Thonny on Raspbian – the new Python IDE for the Raspberry Pi – MagPi guide and my quick review

There’s a new IDE (Integrated Development Environment) on the block. Called Thonny, it has just been added into the Raspbian image. The MagPi has done a great tutorial and walkthrough of the features of the editor here.


I recently attended a Raspberry Jam at Pi Towers and was lucky enough to take part in a workshop run by Ben Nuttall. The workshop, which taught us how to use GPIO Zero’s remote control features, along with other examples using the library, was excellent. Ben made a risky move and got us to use Thonny rather than IDLE, the de-facto editor for Python. I have to say, I was very impressed. Instead of the pop-up execution window you get with IDLE, Thonny runs the code in a Shell tab below the coding window. This makes it feel much more integrated than IDLE, and much tidier as a result. There are a lot of features (for which take a look at the MagPi article linked above) including step-through and variable debugging in Thonny that we didn’t touch the surface of, so I can only give you a surface-level opinion. Personally, I think everyone who writes in Python should take a look at Thonny. It’s not perfect, I’m sure, but it is an excellent piece of software and well worth a go.

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