Notice: While JavaScript is not essential for this website, your interaction with the content will be limited. Please turn JavaScript on for the full experience.

Python 3.8.6rc1

Release Date: Sept. 8, 2020

This is the release candidate of the sixth maintenance release of Python 3.8

Note: The release you're looking at is Python 3.8.6rc1, 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

Toastmaster (Eric Idle): Gentlemen, pray silence for the President of the Royal Society for Putting Things on Top of Other Things.
Sir William: I thank you, gentlemen. The year has been a good one for the Society.
Crowd: Hear! Hear!
Sir William: This year our members have put more things on top of other things than ever before. But, I should warn you, this is no time for complacency. No, there are still many things, and I cannot emphasize this too strongly, not on top of other things. I myself, on my way here this evening, saw a thing that was not on top of another thing in any way.
Crowd: Shame! Shame!
Sir William: Therefore I call upon our Staffordshire delegate to explain this weird behaviour.
(As Sir William sits a meek man met at one of the side tables.)
Mr Cutler (John Cleese): Er, Cutler, Staffordshire. Um... well, Mr Chairman, it's just that most of the members in Staffordshire feel... the whole thing's a bit silly.
(Cries of outrage. Chairman leaps to feet.)
Sir William: Silly? SILLY?! (he pauses and thinks) Silly! I suppose it is, a bit. What have we been doing wasting our lives with all this nonsense? Right, okay, meeting adjourned forever.

Full Changelog


Version Operating System Description MD5 Sum File Size GPG
Gzipped source tarball Source release ff57d63d0fac79e23dd15614bdeaaf5a 23.2 MB SIG
XZ compressed source tarball Source release e1b1dca93aa966250d75b4deb2af663b 17.4 MB SIG
macOS 64-bit installer macOS for OS X 10.9 and later 7d47b4ecbd2a0cbf6378fccf45dc93ea 29.1 MB SIG
Windows help file Windows 7a240b3125464098170efd2bb448f485 8.1 MB SIG
Windows x86 embeddable zip file Windows ca0922878d3100effd7a3f11287ccbf0 7.0 MB SIG
Windows x86 executable installer Windows 84175f3e4c38555b770857b34b88f736 25.7 MB SIG
Windows x86 web-based installer Windows bcb647bb46da0efcc20a381ded598528 1.3 MB SIG
Windows x86-64 embeddable zip file Windows for AMD64/EM64T/x64 ad95d85622d5b6fdf371f38dc32c21bd 7.8 MB SIG
Windows x86-64 executable installer Windows for AMD64/EM64T/x64 35a2d2ba3f43f896744f6da6a2f0881d 26.8 MB SIG
Windows x86-64 web-based installer Windows for AMD64/EM64T/x64 00fea54e5afb01826adae4070ec0a4ce 1.3 MB SIG