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Python 3.8.6

Release Date: Sept. 24, 2020

This is the sixth maintenance release of Python 3.8

Note: The release you're looking at is Python 3.8.6, a bugfix release for the legacy 3.8 series. Python 3.11 is now the latest feature release series of Python 3. Get the latest release of 3.11.x here.

Major new features of the 3.8 series, compared to 3.7

  • PEP 572, Assignment expressions
  • PEP 570, Positional-only arguments
  • PEP 587, Python Initialization Configuration (improved embedding)
  • PEP 590, Vectorcall: a fast calling protocol for CPython
  • PEP 578, Runtime audit hooks
  • PEP 574, Pickle protocol 5 with out-of-band data
  • Typing-related: PEP 591 (Final qualifier), PEP 586 (Literal types), and PEP 589 (TypedDict)
  • Parallel filesystem cache for compiled bytecode
  • Debug builds share ABI as release builds
  • f-strings support a handy = specifier for debugging
  • continue is now legal in finally: blocks
  • on Windows, the default asyncio event loop is now ProactorEventLoop
  • on macOS, the spawn start method is now used by default in multiprocessing
  • multiprocessing can now use shared memory segments to avoid pickling costs between processes
  • typed_ast is merged back to CPython
  • LOAD_GLOBAL is now 40% faster
  • pickle now uses Protocol 4 by default, improving performance

There are many other interesting changes, please consult the "What's New" page in the documentation for a full list.

More resources

Windows users

  • The binaries for AMD64 will also work on processors that implement the Intel 64 architecture. (Also known as the "x64" architecture, and formerly known as both "EM64T" and "x86-64".)
  • There are now "web-based" installers for Windows platforms; the installer will download the needed software components at installation time.
  • There are redistributable zip files containing the Windows builds, making it easy to redistribute Python as part of another software package. Please see the documentation regarding Embedded Distribution for more information.

macOS users

  • For Python 3.8, we provide one installer: 64-bit-only that works on macOS 10.9 (Mavericks) and later systems.
  • Please read the "Important Information" displayed during installation for information about SSL/TLS certificate validation and the running the "Install Certificates.command".

And now for something completely different

Cut to film of the lost world. Tropical South American vegetation. Our four explorers from Jungle Restaurant and Ken Russell's Gardening Club sketches limp along exhaustedly.

Second Explorer: My God, Betty, we're done for...
Third Explorer: We'll never get out of here... we're completely lost, lost. Even the natives have gone.
First Explorer: Goodbye Betty, Goodbye Farquarson. Goodbye Brian. It's been a great expedition...
Third Explorer: All that'll be left of us will be a map, a compass and a few feet of film, recording our last moments...
First Explorer: Wait a moment!
Fourth Explorer: What is it?
First Explorer: If we're on film, there must be someone filming us.
Second Explorer: My God, Betty, you're right!

They all look around, then gradually all notice the camera. They break out in smiles of relief, come towards the camera and greet the camera crew.

Third Explorer: Look! Great to see you!
First Explorer: What a stroke of luck!
Camera Crew: Hello! ...
First Explorer: Wait a minute!
Fourth Explorer: What is it again?
First Explorer: If this is the crew who were filming us . .. who's filming us now? Look!

Cut to another shot which indudes the first camera flew and yet another camera crew with all their equipment.

Full Changelog


Version Operating System Description MD5 Sum File Size GPG
Gzipped source tarball Source release ea132d6f449766623eee886966c7d41f 23.2 MB SIG
XZ compressed source tarball Source release 69e73c49eeb1a853cefd26d18c9d069d 17.4 MB SIG
macOS 64-bit installer macOS for OS X 10.9 and later 68170127a953e7f12465c1798f0965b8 29.1 MB SIG
Windows help file Windows 4403f334f6c05175cc5edf03f9cde7b4 8.1 MB SIG
Windows x86 embeddable zip file Windows 7b287a90b33c2a9be55fabc24a7febbb 7.0 MB SIG
Windows x86 executable installer Windows 02cd63bd5b31e642fc3d5f07b3a4862a 25.7 MB SIG
Windows x86 web-based installer Windows acb0620aea46edc358dee0020078f228 1.3 MB SIG
Windows x86-64 embeddable zip file Windows for AMD64/EM64T/x64 5f95c5a93e2d8a5b077f406bc4dd96e7 7.8 MB SIG
Windows x86-64 executable installer Windows for AMD64/EM64T/x64 2acba3117582c5177cdd28b91bbe9ac9 26.8 MB SIG
Windows x86-64 web-based installer Windows for AMD64/EM64T/x64 c9d599d3880dfbc08f394e4b7526bb9b 1.3 MB SIG