python - update - What is the difference between pip and conda?




pip vs conda (6)

I know pip is a package manager for python packages. However, I saw the installation on IPython's website use conda to install IPython.

Can I use pip to install IPython? Why should I use conda as another python package manager when I already have pip?

What is the difference between pip and conda?

https://code.i-harness.com


Can I use pip to install iPython?

Sure, both (first approach on page)

pip install ipython

and (third approach, second is conda)

You can manually download IPython from GitHub or PyPI. To install one of these versions, unpack it and run the following from the top-level source directory using the Terminal:

pip install .

are officially recommended ways to install.

Why should I use conda as another python package manager when I already have pip?

As said here:

If you need a specific package, maybe only for one project, or if you need to share the project with someone else, conda seems more appropriate.

Conda surpasses pip in (YMMV)

  • projects that use non-python tools
  • sharing with colleagues
  • switching between versions
  • switching between projects with different library versions

What is the difference between pip and conda?

That is extensively answered by everyone else.


pip is for Python only

conda is only for Anaconda + other scientific packages like R dependencies etc. NOT everyone needs Anaconda that already comes with Python. Anaconda is mostly for those who do Machine learning/deep learning etc. Casual Python dev won't run Anaconda on his laptop.


Here is a short rundown:

pip

  • Python packages only.
  • Compiles everything from source. EDIT: pip now installs binary wheels, if they are available.
  • Blessed by the core Python community (i.e., Python 3.4+ includes code that automatically boostraps pip).

conda

  • Python agnostic. The main focus of existing packages are for Python, and indeed conda itself is written in Python, but you can also have conda packages for C libraries, or R packages, or really anything.
  • Installs binaries. There is a tool called conda build that builds packages from source, but conda install itself installs things from already built conda packages.
  • External. Conda is the package manager of Anaconda, the Python distribution provided by Continuum Analytics, but it can be used outside of Anaconda too. You can use it with an existing Python installation by pip installing it (though this is not recommended unless you have a good reason to use an existing installation).

In both cases:

  • Written in Python
  • Open source (conda is BSD and pip is MIT)

The first two bullet points of conda are really what make it advantageous over pip for many packages. Since pip installs from source, it can be painful to install things with it if you are unable to compile the source code (this is especially true on Windows, but it can even be true on Linux if the packages have some difficult C or FORTRAN library dependencies). Conda installs from binary, meaning that someone (e.g., Continuum) has already done the hard work of compiling the package, and so the installation is easy.

There are also some differences if you are interested in building your own packages. For instance, pip is built on top of setuptools, whereas conda uses its own format, which has some advantages (like being static, and again, Python agnostic).


Not to confuse you further, but you can also use pip within your conda environment, which validates the general vs. python specific managers comments above.

conda install -n testenv pip
source activate testenv
pip <pip command>

you can also add pip to default packages of any environment so it is present each time so you don't have to follow the above snippet.


Quoting from Conda: Myths and Misconceptions (a comprehensive description):

...

Myth #3: Conda and pip are direct competitors

Reality: Conda and pip serve different purposes, and only directly compete in a small subset of tasks: namely installing Python packages in isolated environments.

Pip, which stands for Pip Installs Packages, is Python's officially-sanctioned package manager, and is most commonly used to install packages published on the Python Package Index (PyPI). Both pip and PyPI are governed and supported by the Python Packaging Authority (PyPA).

In short, pip is a general-purpose manager for Python packages; conda is a language-agnostic cross-platform environment manager. For the user, the most salient distinction is probably this: pip installs python packages within any environment; conda installs any package within conda environments. If all you are doing is installing Python packages within an isolated environment, conda and pip+virtualenv are mostly interchangeable, modulo some difference in dependency handling and package availability. By isolated environment I mean a conda-env or virtualenv, in which you can install packages without modifying your system Python installation.

Even setting aside Myth #2, if we focus on just installation of Python packages, conda and pip serve different audiences and different purposes. If you want to, say, manage Python packages within an existing system Python installation, conda can't help you: by design, it can only install packages within conda environments. If you want to, say, work with the many Python packages which rely on external dependencies (NumPy, SciPy, and Matplotlib are common examples), while tracking those dependencies in a meaningful way, pip can't help you: by design, it manages Python packages and only Python packages.

Conda and pip are not competitors, but rather tools focused on different groups of users and patterns of use.


Quoting from the Conda blog:

Having been involved in the python world for so long, we are all aware of pip, easy_install, and virtualenv, but these tools did not meet all of our specific requirements. The main problem is that they are focused around Python, neglecting non-Python library dependencies, such as HDF5, MKL, LLVM, etc., which do not have a setup.py in their source code and also do not install files into Python’s site-packages directory.

So Conda is a packaging tool and installer that aims to do more than what pip does; handle library dependencies outside of the Python packages as well as the Python packages themselves. Conda also creates a virtual environment, like virtualenv does.

As such, Conda should be compared to Buildout perhaps, another tool that lets you handle both Python and non-Python installation tasks.

Because Conda introduces a new packaging format, you cannot use pip and Conda interchangeably; pip cannot install the Conda package format. You can use the two tools side by side (by installing pip with conda install pip) but they do not interoperate either.





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