When I checked Python version as normal user, it is showing Python 2:

$ python --version
Python 2.7.15rc1

And when try to run as root :

# python --version
Python 3.6.7

Any suggestion how to remove this Python 2.7

  • 2
    If your main goal is to call python3 when you run python, you must define aliases in .bashrc instead of removing python. Messing up python may cause your system to break.
    – Kulfy
    Mar 1, 2019 at 5:16

1 Answer 1


You need to define the two different python versions

sudo update-alternatives --install /usr/bin/python python /usr/bin/python2.NN 1
sudo update-alternatives --install /usr/bin/python python /usr/bin/python3.NN 2

Then you need to choose which version should be defined as default

sudo update-alternatives --set python /usr/bin/python3.NN

Note! You need to check what version you have of python and replace NN with your version.

python2 --version
python3 --version
  • Nice to hear, can you mark it as an answer then?
    – MatsK
    Mar 2, 2019 at 16:19
  • 1
    Worked like a charm , thank you very much.
    – amolgautam
    Sep 1, 2019 at 0:53
  • but when I sudo apt install python-pip, it still installs with python2.7, not 3.
    – BMW
    Jan 20, 2020 at 0:28
  • 1
    ok, got the point, I have to use the package name for python 3 as well: sudo apt install python3-pip
    – BMW
    Jan 20, 2020 at 0:59
  • I get an error 'no alternatives for python' when I try this.
    – Bret Hess
    Nov 11, 2021 at 23:47

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