Python Virtual Environments (venv)

Working With Python Virtual Environments

Dan Bader

Dan Bader 6 Lessons 8m
basics tools

When you install Python packages globally there can be only one version of a Python library across all of your programs. This means you’ll quickly run into version conflicts.

The solution to these problems is separating your Python environments with so-called virtual environments. They allow you to separate Python dependencies by project, including selecting between different versions of the Python interpreter.

A Virtual Environment (or “virtualenv”, “venv” for short) is an isolated Python environment. Physically, it lives inside a folder containing all the packages and other dependencies, like native-code libraries and the interpreter runtime, that a Python project needs.

To demonstrate how virtual environments work as a “sandbox” I’ll give you a quick walkthrough where we’ll set up a new environment (or virtualenv, as they’re called for short) and then install a third-party package into it using the Python pip command.

About Dan Bader

Dan Bader

Dan is the Chief Python Nut at Real Python. He helps Python developers take their coding skills to the next level with Python tutorials, books, and online training.

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