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Thin wrapper for virtualenv for easy environment management

Project description

Ash is a thin wrapper around the excellent virtualenv that parallels the behavior by npm. This generally means that the virtual environment for a project is directly inside the project directory structure. This is different to the approach by virtualenvwrapper - that is, a centralized place for virtualenvs. By coupling the environment to the project itself, developers don’t have to remember to switch among different environments when they work on different projects.

Ash tries to be as cross platform as possible. As of this moment, I’ve used Ash successfully on Windows, Linux and OSX with both Python 2 and 3. If you can help with testing/debugging Ash on other platforms, I would appreciate it very much.


Put into a directory in your PATH. That’s it.

Or you could go the easy route and use pip like the following:

pip install ash

to install Ash on your system.


It is very easy to use ash, in fact, it tries to stay out of the way as much as possible. The only special command for Ash is: init

which initializes the virtualenv for the current directory. All the options for virtualenv are allowed here, for example: init --distribute --relocatable

The init command will create a python_env directory (the directory name is modifiable via the Configuration) in the current directory which contains your brand new virtualenv. Afterwards, you can run any command with the following syntax in this directory (and/or its subdirectories): *your command here*

and it will be run in the created virtual environment. For example: pip install Django

will install Django into your python_env directory. That is all there is to it.

Note: It is recommended that you include the python_env directory in your ignore file for version control softwares, so that the environment itself is not checked in.


Ash allows you to specify configurations for its behavior by adding a file named .ashconfig in your HOME folder (in Linux, this is ~/.ashconfig, in Windows, it is usually C:\Users\yourusername\.ashconfig). This config file is in JSON format, and at the moment the following settings (with their default values) are available:

    "debug": false,  # set to true for more verbose debugs
    "venv_command": "virtualenv",  # for irregular path to virtualenv
    "venv_dir_name": "python_env"  # the name to use for the env directory

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