Installing Python 2.7.11 on CentOS 7

CentOS 7 ships with python 2.7.5 by default. We have some software that requires 2.7.11. It's generally a bad idea to clobber your system python, since other system-supplied software may rely on it being a particular version.

Our strategy for running 2.7.11 alongside the system python is to build it from source, then create virtualenvs that will run our software.

Step 1. Update CentOS and install development tools

# as root
yum upgrade -y
yum groupinstall 'Development Tools' -y
yum install zlib-devel openssl-devel

Step 2. Download the Python source tarball

# As a regular user (avoid doing mundane things as root)
$ cd /tmp
$ wget
$ tar -zxf Python-2.7.11.tgz
$ cd Python-2.7.11

Step 3. Configure, build and install into /opt (replace with /usr/local/ if you prefer)

$ ./configure --prefix=/opt/
$ make
$ make install

Step 4. Install pip and virtualenv for the system Python

You have to be root for this.

# curl -o
# python
# pip install virtualenv

Step 5. Use the system virtualenv to create a venv for your updated Python

You can now create virtualenvs, just point --python to the 2.7.11 interpreter

$ mkdir env
$ virtualenv --python=/opt/bin/python2.7 env/pyenv
$ source env/pyenv/bin/activate
$ python --version
Python 2.7.11


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