Is Python pre-installed on every mac version? If so, how far does it go?

Also, I know in CentOS, its encouraged not to use the Python Pre-Installed and to actually use your own Python version (to maintain longevity)

Does this apply on Mac's? Or can I just use Python thats already installed like as if i just installed it myself


2 Answers 2


Python has been installed on the Mac far back, though some of the earlier versions of the OS will have particularly old versions of Python. You can discover the installed version of Python by running python -V at the command line. MacOS 10.11.6 has Python 2.7.10 installed.

If you want Python 3 or a later version of Python 2.7 then I would recommend using either Homebrew or Anaconda (if you want Python with a bunch of bells and whistles pre-installed) to install it. Homebrew and Anaconda currently install Python 2.7.12


Yes, python has been on MacOS (OS X) since day 1. Some parts of the OS rely on python scripts, and these have stayed the same for many years. For instance, the Automator actions for Combining and watermarking PDFs have python scripts at their core.

The benefit of writing for the system-installed version is that you know it will work on a wide range of Macs: I have written python scripts that work on every OS from Leopard (c. 2007) to Catalina, with no extra installations or modifications!

Python2 has now been end-of-lined, and Catalina is the last version to include it (so Apple say). Catalina comes with python3, but the OS may not come with any python version in the future.

IMO, it's easiest to download the installer package from python.org for updates to either python2 or python3.

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