ICS 32 Fall 2017
Project #0: Square One
Installation and Configuration on Mac OS X


This document explains how to install the ICS 32 development environment on a machine running Mac OS X. You'll need to be sure you pay attention to small details as you follow through them; as with many technical tasks, misspelling words, leaving out punctuation, or other seemingly minor mistakes can have fairly major consequences.

Step 1: Download and installing Python

If you've taken previous coursework in Python, you may already have a version of Python installed on your machine, but it will be important that you use the right version in this course. What you need is Python 3.6.2 Mac OS X 64-bit/32-bit Installer, which is available at the following link.

Mac OS X ships with an older version of Python already installed, though that version is not sufficient for our work in the course, so you'll need to install Python 3.6.2. Different versions of Python can safely coexist on a system, and the version that ships with Mac OS X should be left as-is (since built-in parts of the operating system depend on it).

The file linked above is a standard Mac OS X installer (.pkg), so you should be able to simply download and install it as you would other Mac OS X software. Follow the instructions on the installation screens — it's typically best to just accept the default settings.

By accepting the defaults, Python 3.6.2 will be installed in this location on your hard drive:


After the installation is complete, verify that this directory exists, then make a note of that location; we'll call that location your Python root from now on.

Testing your Python installation

Some of you may never have used a Terminal window in Mac OS X before, but we'll occasionally have use for it in this course. There are a variety of ways to do it on Mac OS X and any of them will do; a quick Google search should reveal at least one way to do it. Once you've brought up a Terminal window, type the command python3.6 at the prompt and hit the Return key. You should see something more or less like this show up in the Terminal window as a result:

Python 3.6.2 (v3.6.2:5fd33b5, Jul  8 2017, 04:57:36)
[GCC 4.2.1 (Apple Inc. build 5666) (dot 3)] on darwin
Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.

If so, type quit() and press Enter to stop the interpreter, then close the Command Prompt window; you're good to go and are ready to launch IDLE!

If you see a different version, that means you have another version of Python installed instead of the one linked above. (Don't worry too much about the date or the funny-looking "5fd33b5" numbering; as long as you see "3.6.2", you're where you need to be.) If, instead, you see an error message similar to this one:

python3.6: Command not found.

then your installation was not successful. Seek assistance from your classmates who have successfully installed Python 3.6.2.

Starting IDLE

Lastly, you'll want to be sure that you try starting IDLE and verify that it, too, is running the right version of Python. The easiest way to launch IDLE is to open Applications, then choose Python 3.6, then choose IDLE.app. You might also like to dock IDLE on the desktop menu bar, since you'll be using it often.

Once you start IDLE, you should see a window pop up, in which will appear the same message you saw when you started Python from the Terminal:

Python 3.6.2 (v3.6.2:5fd33b5, Jul  8 2017, 04:57:36)
[GCC 4.2.1 (Apple Inc. build 5666) (dot 3)] on darwin
Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.

If so, you're ready to roll!


Nice work! You should now be ready to proceed with your work this quarter. Additional installation guidance will be given as we need additional tools, but this will be sufficient to get started.