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First things first, let's install python, a nice editor, and pip (a tool to install python packages easily):
Then, we need virtualenv to create a virtual environment where our python configuration can differ from the one used in other directories. This is pretty useful to manage dependencies cleanly.
I recommend this good tutorial about virtualenv.
sudo pip install virtualenv mkdir virtualenv_1
virtualenv_1 will be our virtual environment.
virtualenv virtualenv_1 cd virtualenv_1
we activate this environment when we want to use it for a programming project for instance or to modify it (e.g., add python packages)
The prompt changes to show that we are in our virtual environment. Let's install yolk to list the python packages available in the virtual environment.
pip install yolk yolk -l
We obtain a short list of packages
Python - 2.6.6 - active development (/usr/lib/python2.6/lib-dynload) distribute - 0.6.10 - active pip - 0.7.2 - active wsgiref - 0.1.2 - active development (/usr/lib/python2.6) yolk - 0.4.3 - active
Finally, we check the bin/activate script of our virtualenv to verify the value of the PYTHONPATH environment variable.