Tip: Set up Python 3 and pip 3 as default

Angelos Chalaris · Python, Setup · Jun 12, 2021

One of the most common headaches when working with Python is having to remember to use Python 3.x instead of Python 2.x. Luckily, it's really easy to setup Python 3 and pip 3 as the defaults. You first need to figure out where each one is installed using the which command:

which python3   # /usr/local/bin/python3
which pip3      # /usr/local/bin/pip3

Make a note of each response, so that you can add the paths as aliases to your shell environment's configuration file. Then, you can use echo to add a line for each one to either .zshrc or .bashrc depending on your environment:

# Linux or other bash environment
echo "alias python=/usr/local/bin/python3" >> ~/.bashrc
echo "alias pip=/usr/local/bin/pip3" >> ~/.bashrc

# Mac OS or other zsh environment
echo "alias python=/usr/local/bin/python3" >> ~/.zshrc
echo "alias pip=/usr/local/bin/pip3" >> ~/.zshrc

And you're all done! python and pip are both mapped to their 3.x versions,

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