Best Ide for Python on Linux

There is a lot of debate over the best Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) for Python out there, and people tend to hold strong to their own opinions. But which IDE is actually the best? Most would agree that it’s a combination of all of them.

Python is a general-purpose programming language for building anything; from backend web development, data analysis, artificial intelligence to scientific computing. It can also be used for developing productivity software, games, desktop apps, and beyond.

It’s easy to learn, has a clean syntax and indentation structure. And an IDE (Integrated Development Environment) can, to some extend, determine one’s programming experience when it comes to learning or developing using any language.

In this article, I’m going to explain why IDEs are necessary, and then suggest what I consider to be the top 5 best Python IDEs. Here we go!

Benefits of IDE for python

There are a lot of benefits of using Python IDE like developing a better quality code, debugging features, justifying why notebooks are handy, getting all the features like compiling and deploying, in one place by making it easier for the developer

An ideal IDE selection is purely based on the developer requirement like if a developer has to code in multiple languages or any highlighting of syntax or any product compilation is required or more extensibility and the integrated debugger is required or any drag-drop GUI layout is required or features like autocomplete and class browsers are required.

GNU Emacs

It is an open-source, cross-platform customizable text editor with support for different programming languages. It comes with a “Python Mode” feature that allows you to develop using Python. 

Features:

  • It highlights variables and constants differently with the Python keywords.
  • It supports bracket matching for statements like ifelif, for-loop, while-loop and, many more.
  • It supports smart indentation as required in Python.
  • It supports thousands of commands to use on its interface. Developers can also create their commands for different tasks.
GNU Emacs Python IDE
GNU Emacs Python IDE

KDevelop

It is a free, open-source, and cross-platform IDE that runs on macOS, Linux, and Windows. It supports a variety of features like debugging, editing, and code navigation for different programming languages.

Kdevelop comes with inbuilt parsers for languages like C, C++, Javascript, Objective-C and, OpenCL. It supports plugins for Python, Ruby, Perl, and many more.

Features:

  • It comes with a powerful text editor that supports code autocompletion, syntax highlighting, and smart indentation.
  • Support for GUI development. It comes integrated with the PYQT designer, which is a front-end tool for the Python Qt library. 
  • It supports easy project management techniques using tools like Cmake, Automake, Qmake for Qt library, etc.
  • Highlight variables and constants different from Python inbuilt keywords. 
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KDevelop Python IDE
KDevelop Python IDE

Vim

Vim is my #1 preferred IDE right from the college projects and even today because it makes tedious tasks like programming very easy and enjoyable. It’s not just only me but Vim is used by many developers and Linux users because it is a very fast and highly customizable IDE. More importantly, Vim makes debugging tasks easier and it has support for many tools and plug-ins.

Vim can be used as both standalone applications as well a command-line interface. Many new users might find it difficult to use initially but once you get used to it you will love programming on Vim.sudo apt-get install vim

Pyzo

Pyzo is an open-source programming environment based on Python. It is used conda to manage Python packages. It is a simple and interactive IDE but there is no compromise with its features. Some of the features include syntax highlighting, indentation guide, Matlab like UI, drag and drop files and directories, etc.

Pyzo also features interactive help, file browser and has support for all the major programming languages. Pyzo can be downloaded and installed from Software Centre or terminal command.

Pyzo is an open-source integrated development environment for Python. It supports Conda for easy package management. For Matlab users, Pyzo can be seen as a free alternative.

Earlier versions of Pyzo were distributed as an environment and a scientific development platform (Conda). Nowadays, Pyzo is released purely as an IDE, and you will have to install the Anaconda package yourself. Nevertheless, it is a simple and powerful system that even beginners can easily navigate through different tools.

Features:

  • Supports code autocompletion
  • It’s a cross-platform tool that runs on Windows, macOS, and Linux distros.
  • Supports bracket matching, which is useful for a large piece of code.
  • It comes with a powerful integrated debugger.
  • It works without the necessity of a Python interpreter

Atom

Atom — Top dog in source-code hosting and software version controlling
Image Source — Atom
  • Category: Code Editor
  • First Release Year: 2014
  • Platform Compatibility: Windows, macOS, Linux
  • Who It’s For: Beginner, Professional
  • Supporting Languages: Python, HTML, Java and 34 other languages.
  • Price: Free
  • Popular Companies using Atom (Python IDE) —
    Accenture, Hubspot, Figma, Lyft, and Typeform.

Developed by Github, the top dog in source-code hosting and software version controlling, Atom is a lightweight and cross-platform Code Editor for Python and many other programming languages. Atom provides a lot of features in the form of packages, that enhance its core features. It’s built on HTML, JavaScript, CSS, and Node.js, with the underlying framework being Electron. Features offered include:

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● Support for third-party packages via built-in Package Manager

● Supports developer collaboration

● Over 8000 feature and user experience-extending packages

● Support for multi-pane file access

● Smart code completion

● Customizability options

Advantages —

● Lightweight code editor

● Community-driven development and support

Disadvantages —

● Recent updates have increased RAM usage

IDLE

It comes top of the list because it’s the standard Python Development Environment. IDLE is an acronym for Integrated Development Environment. It’s a cross-platform application available for both Linux and Windows systems.

It is a simple IDE containing all the features needed to have Python running on your system. It is written in Python using the Tkinter library and is highly recommended for Python beginners.

Features:

  • Syntax highlighting in your Python code
  • Autocomplete feature
  • Automatic indentation for your code
  • Multi-window text editor support
  • An Integrated Python debugger
Python IDLE
Python IDLE

PyCharm

Pycharm is a free, powerful, cross-platform Python IDE highly customizable. Commonly referred to as “all in one package,” it comes with many inbuilt tools and features necessary for your Python development.

Features:

  • Code syntax and error highlighting
  • An integrated Python debugger
  • Easy and efficient code navigation. One can easily navigate between project files, classes, methods, etc.
  • Google App engine python development
  • Supports for various Python libraries like matplotlib, NumPy, and scipy
  • Supports for the common Python web frameworks; Django, Flask, and web2py

PyCharm is a very popular cross-platform Python IDE which comes in two editions namely community and professional edition. The community edition is free and open-source while the pro edition is paid one. It is a highly customizable and feature-rich IDE with features like Integrated Unit Testing and Python Debugger, error highlighting, code analysis, and many more which you can expect in IDE.

Pycharm has one of the best GUI as compared to other Python IDEs and could be a good choice for professional’s developers. It is available for the latest releases of Ubuntu under the Snap package and can be downloaded directly from Ubuntu Software Centre.

Jupyter

Jupyter — Open-source and cross-platform IDE
Image source — Jupyter
  • Category: IDE
  • First Release Year- February 2015
  • Browser Compatibility: Chrome, Firefox, Safari
  • Price: Free
  • Popular Companies of Using Jupyter Python IDE-
    Google, Bloomberg, Microsoft, IBM, and Soundcloud.
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Also known as Project Jupyter, it is an open-source and cross-platform IDE that many data scientists and analysts prefer over other tools. Perfect for working on technologies such as AI, ML, DL, along with several programming languages, Python included. Jupyter Notebooks offer seamless creation and sharing of code, text, and equations for various purposes, including analysis, visualization, and development. Features offered include:

● Code formatting and highlight

● Easy sharing via email, Dropbox

● Produces interactive output

● Plays well with Big Data

● Can be run from local and cloud machines

Advantages —

● Requires minimal setup

● Perfect for quick data analysis

Disadvantages —

● Inexperienced users may find Jupyter complicated

Screenshot for References-

Jupyter in Action

Wing Python IDE

Wing is a Linux Python developed by Wingware. It is a powerful and lightweight IDE designed for debugging, testing, and speed up the writing of Python code. Wing IDE comes in three versions; Wing 101, Wing Personal, and Wing Pro.

Just like the names suggests, these versions differ in terms of features and support.

  • Wing 101 is for Python beginners
  • Wing Personal is for students and general Python enthusiasts
  • Wing Pro is a commercial package for professional Python programmers
Wing IDE
Wing IDE

Features:

Note, these features vary from the different Wing packages with Wing pro having the best and most powerful features.

  • It comes with intelligence to monitor code syntax, errors, and indentation.
  • It is highly customizable, and developers can create shortcut keys and customize the preferences set.
  • It comes with a powerful debugger that can be launched within or outside the IDE.
  • It contains an extensive collection of various Python libraries and modules like; PyQt, Numpy, Flask, Google App Engine, Django, and many more.
  • It supports remote code debugging and excellent code navigation.

Eric

Eric is an open-source integrated development environment written and developed in Python. It is a cross-platform IDE with support for many programming languages including Python. Eric IDE is bundled with so many features which include code auto-completion, error highlighting, integrated Python debugger, advance search, syntax highlighting, etc.

Eric has a simple but highly customizable GUI with support for plug-ins and extensions. It also sports an integrated class browser which you will not find many IDEs.

Conclusion

Python is a high-level and easy-to-use programming language that provides lots of modules to make our lives easier. It can be used as a low-level system shell scripting as well as desktop application development.

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