How Virtual Environment Works – Overview with FAQs, Tips

A virtual environment is simply a tool that separates each project’s isolated environment to separate the requirements of several projects.

If you are new to the Virtual Environment and you don’t know how it works, you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, we’ll go over the basics of virtual environments and how virtual environments work. After that, we’ll explore why it is necessary and much more.

Quick Summary

In this article, we will talk about: 

  • How do virtual environments work? 
  • What is a Virtual Environment?
  • Why is a Virtual Environment Necessary? 

So, without further ado, let’s get into it.

How Does a Virtual Environment Work? 

You require a module called virtual venv to establish a virtual environment. It creates a folder containing each executable needed to run a Python project. Ensure that the pip is set up on your machine. Use the following command if not:

install

Virtualenv Installation

To install a virtual environment, open a terminal and paste the following command:

Virtualenv Installation

Check Out Virtualenv’s Version

Paste the following command into your terminal to see if it has been installed or not:

Check Out Virtualenv’s Version

Constructing a Virtual Setting

The following command can be used to create a virtual environment with the name of your choice after virtualenv has been successfully installed:

venv

Here, we gave my virtual environment the name venv. You can give it whatever name you like. All the executables required to run the Python project are placed in a folder called venv. All of your Python packages will run from this folder.

By giving the Python version name, you can quickly choose the Python interpreter of your choosing. For instance, the command below is used to build a virtual environment for Python 2.7.

python

You must activate the virtual environment after establishing it successfully to enter that specific, isolated environment. Never forget to turn on the necessary virtual environment before beginning a project.

Move to the area where the desired virtual environment’s name is to activate it by performing the following command:

activate

Note: You should use the name of the virtual environment you established instead of “venv.”

In Windows

windows

Your name will appear in the virtual environment on the terminal’s left side after it has been activated. It is currently operational and certifies the activation of your virtual environment.

Finally, your virtual environment was generated correctly and turned on. Now, you can install the dependencies and necessities your project requires without interfering with other projects.

After finishing your work, simply use the deactivate command as shown below to revert to the system’s default environment.

What Exactly Is a Virtual Environment?

A virtual environment is simply a tool that separates each project’s isolated environment to separate the requirements of several projects.

These are merely the folders needed to construct an infinite number of virtual environments. The majority of Python developers utilize this as one of their go-to tools.

In simple words, a virtual environment is a networked program that enables interaction between a user and both the computing environment and other users’ work. Examples of virtual environments include email, chat, and web-based document sharing programs.

A virtual environment is just a directory with three crucial parts:

  • Third-party libraries are installed under site packages.
  • symlinks to Python programs that are installed on your computer.
  • Scripts that ensure Python code is executed using the Python interpreter and site packages present in the specified virtual environment.

The Best Python Virtual Environment

Virtualenv is the best Python Virtual Environment because it is easy to set up and simple to use. It’s an excellent resource for novices. In deployed contexts, it is simple to utilize.

The Python virtual environment’s most popular tool offers a ton of documentation covering a wide range of topics.

Why Is a Virtual Environment Necessary?

Python offers a wide range of modules and packages for various purposes. It might need a third-party library while we are working on the project, which we install. 

Although it doesn’t need any more third-party packages, another project uses the same directory for retrieval and storing as well.

The virtual environment can then be used to create distinct, isolated environments for each of the two projects, each of which can then store and retrieve packages from its environment.

Let’s have a look at another scenario where we are using Django to build a web application. Let’s say you are engaged in projects 1 and 2 at the same time.

The problem can arise if project1 uses Django-2.2 and project2 uses Django-3.2 because they would both be kept in the same directory under the same name. Virtual environments might then be highly beneficial for you in these situations to preserve the dependencies of both projects.

What Other Well-Known Alternatives Exist Besides Venv?

To work with Python virtual environments, use the venv module. Starting with version 3.3, one of its key advantages is that venv comes preconfigured with Python. However, it’s not your only choice. To construct and manage virtual environments in Python, you can utilize different tools.

This section will teach you about two well-known tools. They both frequently serve the same function as the venv module despite having distinct scopes:

  1. Virtualenv is a superset of venv that serves as the foundation for its implementation. It is a capable tool for building isolated Python environments.
  1. Conda provides package, dependency, and environment management for Python and other languages. 

They differ from your typical Python installation, so you’ll need to install them separately, but they do have certain advantages over venv.

Why Would You Use Virtual Environments?

Why Would You Use Virtual Environments?

A variety of possible issues can be easily solved in virtual environments. They assist you, in particular with:

  • Allowing you to use multiple versions of a package for various projects can help to resolve dependency problems. For Project X, you might utilize Package A v2.7, and Project Y, Package A v1.3.
  • By recording all package dependencies in a requirements file, you may create a self-contained and reproducible project.
  • Install packages on a server that you don’t have administrative rights to.
  • By eliminating the need to install packages system-wide that you might only need for one project, you can keep your global site packages/ directory organized.

Conclusion

You might now understand how a virtual environment works after reading this article. 

A virtual environment is a tool that is used to build isolated Python environments, each of which has its copy of Python, pip, and a location for storing PyPI-installed libraries. It’s intended to let you work on several projects with various dependencies concurrently on the same workstation.

We hope you find this article beneficial. You can let us know if you have any difficulties or questions by leaving a comment below.

Author

  • Victor Marquez

    Victor is the Editor in Chief at Techtyche. He tests the performance and quality of new VR boxes, headsets, pedals, etc. He got promoted to the Senior Game Tester position in 2021. His past experience makes him very qualified to review gadgets, speakers, VR, games, Xbox, laptops, and more. Feel free to check out his posts.

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