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I'm working on Fedora 21 and, don't ask me why, but I have two versions of Python 2.x installed on it. I can tell that I have two different versions because when I call it from the terminal with "python", I get:

Python 2.7.9 (default, Feb 18 2017, 17:18:34)

[GCC 4.9.2 20150212 (Red Hat 4.9.2-6)] on linux2

Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.

I'd like to add that the version that I call with "python" is "/usr/local/bin/python". On the other hand, when I call it with "/usr/bin/python", I get:

Python 2.7.8 (default, Sep 24 2015, 18:25:44)

[GCC 4.9.2 20150212 (Red Hat 4.9.2-6)] on linux2

Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.

On top of that, they don't seem to have access to the same libraries/modules. For example, if I run a script using SciPy with "python" it raises an error, while that's not the case if I run it with "/usr/bin/python".

So, how do I get rid of the version running when I call it with "python" and keep the one that I call with "/usr/bin/python"? Moreover, I'd like to call the one that I'm curently calling with "/usr/bin/python" with a simple "python".

2 Answers 2

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You could attempt to remove the one under /usr/local/bin/python by finding out what RPM installed it:

rpm -f /usr/local/bin/python

Once you have one version only it will be the one called.

Two other options are:
a) Modify your PATH variable so that /usr/bin comes before /usr/local/bin
b) Alias 'python' to '/usr/bin/python'

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  • Thanks. I did "rpm -qf /usr/local/bin/python" and I got "file /usr/local/bin/python is not owned by any package". How should I proceed to uninstall it?
    – Pipicito
    Commented Jun 10, 2017 at 16:50
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    I'm this case it could probably just be removed. However, /use/local is often where people install software and scripts manually. Someone may have put it there for a reason. Another option would be to simply rename this one to 'python279' (or anything other than 'python').
    – LJKims
    Commented Jun 10, 2017 at 20:27
  • And what about the fact that "/usr/local/bin/python" is unable to see modules that "/usr/bin/python" can see? What is the explanation for that?
    – Pipicito
    Commented Jun 10, 2017 at 20:58
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    Python uses a search path similar to the system shell. Most of it is built in to the python executable. You can view it interactively: # python, >>> import sys, >>> sys.path, See: docs.python.org/3/library/sys.html#sys.path
    – LJKims
    Commented Jun 11, 2017 at 1:33
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There's no real reason to delete one of the Pythons (other applications may depend on it).

To use /usr/bin/python by default, make sure that /usr/bin comes before /usr/local/bin in your $PATH.

You may investigate this with echo $PATH and it's possible to simply add /usr/bin to the front of that value with

PATH="/usr/bin:$PATH"

in your shell startup files. Having /usr/bin listed multiple times in $PATH is not an issue.

If you write Python scripts, just make sure that the shebang-line reads

#!/usr/bin/python

and that the script is executable. This will make it pick up the Python interpreter that you want.

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