I installed Python following the directions in the accepted answer to "How do I install python 2.7.2 on Ubuntu?". Doing this involved "wget"ing a Python-2.7.9.tgz file in my ~/Downloads/ directory, unzipping it, navigating to the extracted directory, and running the configure and make commands.

I'm now left with a Python-2.7.9 folder in my ~/Downloads/ directory. If I execute the command

whereis python

I get the result

python: /usr/bin/python /usr/bin/python2.7 /etc/python /etc/python2.7 /usr/lib/python2.7 /usr/bin/X11/python /usr/bin/X11/python2.7 /usr/local/bin/python /usr/local/bin/python2.7 /usr/local/bin/python2.7-config /usr/local/lib/python2.7 /usr/include/python2.7 /usr/share/python /usr/share/man/man1/python.1.gz

which does not seem to include the ~/Downloads/Python-2.7.9 directory.

Does this mean that I can delete ~/Downloads/Python-2.7.9 without losing any functionality? If not, is there a better place to put that directory than in the Downloads folder?


It's "installed" so the ~/Downloads/Python-2.7.9 directory is safe to delete. However, you can keep it somewhere you like as backup.

  • Thank you. Could you explain what "installed" means in more detail for me? For example, I recently installed the Anaconda Python package, and "installed" for it means the "anaconda" folder that was created. Clearly "installed" for Python is not that folder that was left in Downloads. – Scott Emmons Jan 8 '15 at 23:17
  • I deleted the Python folder in my Downloads/ directory, and that changed the location of which python. Does that not mean that the folder is important for installation? – Scott Emmons Jan 8 '15 at 23:42
  • After your installed it, the files in the Downloads directory is somehow 'copied' to /usr/bin, /usr/lib and other location. The files in Download directory is just 'for you to install'. – leighton Jan 10 '15 at 23:55
  • Got it, thanks. Before deleting the folder, the directory of python which was run at the command python was ~/Downloads/Python-2.7.9, but after deleting the folder the directory is ~/anaconda/bin/python. Do you know how it is decided which of these locations is used? – Scott Emmons Jan 12 '15 at 18:00
  • The program itself. – leighton Jan 12 '15 at 23:49

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