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Best Python IDE for Linux

Updated: Feb 20, 2023

Python IDEs play an important role in software development by providing developers with a comprehensive set of tools to write, test, and debug code more efficiently. These tools can help to increase productivity and reduce the time which is required to complete coding tasks.


Let's discuss what is Python IDE and the Best Python IDE for Linux.


What is Python IDE?

Python IDE for Linux refers to a software development environment that is designed specifically for developing Python code on Linux-based operating systems. An IDE, or Integrated Development Environment, is a software application that provides developers with a comprehensive set of tools to write, test, and debug code in one place.


Additionally, Python IDEs for Linux can enhance the quality of code produced. They often include features like syntax highlighting, code completion, and automatic code formatting, which help developers write cleaner and more efficient code. This can result in code that is easier to read, maintain, and extend.


Below we have the top 7 best Python IDEs for Linux.

  1. Eric

  2. PyDev

  3. PyCharm

  4. Spyder

  5. Thonny

  6. Visual Studio Code

  7. IDLE


1. Eric

Eric is an open-source editor based on the Qt6 toolkit and is written in Python itself. Eric boasts a ton of features for Python and is a proper IDE. It supports downloadable plugins, which can further extend its capabilities. It also has an Integrated Python debugger, Interactive Python shell, and Integrated support for Python Package Management (pip), to name a few of the many features it provides.


Advantages:

  • Eric Python supports localization.

  • It has a rope refactoring tool for web app development

  • It allows integrated support for Google protobuf, Unittest, and CORBA

  • Eric has many wizards for QT dialogs, regrex.

  • It has tools you can use to preview translations and QT forms, making development easier.

Disadvantages:

  • Integrating too many plugins reduces the performance of the IDE

  • Sometimes installation can get clumsy

  • Its GUI isn’t particularly easy or simple to use


2. PyDev


PyDev is an outside plugin for Eclipse, making it more flexible for developers to use to develop apps that have plenty of features. It is the most preferred open-source Python IDEs by developers for the feature it offers. The IDE has Django integration, code coverage, and auto-code completion features.


Advantages:

  • It allows for TODO tasks, content assistants, smart indent, keyword auto-completion, and more rich features.

  • It facilitates interactive probing in suspended mode.

  • PyDev has a full outline view and interactive console and can mark occurrences.

  • It offers developers solid syntax highlighting, code folding, multi-language support, and parser errors.

Disadvantages:

  • Low performance when the app is large with several plugins

  • PyDev plugins can become unstable and create issues when developing applications.


3. PyCharm


PyCharm is one of the most popular and advanced Python IDEs developed by JetBrains. JetBrains is the organization behind some of the best IDEs like Android Studio and the programming language Kotlin used for Android development. It is an open-source application which is quite an extensive application compared to others in the list.


An open-source community edition is available for free. Although, a paid version is also available with more features needed for professional development, which is a proprietary edition. It has a load of features specific to the Python language, as it is specially tailored for the same.


Advantages:

  • PyCharm has customizable interface features that boost productivity.

  • It is a smart platform that offers auto code completion, quick fixing, and swift error detection.

  • It has cross-platform development for developers that need to write scripts on different platforms.

  • Multiple framework support


Disadvantages:

  • The installation process is complex

  • It is expensive


4. Spyder


Spyder is an open-source IDE based on a Qt toolkit designed for scientific use. It has MATLAB (language and platform for data analysis) like features. Spyder, being built for Scientific and Engineering applications, has features with which analysis can be done graphically using histograms, graphs, etc. Scientific tools provided by Spyder can be somewhat similar to the paid tools available with PyCharm. And that’s not all, it also provides a VIM plugin for providing VIM keybindings support.


Advantages:

  • Supports extended plugins

  • Support feature that allows viewing any object document.

  • Capable of tracing the steps of script execution

Disadvantages:

  • Reduce performance when too many plugins are running at the same time.


5. Thonny

Thonny is an open source Python IDE based on the Tk GUI toolkit. It is tailored for beginners. Even though it uses a different GUI toolkit, it is incredibly lightweight and simple to use when compared to other IDEs.


Advantages:

  • The graphical user interface is simple

  • Good for beginners and handles PATH problems with python interpreters

  • Describe the scopes by highlighting the spots.

Disadvantages:

  • Doesn't support templates.

  • Creating plugins takes time with some advanced developer feature missing


6. Visual Studio Code

Visual Studio Code is an open-source Electron-based application developed by Microsoft. The user experience is well-polished compared to most other options. It can be used for many programming languages. But, to use it for coding in Python, you need to grab the plugin that enables it. Once you install the plugin required, you can start writing code in Python and learn about issues through its debugger. Being an Electron-based application, some users may not like it for the extra overhead.


Advantages:

  • Adding PTVS is simple if you have Visual Studio installed

Disadvantages:

  • Not available for Linux devices

  • It is a large download and might be intimidating for new users at first


7. IDLE

The development environment has already been integrated with the default language, making it a basic and simple IDE. IDLE is great for beginner developers who need to practice Python development. The IDE is also cross-platform-enabled and has features as varied as debuggers, local spaces, and a multi-window text editor with python colorizing and smart indentation. IDLE supports editable configurations, dialog boxes, and browsers.


Advantages:

  • Developers can search through several files and search within any window they want.

  • It supports syntax highlighting and auto code completion.

  • IDLE has a Python shell and comes equipped with a highlighter.

  • Its debugger has call stack visibility to help boost performance.

Disadvantages:

  • IDLE has no numbering line for option

  • There are prevalent normal usage problems like lacking focus

  • You can’t directly copy to the dashboard


Conclusion:

The best Python IDE for Linux will depend on your specific needs and preferences. Some key factors to consider include your level of experience, the type of projects you will be working on, and your preferred programming style. It may be helpful to try out a few different options before settling on one that feels like the best fit for you.

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