How do I revert to MacPython from ActivePython?

Posted by kevinw on 2006-10-16 10:25
OS: OS X | Product: ActivePython | tags: activepython macpython python

I had MacPython installed, then the ActivePython installer had me move it out of the way. I want to go back to MacPython. How do I do that?


There are three popular Python distributions for Mac OS X.

There is the pre-installed distribution that ships as /usr/bin/python and has its frameworks in /System/Library/Frameworks.

There is also MacPython, the Python distribution from the guys (and
pointed to by This is a 3rd-party Python distro. This installs as
/usr/local/bin/python with its frameworks in /Library/Frameworks.

Then there is ActivePython, our distribution. This also installs as /usr/local/bin/python with its frameworks in /Library/Frameworks -- the same location as MacPython. When ActivePython is being installed the installer will look for MacPython and prompt to move it out of the way, rather than overwrite it. Because of the way Mac OS X works you can only have one of MacPython or ActivePython as the "current" python at a time.

The ActivePython install notes show how to uninstall ActivePython:

Note that this will not restore the MacPython install (it is still
there, just moved to the side). That same "" script used to
uninstall also has the ability to restore the MacPython install, but it
is a little bit of a chicken and egg problem because uninstall
ActivePython will uninstall "".


- copy to a safe place (say ~/tmp), then run this to
uninstall ActivePython

sudo /usr/bin/python activepython_uninstall 2.4

- then this to restore MacPython
sudo /usr/bin/python macpython_restore 2.4

That should work, but isn't too heavily tested.


Just re-install MacPython from its original installer package.

tino | Thu, 2010-04-01 05:17

Is there a later version of this post that includes 3.1
The uninstall script is not there in 2.6 nor is it the equivalent place in 3.1