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Create a Python virtual environment

Virtual environments are a great way to stay organised with your Python libraries, which can be very helpful when testing custom scripts and packages and their dependencies.

Table of contents

  1. Installing
  2. Working with virtual environments


First we need to install the virtual environments. To do so type in:

pip3 install virtualenv virtualenvwrapper
nano ~/.bashrc

Append the following lines to the bottom of the file:

#Virtualenvwrapper settings:
export VIRTUALENVWRAPPER_PYTHON=/usr/bin/python3
export WORKON_HOME=$HOME/.virtualenvs
export VIRTUALENVWRAPPER_VIRTUALENV=~/.local/bin/virtualenv
source ~/.local/bin/

Note that if you use an older version of Raspbian, virtualenvwrapper is installed in /usr/local/bin/ instead so change lines 4 and 5 above accordingly. Now reload the file:

source ~/.bashrc

Working with virtual environments

To create a virtual environment (e.g. named main):

mkvirtualenv main

Now to go and work inside the virtual environment, simply type:

workon main

and to exit again:


To list all the Python packages in the virtual environment:

pip freeze


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