How to Install IDLE Python IDE on Ubuntu

Python is one of the most successful programming languages existing. One of the reasons is how flexible it is and the large number of associated tools. One of them is IDLE. So welcome to this post where you will learn how to install IDLE on Ubuntu 22.04.

According to the project website

IDLE is Python’s Integrated Development and Learning Environment.

Now a Learning Environment? Well, this kind of applications are elementary graphical development environments that allow the user to improve his programming practices in a language.

IDLE is also an interactive environment in which you can execute single Python instructions. So, it is good for beginners who want to start with Python and can evaluate parts of code.

Some of the main features of IDLE are:

  • Coded in 100% pure Python, using the tkinter GUI toolkit
  • Cross-platform: works mostly the same on Windows, Unix, and macOS
  • Python shell window (interactive interpreter) with colorizing of code input, output, and error messages
  • Debugger with persistent breakpoints, stepping, and viewing of global and local namespaces
  • Configuration, browsers, and other dialogs

IDLE has two modes or “windows”: interactive mode and editor mode. The interactive mode displays an IDLE instance where you can execute code snippets in a console-like fashion. On the other hand, the editor mode allows you to use it as a simple IDE, that is, as a code editor with special features for Python.

Install IDLE Python IDE on Ubuntu

In the case of Windows and macOS, IDLE is present as soon as Python is installed. However, in the case of Linux, it is distributed as a separate application that needs to be installed.

Fortunately, IDLE is present in most of the major Linux distributions repositories, so the process will be simple.

The first thing you have to do is to open a terminal and update the entire operating system.

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade

As on Linux, Python is a major component of the system, it will already be installed, but to install IDLE just run the following command

sudo apt install idle3 idle3-tools


Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree... Done
Reading state information... Done
The following additional packages will be installed:
  blt idle idle-python3.10 libtk8.6 python3-tk tk8.6-blt2.5
Suggested packages:
  blt-demo tk8.6 tix python3-tk-dbg
The following NEW packages will be installed:
  blt idle idle-python3.10 idle3 idle3-tools libtk8.6 python3-tk tk8.6-blt2.5
0 upgraded, 8 newly installed, 0 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
Need to get 1,891 kB of archives.
After this operation, 6,739 kB of additional disk space will be used.
Do you want to continue? [Y/n] 

When finished, you can run it from the main menu or by executing this command


Using IDLE on Ubuntu

As soon as you run it, you will see this screen

IDLE running on Ubuntu
IDLE running on Ubuntu

By default, you enter the interactive or console mode. Here you can run something simple like

print("Welcome to ImagineLinux")

Once you press Enter, you will notice that the instruction

Using IDLE to run some sentences
Using IDLE to run some sentences

Editing Python code with IDLE

As said, IDLE can also be an interesting IDE for Python. If you want to edit a python file with IDLE, you can do it from the main menu File > Open when you choose the file, you will be able to edit it.

Another option is to create a new file. For this, you have two options: pressing the keys CTRL + N or going to the main menu File > New File.

Creating a new file with IDLE
Creating a new file with IDLE

A new blank window will pop up with the editor active. Start creating some python code.

For example,

website = "Imagine Linux"
print("My favorite website about Linux? It is " + website)

Save it with a name and extension py.

To run it, just click on the menu Run > Run Module or simply press the F5 key.

Sample Output

Running some python files
Running some python files

Reviewing IDLE options on Ubuntu

IDLE is very customizable, so it is worth taking a look at its options. To access them, go to Options > Configure IDLE.

There you will see many things. If you go to the Highlights tab, you can access options for how you want the editor to look.

Customize IDLE on Ubuntu
Customize IDLE on Ubuntu

You can customize the existing theme or use one pre-built for you.

In the Windows tab, you can modify the Python indexing or choose which mode will be displayed by default.

Windows Preferences
Windows Preferences

Finally, you can in the Extensions tab manage everything related to extensions. You can add a new one or disable the existing one.

Extensions Manager on IDLE
Extensions Manager on IDLE

As you can notice, it is simple and intuitive.

Uninstall IDLE on Ubuntu

If you no longer want to use IDLE, you can remove it from the system. To achieve this, you can run

sudo apt remove idle3

Remember that IDLE is not part of Python on Linux. So removing it will not cause any problems.


IDLE is a very efficient Python tool that can help novices in learning Python. As it is quite resource efficient, you can also use it on low-power computers.

Now that you know how to install IDLE Python IDE on Ubuntu, you can use it by yourself and notice its advantages.

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