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Python 3.8.7

Release Date: Dec. 21, 2020

This is the seventh maintenance release of Python 3.8

Note: The release you're looking at is Python 3.8.7, 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.

macOS 11 Big Sur not fully supported

Python 3.8.7 is not yet fully supported on macOS 11 Big Sur. It will install on macOS 11 Big Sur and will run on Apple Silicon Macs using Rosetta 2 translation. However, a few features do not work correctly, most noticeably those involving searching for system libraries (vs user libraries) such as ctypes.util.find_library() and in Distutils. This limitation affects both Apple Silicon and Intel processors. We are looking into improving the situation for Python 3.8.8.

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 BBC world symbol.)
Continuity Voice: (Eric Idle) Now on BBC television a choice of viewing. On BBC 2 - a discussion on censorship between Derek Hart, The Bishop of Woolwich, and a nude man. And on BBC 1 - me telling you this. And now...
(Sound of TV set bring switched off. The picture reduces to a spot and we see it was actually on a TV set which has just been switched off by the housewife. The inspector holds a cup with a cherry on a stick in it.)
She: (Terry Jones) We don't want that, do we. Do you really want that cherry in your tea? Do you like doing this job?
Inspector: (Michael Palin) Well, it's a living, isn't it?

Full Changelog


Version Operating System Description MD5 Sum File Size GPG
Gzipped source tarball Source release e1f40f4fc9ccc781fcbf8d4e86c46660 23.3 MB SIG
XZ compressed source tarball Source release 60fe018fffc7f33818e6c340d29e2db9 17.4 MB SIG
macOS 64-bit Intel installer macOS for macOS 10.9 and later 3f609e58e06685f27ff3306bbcae6565 28.4 MB SIG
Windows installer (64-bit) Windows Recommended 325ec7acd0e319963b505aea877a23a4 26.8 MB SIG
Windows installer (32-bit) Windows ed99dc2ec9057a60ca3591ccce29e9e4 25.8 MB SIG
Windows help file Windows 8d59fd3d833e969af23b212537a27c15 8.1 MB SIG
Windows embeddable package (64-bit) Windows 61db96411fc00aea8a06e7e25cab2df7 7.8 MB SIG
Windows embeddable package (32-bit) Windows efbe9f5f3a6f166c7c9b7dbebbe2cb24 7.0 MB SIG