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Embedded Python allows you to use Python as a native option for programming InterSystems IRIS applications. If you are new to Embedded Python, read Introduction to Embedded Python, and then read this document for a deeper dive into Embedded Python.

While this document will be helpful to anyone who is learning Embedded Python, some level of ObjectScript familiarity will be beneficial to the reader. If you are a Python developer who is new to InterSystems IRIS and ObjectScript, also see the Orientation Guide for Server-Side Programming.

Required Python Version

The version of Python required to use Embedded Python depends on the platform you are running. In most cases, this is the default version of Python for your operating system. See Other Supported Features for a complete list of operating systems and the corresponding supported version of Python. Using a different version of Python will result in errors when using Embedded Python.

On Microsoft Windows, the InterSystems IRIS installation kit installs the correct version of Python (currently 3.9.5) for use with Embedded Python only. If you are on a development machine and want to use Python for general purposes, InterSystems recommends downloading and installing this same version from in a new tab.

Many flavors of UNIX-based operating systems come with Python installed. If you need to install it, use the version recommended for your operating system by your package manager, for example:

If you get an error that says “Failed to load python,” it means that you either don’t have Python installed or an unexpected version of Python is detected on your system. Check Other Supported Features and make sure you have the required version of Python installed, and if necessary, install it or reinstall it using one of the above methods.


If your computer has multiple versions of Python installed and you try to run Embedded Python from the command line, irispython will run the first python3 executable that it detects, as determined by your path environment variable. Make sure that the folders in your path are set appropriately so that the correct version of the executable is the first one found. For more information on using the irispython command, see Start the Python Shell from the Command Line.

To prevent IRIS_ACCESSDENIED errors while running Embedded Python, enable %Service_Callin. In the Management Portal, go to System Administration > Security > Services, select %Service_CallIn, and check the Service Enabled box.

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