I installed anaconda and run 'sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get dist-upgrade' on an Ubuntu 16.04 system. I upgraded pip inside an Anaconda environment and also used the 'sudo apt-get autoremove' command as well but not sure if those are related to the problem. So the problem is this:

enter image description here

For some reason the python3 symlink is dead (I'm assuming it previously pointed at python3.6). Is it safe for me to simply use update-alternatives to point the python3 symlink at /usr/bin/python3.5?

Thanks any help appreciated.

Edit: Also note that I found the Jonathonf PPA is being used on this system to get Python3.6. I found information on the internet that this repo is no longer active. Could that be the soure of the problem?

1 Answer 1


Confirm the python version with

python -V

and confirm the existence of the python binaries

  • /usr/bin/python3*
  • /usr/bin/python2*


sudo update-alternatives --install /usr/bin/python python /usr/bin/python3.6 2
sudo update-alternatives --install /usr/bin/python python /usr/bin/python3.5 3

Once you have these options, try

sudo update-alternatives --config python

to select the best option from the list.

you may get something like this

$ sudo update-alternatives --config python
There are 2 choices for the alternative python (providing /usr/bin/python).

  Selection    Path                Priority   Status
* 0            /usr/bin/python2.7   2         auto mode
  1            /usr/bin/python3.6   2         manual mode
  2            /usr/bin/python3.5   3         manual mode

Press <enter> to keep the current choice[*], or type selection number: 0
  • When I run 'python -V' I get: 'Python 2.7.12'. In my /usr/bin folder I have 2.7 and 3.5 binaries. The 'python3' symlink is red and seems to be dead. Can I still run the 'update-alternatives' command you suggest even though python3.6 binary is not in /usr/bin?
    – Kane
    Jul 4, 2020 at 5:11
  • The output i included is just an example. I suggest you try the commands with python2.7 and python3.5, if after that you need python3.6 i suggest you install it or re-install it with apt. Jul 4, 2020 at 6:21

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .