I have recently started learning Python and thus have learned that Ubuntu (10.10) uses Python 2.6. It seems to me that Python 3.X is still rather unpopular in the Linux/Ubuntu community.

Why is that?

Edit April 30, 2012
Python 3.2 is not shipped by default in Ubuntu. There are plans to make Python 3.2 default in 12.10, however, and make it the only version shipped by then. Python 2.7 will then not be on the default ISO anymore. Note: this is only envisaged, not certain yet.


  • Is 3.2 shipped with 11.10? It still appears to be 2.7, although 3.x is available in the repositories.
    – James
    Commented Mar 17, 2012 at 20:47
  • 1
    As a matter of fact BOTH are shipped. If you want to use python 2.7, just type $ python in your terminal, for using 3.2 do $ python3.
    – Ingo
    Commented Mar 18, 2012 at 12:01
  • If I type python3 I get The program 'python3' is currently not installed. You can install it by typing: sudo apt-get install python3-minimal
    – James
    Commented Mar 18, 2012 at 17:12
  • Can you try $ python 3.2 then? If that does not work I am mistaken, sorry. But in 12.04 there surely is Pyton 3 inlcuded.
    – Ingo
    Commented Mar 19, 2012 at 8:28
  • wefearchange.org/2011/05/…
    – Ingo
    Commented Mar 19, 2012 at 8:29

3 Answers 3


I don't think Python 3 is less popular, it just haven't been around as long..

For a language to be used adoption time is needed, version 3.* is so much different from 2.* that you can't use the modules/extensions without changing them beforehand. Therefore all modules that the current infrastructure depends on needs to be ported python 3.*

"If you don't know which version to use, start with Python 2.7; more existing third party software is compatible with Python 2 than Python 3 right now." -Python.org download page.

Se also: Python 2 or Python 3 and Wikipedia

  • 1
    Some news: Python 3 is now shipped!
    – Ingo
    Commented Oct 6, 2011 at 10:53

see http://wiki.python.org/moin/Python2orPython3


Because Python 3 is still under development and until now a lot of libraries are not ported to Python 3.

  • 5
    Python 3 is not under development, it's as released as 2.6 (so is 3.1). The real issue is that a lot of libraries are not ported yet.
    – Mike Axiak
    Commented Nov 1, 2010 at 16:28
  • 1
    Python 3 is under development... that doesn't mean that there can't be releases that can be considered stable. but i wouldn't consider 3.2 alpha 3 stable as you imply. Commented Nov 1, 2010 at 16:43

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