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Does anyone know of an overview that would document on which (recent) UNIX distributions Python is available by default, i.e. part of the default installation?

PS: Answers from StackOverflow, before the question was moved here:

  • Don't know for all Unix OSes, but for Linux you can always check distrowatch.org. But this is not the right site to post this kind of question: please move this to unix.stackexchange.com – vstrien 2 hours ago
  • I can't think of any distributions where it isn't installed by default. Many basic system tools are written in Python these days. – Daniel Roseman 1 hour ago
  • It is NOT installed by default in LFS... – Oz123 1 hour ago
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"NOT installed by default in LFS" Well, that's what you'd expect from a (meta)distribution that has nothing installed by default, right? LFS is about building everything on your own. No "by default" apps. No "by default" GUI. Just bare core system. – rozcietrzewiacz Nov 17 '11 at 15:13
I agree with @rozcietrzewiacz but I would like to add that I don't really consider LFS a "distribution", since they're not distributing anything but instructions and a few patches; as I recall, you download the sources from the projects' web sites directly. – Kevin Nov 17 '11 at 15:19
Good point, @Kevin. I couldn't find a better word, so I called it a (meta)distribution, as Gentoo calls itself. – rozcietrzewiacz Nov 17 '11 at 15:24
up vote 8 down vote accepted

Just looking at the systems available to me here:

  • Red Hat Linux and its close derivatives (CentOS, Scientific Linux, Oracle Linux...) will always have Python installed since the installer and many core tools are written in Python.

  • Ubuntu has had Python installed by default since at least version 8.04.

  • Debian currently ships with Python installed by default.

  • Mac OS X has shipped with Python installed by default going back to at least 10.3.

  • OpenIndiana currently ships with Python installed by default. I assume that means Solaris also does, but I do not have a system here to test.

Python is not installed by default in any of the BSDs, unless you count OS X. You may well find that it is available on a BSD system because it was added after the system was installed. If not, it is available through the default package system in all cases:

  • FreeBSD includes Python in the Ports system: /usr/ports/lang/python

  • OpenBSD includes Python in its package system: sudo pkg_add python

  • NetBSD includes Python in its pkgsrc system, in lang/python*

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Solaris 10 and 11 definitely include python in their default installation. Python is even a mandatory component in the latter given the fact various tools are relying on it including the new packaging commands (pkg, packagemanager, ...) and the boot environment administration cli (beadm). – jlliagre Nov 17 '11 at 22:03
I can confirm Oracle Solaris 11 comes with Python installed by default (version 2.6.4) – NullUser Nov 17 '11 at 22:46

Daniel Roseman got it right, i think all major distributions have python installed by default as its used for many (if not most) applications for the Gnome/KDE desktop enviroments (at least).

See this answer on a similar question on StackOverflow.

Also, this page of the Python documentation, says pratically the same thing:

Python comes preinstalled on most Linux distributions, and is available as a package on all others.

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X windows, let alone Gnome or KDE, is not installed by default on any serious server dist'n. If you have a box serving some vanilla LAMP site, you are rather likely not to have any use for Python. – Charles Stewart Dec 18 '11 at 11:23

On Gentoo, Python is one of the very few things that need to be contained in an install, because its core package management system, portage, is written in Python+bash.

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