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Enhancements to virtualenv

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Quick Setup

  1. Add a line like export WORKON_HOME=$HOME/.virtualenvs to your .bashrc.
  2. Add a line like source /path/to/this/file/virtualenvwrapper_bashrc to your .bashrc.
  3. Run: source ~/.bashrc
  4. Run: workon
  5. A list of environments, empty, is printed.
  6. Run: mkvirtualenv temp
  7. Run: workon
  8. A new environment, temp is created and activated.
  9. This time, the temp environment is included.

Path Management

Sometimes it is desirable to share installed packages that are not in the system site-pacakges directory and which you do not want to install in each virtualenv. In this case, you could symlink the source into the environment site-packages directory, but it is also easy to add extra directories to the PYTHONPATH by including them in a .pth file inside site-packages using add2virtualenv.

  1. Check out the source for a big project, such as Django.
  2. Run: add2virtualenv path_to_source.
  3. Run: add2virtualenv.
  4. A usage message and list of current “extra” paths is printed.


For more details, refer to the column I wrote for the May 2008 issue of Python Magazine: virtualenvwrapper | And Now For Something Completely Different.

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