Introduction to Python (Part I)

Python is a high-level, general-purpose, interpreted programming language. It can be used to do some different purpose: from managing large data, simple to complex calculations to very specific objectives by using the pre-written packages.

There are 2 most common used versions of Python: Python 2 (current version is 2.7) and Python 3 (current version is 3.5). The 2 versions are different in some syntax, which Python 2 is the stable version while Python 3 is the developing version.

I. Basics syntax

A python script can be invoked by the first line ‘#!/usr/bin/python’ similar to using Perl.

Running a python program: we will start with how to run a python program as below:


hello = 'Hello World!'

print hello

To run a program in python we use:



Addition flags can be used to calibrate the running process, details can be found here. A useful flag is -i (interactive mode) which allows you to control the variable and running process.

Screenshot from 2016-11-17 12-51-54.png

Command locals() is used to give a dictionary of local variables. All of the variables with __ are python pre-defined variables. This mode helps to check the variables during your program.

Using as a calculator: Basic mathematics operation can be used in Python, for example:


For more complex calculations, a package named numpy is used to complete these task. A tutorial in using Python package will be presented later.

II. Using external commands

Python allows running external commands using either module: os and subprocess.

import os

os.system('ls -l')


from subprocess import call


Nguyen Cong Nghia – IESAS

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