How To Install Python 3 on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

Install Python 3 on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

In this tutorial, we will show you how to install and configure Python 3 on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Python is an open-source and beginner-friendly programming language. Ubuntu 16.04 and Ubuntu 16.10 come with two versions of Python, Python 2.7, and Python 3.5. At the time of this writing, the latest stable version of Python is 3.6, released on December 23rd, 2016. If you need to use python3 as part of Python application dependency, there are several ways to install python3 on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS.

This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you the step-by-step installation of Python 3 on a Ubuntu 16.04 (Xenial Xerus) server.


  • A server running one of the following operating systems: Ubuntu 16.04 (Xenial Xerus).
  • It’s recommended that you use a fresh OS install to prevent any potential issues.
  • SSH access to the server (or just open Terminal if you’re on a desktop).
  • A non-root sudo user or access to the root user. We recommend acting as a non-root sudo user, however, as you can harm your system if you’re not careful when acting as the root.

Install Python 3 on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

Step 1. First, make sure that all your system packages are up-to-date by running the following apt-get commands in the terminal.

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

Step 2. Installing Python 3.

Method 1. Install Python 3.6 on Ubuntu 16.04 from PPA.

You can install Python 3.6 on Ubuntu 16.04  using this PPA:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:jonathonf/python-3.6
sudo apt update
sudo apt install python3.6

You can check the python version on Ubuntu from the command line:

python --version

Method 2. Installing Python 3.6 on Ubuntu 16.10 from Repository

Use the following command to install Python 3:

sudo apt update
sudo apt install python3.6

Then check the Python version:

python3.6 -V

Method 3. Compile and Install Python 3.6 on Ubuntu 16.04

First, we need to install some build dependencies using the commands below:

sudo apt install build-essential checkinstall
sudo apt install libreadline-gplv2-dev libncursesw5-dev libssl-dev libsqlite3-dev tk-dev libgdbm-dev libc6-dev libbz2-dev

Then, download Python 3.6 from the source:

tar xvf Python-3.6.0.tar.xz

Now cd into the source directory, configure the built environment, and install:

cd Python-3.6.0/
sudo make altinstall

Once the process is complete, we can check the version of Python 3 that is installed in the system by typing:


Congratulations! You have successfully installed Python. Thanks for using this tutorial for installing Python 3 on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS  (Xenial Xerus) system. For additional help or useful information, we recommend you check the official Python website.

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