DaTe Gulis

Useful tools and links to get you started as a DaTe member.

SDKs, JDKs and other animals

In your studies, you will primarily develop in Python and Java. On this page we have gathered great and simple tutorials that help you set up different development kits.



The first programming course that you take, is in Python, Python 2.7 to be precise. Linux and macOS usually come pre-installed with some version of Python, so these guides are mostly for Windows users.

As a bonus, Google has a Python course for those who are interested in some examples: Google Python Course

Python 2.7


To install Python 2.7 on Windows, start by visiting the Python 2.7 release page

Depending on your system architecture, you must choose the correct installation file.

64-bit systems: Windows x86-64 MSI installer

32-bit systems: Windows x86 MSI installer

Follow the instructions of the installer, the default settings should work just fine.

If you have some issues, check the Python on Windows FAQ


On most distributions Python, and especially Python 2.7, come pre-installed. The easiest way to test this is via the terminal:

$ python --version
Python 2.7.15

This should show the installed version of Python. If the command is not found or the version is not 2.7.*, you don’t have Python 2.7 installed. To fix this, use for example apt, which is the package manager for Ubuntu and other Debian based systems:

sudo apt update
sudo apt install python2.7 python-pip

The rest of you using something else, you can probably figure it out by yourselves ;)


Python 2.7. should come pre-installed, but you can check by typing in the terminal:

$ python --version
Python 2.7.15

If it is not installed, get it from the Python 2.7 release page

From there, select the correct installer file depending on your operating system version. For most, it will be the macOS 64-bit installer.

Run the installer and follow the instructions.

Python 3.7

Installing Python 3.7 or any other version, is very similar to the process of installing Python 2.7.


To get the latest version of Python, visit Python Downloads page and click the Download button.

The rest should be like the installation of Python 2.7.


Python 3.6 or 3.7 may sometimes come pre-installed and can be tested with.

$ python3 --version

Note the use of the number 3 after python without a space.

TODO: Add content


To get the latest version of Python, visit Python Downloads page and click the Download button.

The rest is exactly like the installation of Python 2.7

Python 3.6 Online console

Python provides a web shell (online console) running python 3.6.0 on thier front page Check it out.
A great small tool if you don’t have any other snakes to play around with nearby.


Virtualenv is a tool which allows us to make isolated python environments. How does making isolated python environments help us ? Imagine you have an application that needs version 2 of a LibraryBar, but another application requires version 2. How can you use and develop both these applications? If you install everything into /usr/lib/python2.7/site-packages (or whatever your platform’s standard location is), it’s easy to end up in a situation where you unintentionally upgrade an application that shouldn’t be upgraded.

In another case just imagine that you have an application which is fully developed and you do not want to make any change to the libraries it is using but at the same time you start developing another application which requires the updated versions of those libraries. What will you do ? It is where virtualenv comes into play. It creates isolated environments for you python application and allows you to install python libraries in that isolated environment instead of installing them globally. (

Here is a very short guide how to install virtualenv to get you started. Type the following command in the shell:

$ pip install virtualenv

Then, create an isolated virtualenv environment inside a folder MyEnv

$ virutalenv MyEnv

Activate your virtual environment with (for within the folder)

$ source bin/active

when activated, install required libraries without any disturbance to the gobal libraries or the libraries of the other environments.

Virtualenv might not be used in your first programming course but it’s good to know about. Many if not all IDEs use virtual environments of some sort.

A more detailed description can be found in the gulis-chat project.


A brief history of Python package installation

To understand the problems that Pipenv solves, it’s useful to show how Python package management has evolved.

Take yourself back to the first Python iteration. We had Python, but there was no clean way to install packages.

Then came Easy Install, a package that installs other Python packages with relative ease. But it came with a catch: it wasn’t easy to uninstall packages that were no longer needed.

Enter pip, which most Python users are familiar with. pip lets us install and uninstall packages. We could specify versions, run pip freeze > requirements.txt to output a list of installed packages to a text file, and use that same text file to install everything an app needed with pip install -r requirements.txt.

But pip didn’t include a way to isolate packages from each other. We might work on apps that use different versions of the same libraries, so we needed a way to enable that. Along came virtual environments, which enabled us to create small, isolated environments for each app we worked on. We’ve seen many tools for managing virtual environments: virtualenv, venv, virtualenvwrapper, pyenv, pyenv-virtualenv, pyenv-virtualenvwrapper, and even more. They all play well with pip and requirements.txt files.

Pipenv fixes this problem, what a great friend!

Learn more about pipenv here


It is mostly recommended to use the latest version of Java and to keep it up to date to avoid any security issues or other problems.

Oracle recently decided to increase the frequency of Java releases, releasing a new version every 6 months.

However, to get you started, it is probably best if you install Java 8, as it is a LTS (Long Term Support) version, receiving updates at least until March 2022.


JVM - Java Virtual Machine

JVM (Java Virtual Machine) is an abstract machine that enables your computer to run a Java program.

When you run the Java program, Java compiler first compiles your Java code to bytecode. Then, the JVM translates bytecode into native machine code (set of instructions that a computer’s CPU executes directly).

Java is a platform-independent language. It’s because when you write Java code, it’s ultimately written for JVM but not your physical machine (computer). Since, JVM ​executes the Java bytecode which is platform independent, Java is platform-independent.

JRE - Java Runtime Environment

JRE (Java Runtime Environment) is a software package that provides Java class libraries, along with Java Virtual Machine (JVM), and other components to run applications written in Java programming. JRE is the superset of JVM.

JRE contains JVM and other Java class libraries.

If you need to run Java programs, but not develop them, JRE is what you need. Not what we need! keep on reading ;)

JDK - Java Development Kit

JDK (Java Development Kit) is a software development kit to develop applications in Java. When you download JDK, JRE is also downloaded, and don’t need to download it separately. In addition to JRE, JDK also contains number of development tools (compilers, JavaDoc, Java Debugger etc).

JDK contains JRE and other tools to develop Java applications.

Install Java JDK

To develop using Java, you need the JDK. This is different from the JRE, Which is only used for running the software, while the JDK contains documentation and compilers and other development related content.

The JDK also contains a JRE, so no need to install both

Oh, and we will install Java SE (Standard Edition).

To sum it all up in one phrase, we will install Java SE Development Kit 8

All platforms find the Oracle Java SE Development Kit 8 packages at the downloads page. You must accept the Licence Agreement before you can download.


Go to the downloads page and select the correct installer.

64-bit systems: Windows x64

32-bit systems: Windows x86

Follow the instructions of the installer.


Now, Linux users have two alternatives, using the commercial JDK or using the open source alternative OpenJDK.


To develop with OpenJDK, you must install both JRE and JDK.

Debian, Ubuntu and other distributions using apt:

$ sudo apt-get install openjdk-8-jre openjdk-8-jdk

Fedora, Oracle Linux, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, etc.:

su -c "yum install java-1.8.0-openjdk"
su -c "yum install java-1.8.0-openjdk-devel"

Oracle JDK

32-bit Linux versions, refer to the page How do I download and install 32-bit Java for Linux?.

32-bit Linux versions, refer to the page Linux 64-bit installation instructions for Java.


Go to the downloads page and download the dmg for Mac OS X x64 and follow the instructions of the installer.