CentOS 6.5 still come with Python 2.6 and I need 2.7, below a simple tutorial how to achieve this with no pain and not messing with installed Python.

Update CentOS and install development tools

yum -y update
yum groupinstall -y 'development tools'

Also you need the packages below to enable SSL, bz2, zlib for Python and some utils:

yum install -y zlib-devel bzip2-devel openssl-devel xz-libs wget

Installing Python 2.7.8 from source

Download Python and extract it

wget http://www.python.org/ftp/python/2.7.8/Python-2.7.8.tar.xz
xz -d Python-2.7.8.tar.xz
tar -xvf Python-2.7.8.tar

Installation process

Since we already installed all the dependencies we are ready to go:

# Enter the directory:
cd Python-2.7.8

# Run the configure:
./configure --prefix=/usr/local

# compile and install it:
make altinstall

# Checking Python version:
[root@nicetry ~]# python2.7 -V
Python 2.7.8

If you need set PATH variable check the line below:

export PATH="/usr/local/bin:$PATH"

Installing pip and virtualenv

Now we have Python installed, but something is missing isn’t? Yes! We need pip and virtualenv.

Install setuptools

wget --no-check-certificate https://pypi.python.org/packages/source/s/setuptools/setuptools-1.4.2.tar.gz

# Extract the files:
tar -xvf setuptools-1.4.2.tar.gz
cd setuptools-1.4.2

# Install setuptools using the Python 2.7.8:
python2.7 setup.py install

Install pip

curl https://raw.githubusercontent.com/pypa/pip/master/contrib/get-pip.py | python2.7 -

And finally virtualenv

pip2.7 install virtualenv

And that’s all, we have Python 2.7.8 installed on CentOS.