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Compile newer Python version on Ubuntu

• Linux, Python, and Ubuntu • Comments
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Most of my “second use” platforms, like Test VMs or laptops I rarely use, are running on Ubuntu LTS versions. This enables me using those devices for a long duration without investing too much maintenanc time to keeping them up to date. The downside however is slightly aged software. In this special case, I needed Python >= 2.7.9 for its improved TLS handling, but Ubuntu 14.04 (Trusty Tahr) only delivers 2.7.6. I’d rather not upgrade the systems Python implementation, as it could possibly break some system scripts. So I wanted to have another Python installation beside my systems Python. Here’s how to do it.

  # 1. Install dependencies

  sudo apt-get install build-essential checkinstall \

    libreadline-gplv2-dev libncursesw5-dev libssl-dev \

    libsqlite3-dev tk-dev libgdbm-dev libc6-dev libbz2-dev
  # 2. Get Python (you should probably check the MD5sum, but I ignore that step here)

  curl https://www.python.org/ftp/python/2.7.10/Python-2.7.10.tgz | tar xzvf -
  # 3. ./configure as you like it

  cd Python-2.7.10 && ./configure --with-ensurepip=yes --enable-ipv6
  # 4. make an "install besides an install"

  sudo make altinstall
  # 5. If you compiled Python with pip, do an upgrade

  sudo /usr/local/bin/pip2.7 install --upgrade pip

This will place this new Python installation into the directory tree of /usr/local/.

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Afterwards you can simply call your script with the binary or point the shebang to it like that:

#!/usr/local/bin/python2.7

import requests

do.something(nice)

Fantastic! No more “Error: SSLError: [Errno 1] _ssl.c:510: error:14077438:SSL routines:SSL23_GET_SERVER_HELLO:tlsv1 alert internal error” when using LinkChecker.

Thanks to Rahul from tecadmin.net, where I found most of the instructions in this post.

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