This chapter will take you through the basic steps of installing SCons on your system, and building SCons if you don't have a pre-built package available (or simply prefer the flexibility of building it yourself). Before that, however, this chapter will also describe the basic steps involved in installing Python on your system, in case that is necessary. Fortunately, both SCons and Python are very easy to install on almost any system, and Python already comes installed on many systems.
Because SCons is written in Python, you must obviously have Python installed on your system to use SCons Before you try to install Python, you should check to see if Python is already available on your system by typing python at your system's command-line prompt. You should see something like the following on a UNIX or Linux system that has Python installed:
$ python Python 2.2.2 (#1, Feb 24 2003, 19:13:11) [GCC 3.2.2 20030222 (Red Hat Linux 3.2.2-4)] on linux2 Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information. >>> ^D
And on a Windows system with Python installed:
C:\>python Python 2.2.2 (#34, Apr 9 2002, 19:34:33) [MSC 32 bit (Intel)] on win32 Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information. >>> ^Z
The >>> is the input prompt for the Python interpreter. The ^D and ^Z represent the CTRL-D and CTRL-Z characters that you will need to type to get out of the interpreter before proceeding to installing SCons.
If Python is not installed on your system, you will see an error message stating something like "command not found" (on UNIX or Linux) or "'python' is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable progam or batch file" (on Windows). In that case, you need to install Python before you can install SCons.
The standard location for information about downloading and installing Python is http://www.python.org/download/. See that page for information about how to download and install Python on your system.