How to Symlink Python to Python3 on Mac

Published: May 21, 2022

I had a… problem. I was working with shell scripts that I didn’t own. These scripts happened to use python. But, my Mac didn’t have python, it only had python3 (which was still compatible).

So, you may ask, why not just change the shell scripts to use python3? That wasn’t an option. Why it wasn’t an option is irrelevant. Just roll with me, okay.

Next up, I tried making a shell alias that pointed python to python3. No luck there either.

What finally worked was making a symlink from python to python3. I added this idempotent code to my shell config file then was off to the races.

if [[ ! -a '/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/3.9/bin/python' ]] ; then
  ln -s -v \
  '/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/3.9/bin/python3' \