Python is free, and so are many of the best development environments. But while PyCharm is good, it also costs! For that reason, many developers are lead to seek alternatives.
Free PyCharm Alternatives
Lets cover some of the best free alternatives to PyCharm. Each software package will have it’s own pros and cons and suit a different userbase. Explore them all, they’re all worth their weight in gold.
Visual Studio Code
Lightweight – This lightweight development environment is the swiss army-knife of most developers. It’s basically a high-power text-editor, with far less fluff and weight dragging down the system.
Extensions – It has a huge library of extensions ready to be integrated into it, so you won’t lose out on any key Python-focussed features if you know what to install.
Microsoft – If anyone knows about software and computers, it’s Microsoft. And you’ve got the full support of Microsoft developing, fixing and growing VS code. Rest assured that this is one of the many cream of the crop alternatives to PyCharm that you can rely on.
Free – Provided you’re using the community version, Visual Studio is free to use. There are likely some licences you’ll require for commercial use, but if you’re a hobbyist developer looking to get the full power of an IDE behind you, this a perfect alternative to PyCharm.
Python-ready – It can include a number of Python packages out of the box, and as with its lightweight counterpart VS Code, it also has a load of plugins you can add to the package to better support your python development.
Powerful – One of the benefits of PyCharm is the power and integrated toolsets that it comes with. Visual Studio rivals this perfectly and gives the user a great deal of customizability and functionality.
Python has the benefit of not requiring complex build processes, so why no used a suped-up text editor? Sublime Text is extremely lightweight, and can support development in pretty much any language. It’s extremely versatile, and is much like Visual Studio code.
Another alternative that can used for Python development, and extended to your needs. Atom is very similar to likes of Sublime and VSCode, in that they’re powered up text editors that can be extended to serve as you wish.
Speed – If you want to go full haxor, or you’re working in a Unix environment, you could try to pick up Vim. It’s the "ultimate" text-editor for many developers, as there’s a huge array of shortcuts that can optimise your work process.
Level up your coding – It’s a little more complex to pick up, but will have you becoming a coding wizard in no time. Though quite far removed from PyCharm, if you want to level up, then try this out.
Native to most Linux distros – If you’re using a Linux machine, the chances are that Vim (or Vi) is already installed. So you have jump into it immediately by executing the
You don’t need to pay for PyCharm. There many alternatives, of which all of the above are completely free to use. I personally most like Visual Studio Code, because it’s free, lightweight, supports Python and has a huge community.