[AstroPy] Enthought Canopy vs. another distribution for Mac?

Ries, Paul A (3265-Affiliate) Paul.A.Ries@jpl.nasa....
Tue Apr 30 10:21:35 CDT 2013


If you're familiar with linux package administration, I recommend using MacPorts ( http://www.macports.org/ ) to install your python.  It's very similar to the apt or yum system used on linux boxes.  It leaves your system python untouched, but lets you install pretty much any free python package out there and allows you to keep everything up to date. (It also works with plenty of other free and astronomically useful software e.g. gcc, gfortran ,editors).  It also provides simple instruction with installation for how to manage which python is used by default.   I dabbled in Enthought and the system python, but I've found Macports to more reliably reproduce the pain-free python experience from linux.

For more on installing with macports:

Also, an aside, don't fret much about clobbering CASA.  It will happily stay in its own little python world regardless of what python you're installing.


On Apr 30, 2013, at 7:20 AM, Matt Davis wrote:

Hi Eric, I generally recommend the Anaconda distro: http://continuum.io/downloads.html It's open source and supports setting up different environments, and it's nicely self contained so it won't mess with anything else you have installed. You can set it up on both Mac and Linux without root.


On Apr 30, 2013, at 10:13 AM, "Eric L. N. Jensen" <ejensen1@swarthmore.edu<mailto:ejensen1@swarthmore.edu>>


I've gradually been making the switch both to using Python more for my data analysis, and also doing more of my work on a Mac rather than Linux.  So I've decided it's time to get my Mac python distribution(s) in order (there are several of them running around on my machine, from various packages) and start fresh with a new python distro that I'll maintain as my main work environment.

The page at http://python4astronomers.github.io/installation/python_install.html recommends Enthought Python as a good place to start, but I find that this has now changed to a different environment called Canopy.  Any opinions on whether I should install Canopy, or choose a different distro?

A few pieces of information that may be helpful in answering this:

1.  I'm running Mac OSX 10.7, 64-bit.
2.  I'm comfortable installing/building software from the command line (as root or not).
3.  BUT all of my installation/sys-admin experience is with non-python software, and much of it on Linux.  I don't have any experience with managing a python environment, especially with multiple python installations, and I don't want to mess up the system python install (or the internal python installs for other software I have installed, like CASA).
4.  I *do* qualify for the Enthought academic license, so I can use that rather than the free version.
5.  If this goes well, I'd probably like to set up a similar environment on my linux machine as well, though this is relatively low priority if otherwise there's a good Mac-only solution.

Thanks in advance for your help with this - let me know if there's other info that would be useful.

Eric Jensen

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