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How to run Python file in terminal mac

What Are We Going to Learn Today?

Hello coders! Today we will be walking through an exciting journey on how to run a Python file in Terminal on a Mac. This post is for everyone who is diving into the world of programming. So, don't fret if you are new to this because we will be covering every step in detail.

What is a Terminal?

Before we go ahead, let's understand what a Terminal is. In simple terms, Terminal is a program on your Mac that allows you to control your computer using commands typed into a text interface. This might sound intimidating, but think of it as typing a text message to your computer to carry out tasks.

Getting Our Feet Wet - Creating a Simple Python File

Now, let's start by creating a Python file. Open any text editor of your choice (TextEdit on Mac, Notepad on Windows, or any other), and type the following code:

print("Hello, World!")

This is a basic Python command that instructs your computer to print the text "Hello, World!" Save this file as on your Desktop. The .py represents that it's a Python file.

Finding Our Way - Navigating to the Python File in Terminal

The next step is to navigate to the location of your Python file in Terminal. In our case, it's on the Desktop. To do this, we first have to open the Terminal. You can open Terminal in two ways:

  1. Using Spotlight Search: Press Command + Spacebar, type 'Terminal', and hit Enter.
  2. Using Finder: Go to Applications > Utilities > Terminal.

Once you have the Terminal open, you need to navigate to the Desktop. Type the following command and press Enter:

cd Desktop

Here, cd stands for 'change directory'. Think of it like moving from one room (the 'Home' directory) to another room (the 'Desktop' directory) in a house.

Taking the Leap - Running the Python File in Terminal

Now comes the exciting part - running our Python file. To do this, type the following command in Terminal and press Enter:


Voila! You should see Hello, World! printed in the Terminal. That's your Python program running!

The python3 command tells Terminal that you want to execute your code using Python version 3. The is the name of your Python file.

Troubleshooting - What if the Python File Doesn't Run?

Sometimes, you might encounter issues and the Python file might not run. Here are a couple of common problems and how to solve them:

Python isn't installed: If you see an error saying "command not found", this means Python isn't installed on your computer. You'll need to install Python before you can run Python files. You can download Python from the official Python website.

Wrong directory: If Terminal says "No such file or directory", this means you're not in the correct directory. Make sure you're in the same directory as your Python file. You can check your current directory by typing pwd in Terminal. If you're not in the right directory, navigate to the correct directory using the cd command.

Wrapping Up

Congratulations! You've just run your first Python file in Terminal on a Mac. This might seem like a small step, but in the world of programming, you've just taken a giant leap.

Remember, running into errors and troubleshooting is a part of the programming journey. It's not about getting it right the first time, but about learning and improving along the way. Just like baking, you might not get the perfect cake on your first try, but with practice and learning from your mistakes, you'll be baking masterpieces in no time.

Keep exploring, keep coding, and most importantly, have fun along the way. Happy Coding!