I installed the Python scipy stack using the following command taken from here

sudo apt-get install python-numpy python-scipy python-matplotlib ipython ipython-notebook python-pandas python-sympy python-nose

However, I can import sympy only in Python 2.7.6 which is the default Python version when I type in python in the terminal. When I start Python 3.4.0 by typing in python3, the import sympy statement throws the error

>>> import sympy
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<stdin>", line 1, in <module>
ImportError: No module named 'sympy'

How do I fix this problem?

3 Answers 3


You can use pip3 (which is just normal pip but in system's Python3 packages). Normally I would suggest avoiding using pip for installing stuff globally but given there are no packages for this that could overwrite the files, there's nothing to lose.

It's quick and simple:

sudo apt-get install python3-pip
sudo pip3 install sympy
  • Why using pip to install packages globally should be avoided?
    – ajay
    Jan 21, 2015 at 12:14
  • 2
    For example if you have the python-requests package installed and then sudo pip install requests, it'll overwrite files that apt installed and then if apt updates, it'll overwrite those files and it turns into a big mushy mess. The two systems will likely be using different versions of the Requests library too. If you need your own Python environment (which you might, I do for Django development) use virtualenv.
    – Oli
    Jan 21, 2015 at 12:21
  • 1
    ... Or python3 -m venv for Python 3
    – Oli
    Dec 14, 2015 at 15:11

In Ubuntu 16.04 and later, Sympy Computer Algebra System in Python can be installed from the default Ubuntu repositories. Open the terminal and type:

sudo apt install python3-sympy  

To install Sympy for Python 2.x in Ubuntu 18.04 and earlier run:

sudo apt install python-sympy

There's a backports and a nightly PPA with versions for all recent Ubuntu releases. Simply go

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nschloe/sympy-backports
sudo apt update
sudo apt install python3-sympy

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