venv for Dummies

This is a compressed cheat sheet for venv:

Create Environment

python3 -m venv path/to/env

Creates a new environment in a specific folder, using current python interpreter (python3). It’s not activated by default.

You might need to install it first on distros that don’t have it by default i.e. apt install python3-venv.


To use that environment, you need to activate it.

On Linux, you would run activate script form the bin folder in that env:

. path/to/env/bin/activate

A hint it’s active is prompt change in most of the shells i.e. bash:

(env) aloneguid@sb:~/path/to/env$

On Windows venv usually does not create bin folder but Scripts and you can run Activate.ps1:


On Mac, run source venv/bin/activate.


On Linux, execute deactivate. In fact, this also works on Windows as well, due to some trickery venv adds to Scripts folder.

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