Python editors on Raspberry Pi

The Raspberry Pi can be an excellent choice for developers or hobbyist programmers as a small and lightweight workstation. Python is already installed by default on the Raspberry Pi, if you are running the default Raspberry Pi OS. Despite its small size, the Raspberry Pi contains hardware that is plenty sufficient to run a Python IDE so you can crank out your Python code. Unfortunately, some editors do not have ARM support, so our choices are slightly smaller on the Raspberry Pi.

In this tutorial, we will go over a few different Python editors that can be installed on a Raspberry Pi. We will also cover the installation instructions for each application. Take your pick from the Python code editors below and you can turn your Raspberry Pi into a development workstation.

In this tutorial you will learn:

  • List of Python editors that can be used on Raspberry Pi
Python editors on Raspberry Pi
Python editors on Raspberry Pi
Software Requirements and Linux Command Line Conventions
Category Requirements, Conventions or Software Version Used
System Raspberry Pi
Software PyCharm, Thonny, Mu, Visual Studio Code, Sublime
Other Privileged access to your Linux system as root or via the sudo command.
Conventions # – requires given linux commands to be executed with root privileges either directly as a root user or by use of sudo command
$ – requires given linux commands to be executed as a regular non-privileged user

Python editors on Raspberry Pi




Here are some of our top picks for Python editors on Linux. Which Python editor is right for you? Almost all of the below Python editors are available in the default Raspberry Pi OS distribution repositories. Give them a try. You might be surprised.

PyCharm

PyCharm is a graphical IDE (integrated development environment) that can be installed on Raspberry Pi. Many Python programmers enjoy using PyCharm because it can be used to analyze code, debug programs, and is integrated with Git and other version control systems, as well as web development applications. PyCharm is developed by JetBrains. It is free and open source, or at least the community edition is.

PyCharm features intelligent autocompletion to help you boost your programming productivity. It also has PEP8 checks, testing assistance, smart refactorings, and a host of inspections, all to help you increase your Python quality.

PyCharm can be downloaded from the official website.

Thonny

Thonny is a Python IDE specifically geared towards beginner programmers. It comes installed by default on the latest versions of Raspberry Pi OS, so you can find it within the Programming menu inside of the application launcher.

Thonny comes with several features to help a beginner programmer get to know the Python language, including a built in debugger and expression evaluation. The interface is simple and straightforward, which makes Python seem a lot less daunting when first getting started. Even seasoned Python programmers like Thonny for its simplicity and distraction free interface.

To install Thonny on Raspberry Pi:

$ sudo apt install thonny


Mu

Mu is another simple Python IDE meant for beginners. It is simple and straightforward to use. Mu comes with a debugger, REPL for live coding, the ability to plot data from your script, and a code checker which will parse your whole script for potential problems.

It comes installed by default on Raspberry Pi OS, so you can access it under the Programming submenu within the application launcher. It is great for beginners or seasoned programmers that want a simple and no frills Python editor.

To install Mu editor on Raspberry Pi:

$ sudo apt install mu-editor

Visual Studio Code

Visual Studio Code or VSCode is a text editor developed by Microsoft that supports many popular programming languages such as Go, Java, JavaScript, Node.js, Python, C and C++. It is a directory based, language agnostic source code editor which focuses on directories rather than projects and has many extensions available for it.

VSCode’s feature set includes bracket matching, syntax highlighting, code folding, linting, debugging, and built in version control via Git, Subversion or Perforce. Ever since the initial release of VSCode in 2015, it has become an increasingly popular programming tool amongst users of all desktop operating systems including GNU/Linux. Our favorite features are its support for a wide variety of programming languages, its focus on directories rather than projects, and the huge amount of handy features built in.

To install Visual Studio Code on Raspberry Pi:

$ sudo apt install code

Sublime

Sublime has one of the nicest looking interfaces of any GUI text editor. It has syntax highlighting for any common programming language, including Python, and makes it very easy to find the code you are looking to work with, even featuring an overview on the right side of the screen. The default theme looks great and has become really common to see on a lot of developers’ screens.

The application can be a bit tricky to use, just because it has so many features. Even if you go beyond Python programming are using it for simple document editing purposes, you are sure to simplify your workflow with Sublime. What we like the most about it is its sleek and customizable interface, its ability to quickly find files or code you want to work with, and that it allows you to edit multiple sections at once.

To install Sublime on Raspberry Pi:

$ wget -qO - https://download.sublimetext.com/sublimehq-pub.gpg | gpg --dearmor | sudo tee /etc/apt/trusted.gpg.d/sublimehq-archive.gpg
$ echo "deb https://download.sublimetext.com/ apt/stable/" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/sublime-text.list
$ sudo apt update
$ sudo apt install sublime-text

Closing Thoughts




In this tutorial, we learned about some top picks for Python editors available for Raspberry Pi. Of course, many other Python editors exist, but this list should steer you in the right direction for picking a Python editor that suits you best.



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