python is installed on your Mac, type the following command in the Terminal:
python –version
This command will display the version of Python installed on your system. If Python is not installed, you can download and install it from the official Python website.

Step 4: Run Python File
Once you are in the correct directory, you can run your Python file by typing:
python filename.py
Replace “filename” with the actual name of your Python file. Press Enter, and the Terminal will execute your Python script.

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Congratulations! You have successfully run a Python file in the Terminal on your Mac. You can now use this method to run any Python script.


Q1: What if I have multiple versions of Python installed on my Mac?
A1: By default, Mac comes with Python 2 pre-installed. However, you can install Python 3 separately. To run a Python 3 file, use the command “python3” instead of “python” in the Terminal.

Q2: How can I install additional Python libraries using Terminal on Mac?
A2: You can use the “pip” command to install Python libraries. For example, to install the popular library “numpy,” you can type:
pip install numpy
Make sure you have an internet connection, and pip will download and install the library for you.

Q3: Can I pass command-line arguments to my Python script?
A3: Yes, you can pass command-line arguments to your Python script. For example, if your script expects a username and password, you can run it like this:
python filename.py username password
Inside your Python script, you can access these arguments using the “sys” module.

Q4: Can I pause the execution of my Python script in Terminal?
A4: Yes, you can use the “input” function to pause the execution and wait for user input. For example, you can add the following line at the end of your script:
input(“Press Enter to exit…”)
This will display the message and wait for the user to press Enter before closing the Terminal window.

Q5: How can I terminate or interrupt the execution of my Python script in Terminal?
A5: Pressing “Ctrl + C” will terminate the execution of your Python script in the Terminal.

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Running Python files in the Terminal on Mac provides a simple and efficient way to execute your code. It is especially useful for quick testing and running programs without the need for a complex IDE. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can easily run your Python files in the Terminal and leverage the full power of this programming language.