How do I keep track of pip-installed packages in an Anaconda (Conda) environment?


I've installed and have been using the Anaconda Python distribution, and I have started using the Anaconda (Conda) environment. I can use the standard conda install... command to put packages from the distribution into my environments, but to use anything outside (i.e. Flask-WTF, flask-sqlalchemy, and alembic) I need to use pip install in the active environment. However, when I look at the contents of the environment, either in the directory, or using conda list these pip installed packages don't show up.

Using pip freeze and pip list just lists every package I've ever installed.

Is there a way to keep track of what is in each of my Anaconda envs (both pip and conda installed)?

This question is tagged with python pip anaconda env conda

~ Asked on 2013-09-05 15:25:41

The Best Answer is


conda-env now does this automatically (if pip was installed with conda).

You can see how this works by using the export tool used for migrating an environment:

conda env export -n <env-name> > environment.yml

The file will list both conda packages and pip packages:

name: stats
  - javascript
  - python=3.4
  - bokeh=0.9.2
  - numpy=1.9.*
  - nodejs=0.10.*
  - flask
  - pip:
    - Flask-Testing

If you're looking to follow through with exporting the environment, move environment.yml to the new host machine and run:

conda env create -f path/to/environment.yml

~ Answered on 2015-11-13 14:21:44


conda will only keep track of the packages it installed. And pip will give you the packages that were either installed using the pip installer itself or they used setuptools in their so conda build generated the egg information. So you have basically three options.

  1. You can take the union of the conda list and pip freeze and manage packages that were installed using conda (that show in the conda list) with the conda package manager and the ones that are installed with pip (that show in pip freeze but not in conda list) with pip.

  2. Install in your environment only the python, pip and distribute packages and manage everything with pip. (This is not that trivial if you're on Windows...)

  3. Build your own conda packages, and manage everything with conda.

I would personally recommend the third option since it's very easy to build conda packages. There is a git repository of example recipes on the continuum's github account. But it usually boils down to:

 conda skeleton pypi PACKAGE
 conda build PACKAGE

or just:

conda pipbuild PACKAGE

Also when you have built them once, you can upload them to and just install from there.

Then you'll have everything managed using conda.

~ Answered on 2013-09-05 15:40:16

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