I'm just starting to learn python. For this I want to install the latest version on Ubuntu 18.04. I have accessed the page https://www.python.org/downloads/.

Python 3.8.3 should be the current verison, right? I entered the following commands and expected phyton 3.8 to be installed on my computer.

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get install python3.8

Unfortunately, this is not the case. At least this request shows me a different version number.

Python 3.6.9 (default, Apr 18 2020, 01:56:04) 
[GCC 8.4.0] on linux
Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.

Maybe I'm not reading it right?

What do the individual numbers mean and why can't I see 3.8 anywhere?

  • 2
    As for the individual numbers, you have Python version 3.6.9 built on Apr 18 2020, at 01:56:04 using GCC 8.4.0.
    – muru
    Jun 21, 2020 at 9:07
  • 2
    What does running python3.8 in place of python3 give you?
    – gmatht
    Jun 21, 2020 at 9:16
  • 1
    fwiw, 18.04 (bionic) should have python 3.8 available ( packages.ubuntu.com/bionic-updates/python/python3.8 ). But since you may also have python 3.6, 3.7 installed, you'll have to invoke it explicitly via python3.8
    – michael
    Jun 21, 2020 at 9:21
  • Running python3.8 shows me this: Python 3.8.0 (default, Oct 28 2019, 16:14:01) [GCC 8.3.0] on linux
    – astridx
    Jun 21, 2020 at 9:25
  • Thank you for all your answers. With this informations it is clear to me :)
    – astridx
    Jun 21, 2020 at 9:27

1 Answer 1


Ubuntu does not distribute the latest packages, they distribute packages that have been tested and known to work together. See Why don't the Ubuntu repositories have the latest versions of software? for details.

You have specifically requested that python3.8 be installed, but incase some packages rely on the older python3 being installed python3 will still default to python 3.6.9. To specify that you really want to run python 3.8 run python3.8 on the command line in place of python3.

  • Thank you for all your answers. With this informations it is clear to me :)
    – astridx
    Jun 21, 2020 at 9:27

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