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If I type the command which python, then I get:

Oliviers-iMac:~$ which -a python

If I then type python --version, how do I know which Python install I'm getting the version of? Are the two locations above 2 different Python installs?

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which python i.e. without the -a tells you which one will be used – Mark Mar 28 '14 at 15:23
I suppose which one gets executed depends on the order in $PATH, right? – Olivier de Broqueville Mar 28 '14 at 15:56
@Oliver yes correct – Mark Mar 28 '14 at 18:12

1 Answer 1

/System/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/2.7/bin/python is most likely a symlink.

readlink on a simlink will give you the target.

For example on my Mavericks installation I have following :

$readlink /System/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/2.7/bin/python
$readlink /System/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/2.7/bin/python2

Which means when I run python it actually runs /System/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/2.7/bin/python2.7

Also there is something funny, when running /System/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/2.7/bin/python2.7

Try this

>>> import sys
>>> print sys.executable 

Which will return this :

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Strange! I wonder why intermediary simlinks are required? Maybe it's because python 2.7 extends python 2 which extends python? – Olivier de Broqueville Mar 28 '14 at 14:59
By the way, when you say that /System/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/2.7/bin/python is most likely a simlink, do you mean that it points to /usr/bin/python? DO simlinks always point to binaries in /usr/bin? (Sorry for the noob questions!) – Olivier de Broqueville Mar 28 '14 at 15:07
symlink can point to anything anywere. File, directory, binary. There (a bit) like aliases. – Matthieu Riegler Mar 28 '14 at 15:14

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