I figure that there must be a way for me to run python 2.6 and 2.7 on the same computer. I've got a program that requires 2.7, but ArcGIS 10.0 requires 2.6. I'd like to be able to run both programs at the same time.

I've installed both and in the geoprocessing settings set the default editor to C:\Python26\ArcGIS10.0\Lib\idlelib.idlepyw. Now when I right click in ArcToolbox, select edit, the IDLE 2.6 editor comes up but the script won't appear like it formerly did.

I can view the script in IDLE 2.7 but that doesn't do me any good.

  • I recognize you as an ArcView old-timer, Tom. Welcome to our site!
    – whuber
    Jan 15, 2013 at 19:41
  • Is there a reason you can't upgrade to ArcGIS 10.1 which uses 2.7 natively? I.e., you have programs that run in 2.6 and they break in 2.7?
    – Baltok
    Jan 15, 2013 at 21:46
  • Thanks Bill. I'm excited to be on Stack Exchange. It seems like the community is MUCH better than the Esri forums (I have to say that Esri used to have a decent forum and they trashed that with their new setup). I also like the idea that it can be cross-platform cross-software but doesn't have to be.
    – Tom Dilts
    Jan 16, 2013 at 0:24
  • Baltok, We don't have 10.1 yet. Unfortunately that has to wait until next summer.
    – Tom Dilts
    Jan 16, 2013 at 0:25
  • @Baltok Here is a great stackoverflow question looking for good tutorials. Something for everyone I would wager. stackoverflow.com/questions/5844869/…
    – Jay Laura
    Jan 16, 2013 at 1:32

2 Answers 2


When you say 'same time' do you mean in the same process? If not, I would suggest using virtualenv. This is a python tool that allows you to have multiple installations of python with their own site-packages.

pip install virtualenv or easy_install virtualenv

Then when you create a virualenv to work in use the -p path/to/python/2.7. This tells the virtualenv which python to use. If you like this setup I would also check out virtualenvwrapper. It is a set of shell scripts (mainly) that manages your environments for you.

I wanted to update this answer with a new multi-version workflow that I have been enjoying. The folks over at continuum.io have released conda. So far, this is an even easier experience than using virtual environments or virtual environments with the virtualenv wrapper.

  • Jay Laura, I'm going to give virtualenv a shot. It sounds like the way to go.
    – Tom Dilts
    Jan 16, 2013 at 0:27

Have a look at this post: http://mapoholic.wordpress.com/2012/06/28/configure-pyscripter-qgis/ Just make sure you change the reg file to your settings

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