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How to Learn More Thonny

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Learn more about Thonny in our dedicated course: Thonny: The Beginner-Friendly Python Editor

Walt94 on Feb. 22, 2020

I really like Thonny. it comes standard on Raspbian (the Raspberry Pi Ubuntu)

I noticed in the class videos that some o/s versions, it shows what version of Python it is using down near the console window.

I need to understand how to add modules using pip to the version of Python that Thonny is using. I get errors a lot about ‘not able to import module x’ when I execute direct from Thonny, so I usually have a separate console window open and have to run it from there. Now that I see how the debugging works I want to figure out how to make that work!

Chris Bailey RP Team on Feb. 23, 2020

Hi @Walt94, I recently set up a Raspberry Pi 4 with Raspbian. It looks like Thonny has a menu choice under Tools > Manage packages... . Using this to install packages should target the version of Python Thonny is using. In my case that is Python 3.7.3 (/usr/bin/python3). There are many packages already listed in the menu on the left, and you can also search in the top box. I tried it out on an unlisted package, bokeh and it found it on PyPi and I pressed the Install button on the bottom. It took quite awhile to finish, but once completed it showed in the collection of installed packages on the left window. I was able to use the standard from bokeh import .... in the Shell.

One very important thing that may be causing your issues. The current version of Thonny starts up in a “simple mode”, and it doesn’t even have the pull down menus I was just mentioning. To switch out of simple mode you Click on the text in the upper right part of the screen that says Switch to regular mode. You will then be prompted to restart Thonny, do that. Now from Tools > Options > General you will see choices for the future where you can choose the current mode ‘regular’ or back to ‘simple’ or even an ‘expert’ mode which I haven’t explored yet.

I hope this helps.

Walt94 on Feb. 26, 2020

Thanks Chris! That was a helpful tip. That did work and it got me started.Once I started digging around in the menu options, and figured out you can even set Thonny to use a specific interpreter, so I ended up pointing it to a directory with a Virtual Environment and it seems to be working. Really impressed with Thonny. I have a 6 month license for PyCharm, and other than database integration I don’t know why I would even use it. (I’m sure there are other reasons but it looks like a big learning curve to use it.)

Martin Breuss RP Team on March 1, 2020

Cool, glad you worked it out @Walt94, thanks @Chris Bailey for your input :)

And yeah, text editors and development environments are a very personal choice and it makes sense to stick with whatever works for you best. Keep in mind that many exist and that some might be a better fit for a different task, but as long as you enjoy using Thonny and get along with it well, there’s no reason to dive into PyCharm!

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