Zsh Command Not Found Python: How to Fix the Error

Have you ever encountered the frustrating error message “zsh command not found python” while working in your terminal? If you’re a Python developer or enthusiast who prefers using the Z shell (Zsh), you might have come across this issue at some point. Don’t worry; you’re not alone. In this article, we’ll delve into the causes of this error and explore effective solutions to fix it, ensuring you can seamlessly execute Python commands in your Zsh environment.

Before we dive into troubleshooting the “zsh: command not found: python” error, let’s briefly discuss Zsh and why it’s a popular choice among developers. Zsh is a powerful shell that offers enhanced features and customization options compared to the traditional Bourne shell (sh) or Bourne Again shell (bash). It provides advanced tab completion, spelling correction, and support for plugins, making it a preferred shell for many users.

Understanding the error message

When you encounter the “zsh: command not found: python” error, it indicates that Zsh couldn’t find the Python interpreter in your system’s PATH (the list of directories where executable files are located). As a result, it’s unable to execute Python commands directly from the terminal.

Causes of the error

There are several reasons why you might encounter this error:

Python is not installed on your system.

The PATH environment variable does not include the directory where Python is installed.

The Python executable is not properly linked or configured.

Checking Python installation

The first step in resolving this error is to ensure that Python is installed on your system. Open your terminal and type the following command:


Copy code

python –version 

If Python is installed, you should see its version number. If not, you need to install Python before proceeding further.

Updating the PATH environment variable

If Python is installed but not recognized by Zsh, you need to update the PATH environment variable to include the directory where Python is located. You can do this by editing your shell configuration file (e.g., ~/.zshrc) and adding the following line:


Copy code

export PATH=”/path/to/python/bin:$PATH” 

Replace “/path/to/python/bin” with the actual path to your Python executable directory.

Installing Python using package managers

Alternatively, you can install Python using package managers like Homebrew (for macOS and Linux) or Chocolatey (for Windows). These package managers automatically handle the installation and PATH configuration for you, ensuring Python is accessible from the terminal.

Using virtual environments

Another approach to avoid the “zsh: command not found: python” error is to use virtual environments for your Python projects. Virtual environments isolate project dependencies, allowing you to install and use Python packages without affecting the system-wide installation.

Configuring Python aliases

You can also create aliases in your Zsh configuration to simplify the execution of Python commands. For example, you can define an alias named “python” that points to the Python executable, eliminating the need to type the full path every time.


encountering the “zsh: command not found: python” error can be frustrating, but with the right troubleshooting steps, you can quickly resolve it and continue working seamlessly in your Zsh environment. Whether it’s checking Python installation, updating the PATH variable, or exploring alternative approaches like virtual environments, there are multiple solutions available to fix this issue and ensure smooth Python execution.


What is Zsh? 

Zsh, or Z shell, is an extended shell with advanced features and customization options, popular among developers for its enhanced capabilities.

Why am I encountering the “zsh: command not found: python” error?

 This error occurs when Zsh cannot locate the Python executable in the system’s PATH, typically due to Python not being installed or the PATH not being configured correctly.

How can I check if Python is installed on my system?

 You can check if Python is installed by running the “python –version” command in your terminal. If Python is installed, it will display the version number; otherwise, you’ll need to install it.

Can I use other shells instead of Zsh? 

Yes, you can use other shells like bash or fish, but Zsh offers advanced features and customization options that make it a preferred choice for many users.

Are there any long-term implications if I don’t fix this error?

 If you don’t fix the “zsh: command not found: python” error, you’ll continue to encounter difficulties executing Python commands in your Zsh environment, potentially hindering your productivity and workflow.

Leave a Comment