I am experimenting with different Linux distros in VirtualBox and am currently using Pop!_OS 20.04 LTS.

I checked my python version in the terminal and it was 3.8.2, this version is also the latest in the software repositories. Looking at python.org/downloads we can see that currently, the latest version of python 3.8 is 3.8.5.

After a lot of search around the internet, I came up with these final solutions for upgrading python:

  1. If a higher version becomes available in the repos: I can manually install it using sudo apt install python3.8.5 and then using update-alternatives to link it to python3 (Con: Ubuntu software repos are VERY slow to upgrade to newer versions)
  2. Building from source using make, which took a lot of time and had the hassle of going through the list of dependencies and installing them. (Con: Time consuming and somewhat complex to new users)

My question comes down to this:

Aren't there any alternative ways of installing python on Linux? e.g. An official repository for Linux set up by python.org where the versions are updated regularly so Linux users don't have to wait months after a new release to upgrade their python.

  • I would go with solution 1, if your goal is to just have a newer Python version. If you need multiple versions (e.g. you need different versions as a developer) I would go with python-virtualenv, where you can easily maintain different version of Python and switch between them.
    – blissini
    Commented Aug 22, 2020 at 4:05

1 Answer 1


Welcome to the world of Linux.

Ways to achieve what you're asking for:

  1. Use Gentoo/Arch/LFS
  2. Compile Python from sources like you're already doing
  3. If don't want to mess with your system, use chroot or a VM
  • Yes... I've heard that Arch is fairly aggressive in keeping up with Python releases. Not the answer I was looking for but an answer nonetheless! Also, the VM solution is what I went with to ensure the process won't break anything.
    – FadeLights
    Commented Aug 22, 2020 at 15:02
  • @FadeLights I can confirm that the latest version in Arch Linux is python-3.8.5-1. Also, although Arch is an amazing distro in my opinion, it's undeniably not for everyone. I would check Manjaro (Arch-based) for a more user friendly experience. The release circle is quiet different though, so I cannot confirm that you'll find what you are looking for.
    – Rayleigh
    Commented Aug 23, 2020 at 8:57
  • @Rayleigh I agree. Arch is a wonderful distro, mainly because it offers you a ton of knowledge on the path of installing and maintaining it. There is no better distro than Arch for someone interested in learning Linux and having the latest software versions installed.
    – FadeLights
    Commented Aug 23, 2020 at 11:31

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