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Will ArcGIS Desktop support latest Python 2.x or Python 3.x versions?

Will ArcGIS Desktop support latest Python 2.x or Python 3.x versions?


I'm curious to know whether ArcGIS Desktop 10.0 will support newer versions of Python than 2.6. And for that matter newer versions of NumPy (ie, 1.4, 1.5 etc). I'm sure that this documentation is on the ESRI site somewhere, but I can't find it.

I have found that ArcGIS Desktop 10.0 will respect an existing Python 2.6 install as long as you have Numpy 1.3.0 installed (ref), and I'm guessing, at least until Numpy 1.5.0 is out and supporting Python 3, then no Python 3 for ArcGIS, but I'd still be interested to know if upgrading is possible when it's available.


I think it is important to make this Q&A cover not just ArcGIS Desktop 10.0, Python 2.7 and Python 3.1, but also to incorporate the latest versions of desktop products from the ArcGIS platform and the Python programming language.

For Python support in the (currently) latest desktop products from the ArcGIS platform I think you should consider:

  • ArcGIS Pro 1.1 uses Python 3.4.1:

If you do need to use Python outside of ArcGIS Pro, download the Python setup from My Esri. This installation will install Python 3.4.1, all third-party requirements required by ArcGIS Pro, and an ArcGISPro.pth file that is used to identify all ArcGIS Pro folders required to run ArcPy.

  • ArcGIS 10.3.1 for Desktop supports Python 2.7.8

ArcGIS for Desktop geoprocessing tools require that Python 2.7.x and Numerical Python 1.7.x are installed. If the ArcGIS for Desktop setup does not find either Python 2.7.x or Numerical Python (NumPy) 1.7.xinstalled on the target computer, Python 2.7.8 and Numerical Python 1.7.1 will be installed during a complete installation of ArcGIS 10.3.x.


Nope, one version of Python per release of ArcGIS. The reason for this is simple: most of the magic happens in a C extension (arcgisscripting). The C APIs change from version to version, and that DLL isn't going to play nice in other versions of Python.

However, every time the main Python.org site releases a security fix (2.6.X), those are binary compatible and can be installed.


Nope. An Esri staff member says no in a forum reponse post:

ArcGIS 10 final will ship with one and only one version of python. At Pre-release we have 2.6.2. Most probably for 10 final we will have 2.6.5. Having said that, ArcGIS 10 will work with any 2.6 version of python. So say 6 months from now, we have Python 2.6.6 released but ArcGIS is using only 2.6.5, you can safely install Python 2.6.6 and ArcGIS will work ok. Note that this compatibility works only with a major release of Python. In other words ArcGIS 10 will never work with Python 2.7 or Python 3.1 or any other major release of python. Only Python 2.6 is supported.


I don't know about arc10, but in all ArcGIS 9 versions you could upgrade python to the latest and greatest version with a few simple steps. This is an unsupported configuration, see ESRI knowledgebase article 31912. Please report back if this works for you with ArcGIS 10.