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Install the Eric Python IDE

Eric is a full featured Python and Ruby editor and IDE, written in Python. It is based on the cross platform Qt GUI toolkit, integrating the highly flexible Scintilla editor control. It is designed to be usable as everdays’ quick and dirty editor as well as being usable as a professional project management tool integrating many advanced features Python offers the professional coder. Eric4 includes a plugin system, which allows easy extension of the IDE functionality with plugins downloadable from the net. Current stable versions are eric4 based on Qt4 and Python 2 and eric5 based on Python 3 and Qt4.” (source)

As I’m still using Python 2, I will show you how to install eric4. Unfortunately, there is a very old version in the official Ubuntu repositories. Let’s see how to install an up-to-date version.

First, install it via apt-get. The advantage here is that all the dependencies will be installed.

sudo apt-get install eric

Apt-get will suggest some additional packages, it’s a good idea to install them too. Then, download the latest stable version of eric4. Remove the old version that we installed via apt-get:

sudo apt-get remove eric

Remember, the dependencies remain, so we can install the latest version without any problem. Uncompress the downloaded archive and execute install.py as root:

sudo ./install.py

Now you can start the editor with “eric4“.

I find it a very nice IDE for Python. It has tons of cool features still it’s lightweight. If I want to edit a simple script, I won’t start Eclipse (with the Python plug-in), it’s too slow… But if I want more than pure vim :), eric4 is a good choice.


In my case, the installer didn’t work perfectly: it didn’t set the rights correctly, thus I couldn’t execute eric4 as a normal user. I asked some people, they said they didn’t have this problem… Anyway, here is what I had to do:

  • Copy setjog_here.sh (see below) to /usr/lib/python2.6/dist-packages/eric4 and execute it as root. It will correct the rights.
  • Repeat the step above with the directory /usr/lib/python2.6/dist-packages/eric4plugins too.



find . -type d -print0 | xargs -0 chmod 755
find . -type f -print0 | xargs -0 chmod 644
chmod 755 .
chmod u+x $0

There is one more step to do: copy eric4config.py (from the uncompressed install directory) to /usr/lib/python2.6/dist-packages/eric4. Don’t forget to set its rights (chmod 644 eric4config.py).

Now, you should be able to start the IDE with “eric4“.

Update (20110401)

I have this problem with the wrong permissions with other packages too that I install with “pip”, so this is not an eric-specific issue. But with the bash script above I can correct it easily.

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