How To Write Your First Python 3 Program
The “Hello, World!” program is a classic and time-honored tradition in computer programming. Serving as a simple and complete first program for beginners, as well as a good program to test systems and programming environments, “Hello, World!” illustrates the basic syntax of programming languages.
This tutorial will walk you through writing a “Hello, World” program in Python 3.
You should have Python 3 installed and a programming environment set up on your computer or server. If you don’t have a programming environment set up, you can refer to the installation and setup guides for a local programming environment or for a programming environment on your server appropriate for your operating system (Ubuntu, CentOS, Debian, etc.)
Writing the “Hello, World!” Program
To write the “Hello, World!” program, let’s open up a command-line text editor such as nano and create a new file:
- nano hello.py
Once the text file opens up in the terminal window we’ll type out our program:
Let’s break down the different components of the code.
print() is a function that tells the computer to perform an action. We know it is a function because it uses parentheses.
print() tells Python to display or output whatever we put in the parentheses. By default, this will output to the current terminal window.
Some functions, like the
print() function, are built-in functions included in Python by default. These built-in functions are always available for us to use in programs that we create. We can also define our own functions that we construct ourselves through other elements.
Inside the parentheses of the
print() function is a sequence of characters —
Hello, World! — that is enclosed in quotation marks. Any characters that are inside of quotation marks are called a string.
Once we are done writing our program, we can exit nano by typing the
x keys, and when prompted to save the file press
Once you exit out of nano you’ll return to your shell.
Running the “Hello, World!” Program
With our “Hello, World!” program written, we are ready to run the program. We’ll use the
python3 command along with the name of our program file. Let’s run the program:
- python3 hello.py
The hello.py program that you created will cause your terminal to produce the following output:
Let’s go over what the program did in more detail.
Python executed the line
print("Hello, World!") by calling the
print() function. The string value of
Hello, World! was passed to the function.
In this example, the string
Hello, World! is also called an argument since it is a value that is passed to a function.
The quotes that are on either side of
Hello, World! were not printed to the screen because they are used to tell Python that they contain a string. The quotation marks delineate where the string begins and ends.
Since the program ran, you can now confirm that Python 3 is properly installed and that the program is syntactically correct.
Congratulations! You have written the “Hello, World!” program in Python 3.
From here, you can continue to work with the
print() function by writing your own strings to display, and can also create new program files.
Keep learning about programming in Python by reading our full tutorial series How To Code in Python 3.