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  • Writer's pictureMichael Gruner

PyEnv: Simple Python Version Management

Updated: Apr 16

PyEnv lets you easily switch between multiple versions of Python. It's simple, unobtrusive, and follows the UNIX tradition of single-purpose tools that do one thing well.
An oil painting in the style of Van Gogh that shows 7 pythons by a river in the middle of the nature.
Pythons. Oil paiting in the style of Van Gogh, as imagined by DALL-E

 
 

Install

The simplest way to install pyenv is by using the automatic pyenv-installer.


Open a terminal and run the installer:

Then, as the installation message suggests, append the following to your shell init script (typically ~/.bash_profile, ~/.profile, ~/.bashrc or ~/.zshrc).

export PYENV_ROOT="$HOME/.pyenv"
command -v pyenv >/dev/null || export PATH="$PYENV_ROOT/bin:$PATH"
eval "$(pyenv init -)"
eval "$(pyenv virtualenv-init -)"

Close the current terminal and open a new one. Run the following to validate a successful installation:


List Installable Versions

The following command lists the Python versions that are available for installation.


Install a Python Version

The following command installs a given Python version from the list of installable versions.


List Usable Versions

The following command lists the Python versions that are installed on your system and available for use. The * denotes the active version.


Change the Current Shell Python Version

The following command configures a given Python version for the current shell session. It doesn't modify the system's default. Opening a new shell will return the the global version.


Change the Global Python Version

The following command configures an installed version as the system's default Python version.


Create/Delete a Virtual Environment

The following commands create and delete a virtual environment from a given Python version. Virtual environments are a way of getting a clean, isolated Python installation.


Activate/Deactivate a Python Environment

The following commands activate and deactivate a given Python environment.


Configure an Environment for a Project

The following command configures a directory to automatically activate a virtual environment whenever you navigate into it. This is my absolute favorite trick.

To remove the configuration, simply remove the .python-version file.

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