Pipenv: Python Dev Workflow for Humans

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Pipenv is a tool that aims to bring the best of all packaging worlds (bundler, composer, npm, cargo, yarn, etc.) to the Python world. Windows is a first-class citizen, in our world.

It automatically creates and manages a virtualenv for your projects, as well as adds/removes packages from your Pipfile as you install/uninstall packages. It also generates the ever-important Pipfile.lock, which is used to produce deterministic builds.

Pipenv is primarily meant to provide users and developers of applications with an easy method to setup a working environment. For the distinction between libraries and applications and the usage of setup.py vs Pipfile to define dependencies, see ☤ Pipfile vs setup.py.

a short animation of pipenv at work

The problems that Pipenv seeks to solve are multi-faceted:

  • You no longer need to use pip and virtualenv separately. They work together.
  • Managing a requirements.txt file can be problematic, so Pipenv uses Pipfile and Pipfile.lock to separate abstract dependency declarations from the last tested combination.
  • Hashes are used everywhere, always. Security. Automatically expose security vulnerabilities.
  • Strongly encourage the use of the latest versions of dependencies to minimize security risks arising from outdated components.
  • Give you insight into your dependency graph (e.g. $ pipenv graph).
  • Streamline development workflow by loading .env files.

You can quickly play with Pipenv right in your browser:

Try in browser

Install Pipenv Today!

If you already have Python and pip, you can easily install Pipenv into your home directory:

$ pip install --user pipenv

Or, if you’re using Fedora 28:

$ sudo dnf install pipenv

It’s possible to install Pipenv with Homebrew on MacOS, or with Linuxbrew on Linux systems. However, this is now discouraged, because updates to the brewed Python distribution will break Pipenv, and perhaps all virtual environments managed by it. You’ll then need to re-install Pipenv at least. If you want to give it a try despite this warning, use:

$ brew install pipenv

More detailed installation instructions can be found in the ☤ Installing Pipenv chapter.


User Testimonials

David Gang
This package manager is really awesome. For the first time I know exactly what my dependencies are which I installed and what the transitive dependencies are. Combined with the fact that installs are deterministic, makes this package manager first class, like cargo.
Justin Myles Holmes
Pipenv is finally an abstraction meant to engage the mind instead of merely the filesystem.

☤ Pipenv Features

  • Enables truly deterministic builds, while easily specifying only what you want.
  • Generates and checks file hashes for locked dependencies.
  • Automatically install required Pythons, if pyenv is available.
  • Automatically finds your project home, recursively, by looking for a Pipfile.
  • Automatically generates a Pipfile, if one doesn’t exist.
  • Automatically creates a virtualenv in a standard location.
  • Automatically adds/removes packages to a Pipfile when they are installed or uninstalled.
  • Automatically loads .env files, if they exist.

The main commands are install, uninstall, and lock, which generates a Pipfile.lock. These are intended to replace $ pip install usage, as well as manual virtualenv management (to activate a virtualenv, run $ pipenv shell).

Basic Concepts

  • A virtualenv will automatically be created, when one doesn’t exist.
  • When no parameters are passed to install, all packages [packages] specified will be installed.
  • To initialize a Python 3 virtual environment, run $ pipenv --three.
  • To initialize a Python 2 virtual environment, run $ pipenv --two.
  • Otherwise, whatever virtualenv defaults to will be the default.

Other Commands

  • graph will show you a dependency graph of your installed dependencies.
  • shell will spawn a shell with the virtualenv activated. This shell can be deactivated by using exit.
  • run will run a given command from the virtualenv, with any arguments forwarded (e.g. $ pipenv run python or $ pipenv run pip freeze).
  • check checks for security vulnerabilities and asserts that PEP 508 requirements are being met by the current environment.

Further Documentation Guides

Indices and tables