IDLE in Windows

When I first installed the Python 3 IDLE on Windows XP and tried to open the environment, I would get this error message, “IDLE’s subprocess didn’t make connection. Either IDLE can’t start a subprocess or personal firewall software is blocking the connection:


I changed my systems firewall exceptions to include IDLE, but it still did not work. I have Python 2.7 installed also because of an ArGIS software dependency. So, the next step seemed to be to run IDLE with the “-n option”, without a “subprocess”.

I have no idea what “-n option” or “subprocess” mean.

I found this forum post (which no longer seems to exist), where someone had posted very clear, simple step-by-step instructions for setting this up in Windows. Basically, you want to create a shortcut on your desktop to pythonw.exe from the installation folder of Python (e.g. C:\Program Files\Python32). When you right-click on the shortcut, modify the target to:

“C:\Program Files\Python32\pythonw.exe” lib\idlelib\ -n

This works! The IDLE should start like this, with “No Subprocess”:

no subprocess


About Lisa Cohen

PhD student at UC Davis.
This entry was posted in Python, Windows and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s