Introduction to Python 3

The Python 3 package contains the Python development environment. This is useful for object-oriented programming, writing scripts, prototyping large programs or developing entire applications.



Python 3 was installed in LFS. The only reason to rebuild it here is if optional modules are needed, or to upgrade this package.

This package is known to build and work properly using an LFS 12.1 platform.



If upgrading to a new Python-3 minor version (for example, from Python-3.11.x to Python-3.12.0), you will need to reinstall any Python3 modules you have installed. You should also reinstall packages that generate Python3 modules including gobject-introspection-1.78.1, libxml2-2.12.5, opencv-4.9.0, Graphviz-10.0.1 (if swig is installed).

Before you upgrade, you can get a list of modules installed with pip3 list. The list may be incomplete as some Python modules are not installed with pip3, for example the cracklib module installed by CrackLib-2.9.11. Use ls /usr/lib/python3.minor/site-packages for a comprehensive list.

The Python modules from LFS will also have to be reinstalled: flit-core, wheel, setuptools, meson, MarkupSafe, and Jinja2.

Package Information

Additional Optional Download

Python 3 Dependencies



BlueZ-5.72, GDB-14.1 (required for some tests), Valgrind-3.22.0, and libmpdec

Optional (For Additional Modules)

libnsl-2.0.1, Tk-8.6.13, and Berkeley DB (deprecated)

Editor Notes:

Installation of Python 3

Install Python 3 by running the following commands:

CXX="/usr/bin/g++"               \
./configure --prefix=/usr        \
            --enable-shared      \
            --with-system-expat  \
            --enable-optimizations &&

To test the result, issue LC_ALL=en_US.UTF-8 make test. Some tests may need an Internet connection. Two tests named test_xml_etree and test_xml_etree_c are known to fail with expat-2.6.0 or newer.

Now, as the root user:

make install

If upgrading and the documentation has been downloaded, optionally install it as the root user:

install -v -dm755 /usr/share/doc/python-3.12.2/html

tar --strip-components=1  \
    --no-same-owner       \
    --no-same-permissions \
    -C /usr/share/doc/python-3.12.2/html \
    -xvf ../python-3.12.2-docs-html.tar.bz2

Command Explanations

CXX="/usr/bin/g++" ./configure ...: Avoid an annoying message during configuration.

--with-system-expat: This switch enables linking against the system version of Expat.

--with-dbmliborder=bdb:gdbm:ndbm: Use this switch if you want to build the Python DBM Module against Berkeley DB instead of GDBM.

--enable-optimizations: This switch enables stable, but expensive, optimizations.

--with-lto: This optional switch enables thick Link Time Optimization. Unusually, it creates a much larger /usr/lib/python3.12/config-3.12-<arch>-linux-gnu/libpython3.12.a with a small increase in the time to compile Python. Run-time results do not appear to show any benefit from doing this.

Configuring Python 3

In order for python3 to find the installed documentation, create the following version independent symlink:

ln -svfn python-3.12.2 /usr/share/doc/python-3

and add the following environment variable to the individual user's or system's profile:

export PYTHONDOCS=/usr/share/doc/python-3/html


Installed Programs: 2to3 (symlink) and 2to3-3.12, idle3 (symlink) and idle3.12, pip3 and pip3.12, pydoc3 (symlink) and pydoc3.12, python3 (symlink) and python3.12, and python3-config (symlink) and python3.12-config
Installed Libraries: and
Installed Directories: /usr/include/python3.12, /usr/lib/python3.12, and /usr/share/doc/python-3.12.2

Short Descriptions


is a wrapper script that opens a Python aware GUI editor. For this script to run, you must have installed Tk before Python so that the Tkinter Python module is built


is the Python documentation tool


is an interpreted, interactive, object-oriented programming language


is a version-specific name for the python program