Pipenv Installation

Note: This guide is written for Python 3.7+

Make sure you have python

Before you go any further, make sure you have Python and that it’s available from your command line. You can check this by simply running:

$ python --version

You should get some output like 3.10.8. If you do not have Python, please install the latest 3.x version from python.org

Additionally, you will want to make sure you have pip available. Check this by running:

$ pip --version
pip 22.3.1

If you installed Python from source, with an installer from [python.org], via Homebrew_ you likely already have pip. If you’re on Linux and installed using your OS package manager, you may have to install pip manually.

Installing Pipenv

It is recommended that users on most platforms should install pipenv from pypi.org using pip install pipenv --user.

Preferred Installation of Pipenv

If you have a working installation of pip, and maintain certain “tool-chain” type Python modules as global utilities in your user environment, pip user installs <https://pip.pypa.io/en/stable/user_guide/#user-installs>_ allow for installation into your home directory. Note that due to interaction between dependencies, you should limit tools installed in this way to basic building blocks for a Python workflow like virtualenv, pipenv, tox, and similar software.

To install:

$ pip install pipenv --user


This does a `user installation`_ to prevent breaking any system-wide
packages. If `pipenv` isn't available in your shell after installation,
you'll need to add the user site-packages binary directory to your `PATH`.

On Linux and macOS you can find the user base binary directory by running
`python -m site --user-base` and adding `bin` to the end. For example,
this will typically print `~/.local` (with `~` expanded to the
absolute path to your home directory) so you'll need to add
`~/.local/bin` to your `PATH`. You can set your `PATH` permanently by
`modifying ~/.profile`_.

On Windows you can find the user base binary directory by running
`python -m site --user-site` and replacing `site-packages` with
`Scripts`. For example, this could return
`C:\Users\Username\AppData\Roaming\Python37\site-packages` so you would
need to set your `PATH` to include
`C:\Users\Username\AppData\Roaming\Python37\Scripts`. You can set your
user `PATH` permanently in the `Control Panel`_. You may need to log
out for the `PATH` changes to take effect.

For more information, see the `user installs documentation <https://pip.pypa.io/en/stable/user_guide/#user-installs>`_.

… _user base: https://docs.python.org/3/library/site.html#site.USER_BASE … _user installation: https://pip.pypa.io/en/stable/user_guide/#user-installs … _modifying ~/.profile: https://stackoverflow.com/a/14638025

To upgrade pipenv at any time:

$ pip install --user --upgrade pipenv

Homebrew Installation of Pipenv

  • Homebrew is a popular open-source package management system for macOS. For Linux users, Linuxbrew_ is a Linux port of that.

Once you have installed Homebrew or Linuxbrew simply run:

$ brew install pipenv

To upgrade pipenv at any time:

$ brew upgrade pipenv


Homebrew installation is discouraged because it works better to install pipenv using pip on macOS

Installing packages for your project

Pipenv manages dependencies on a per-project basis. To install packages, change into your project’s directory (or just an empty directory for this tutorial) and run:

$ cd myproject
$ pipenv install requests


Pipenv is designed to be used by non-privileged OS users. It is not meant to install or handle packages for the whole OS. Running Pipenv as root or with sudo (or Admin on Windows) is highly discouraged and might lead to unintend breakage of your OS.

Pipenv will install the requests library and create a Pipfile for you in your project’s directory. The Pipfile is used to track which dependencies your project needs in case you need to re-install them, such as when you share your project with others.

You should get output similar to this:

Creating a virtualenv for this project...
Pipfile: C:\Users\matte\Projects\pipenv-triage\example\Pipfile
Using C:/Users/matte/AppData/Local/Programs/Python/Python311/python.exe (3.11.2) to create virtualenv...
[    ] Creating virtual environment...created virtual environment CPython3.11.2.final.0-64 in 488ms
  creator CPython3Windows(dest=C:\Users\matte\.virtualenvs\example-7V6BFyzL, clear=False, no_vcs_ignore=False, global=False)
  seeder FromAppData(download=False, pip=bundle, setuptools=bundle, wheel=bundle, via=copy, app_data_dir=C:\Users\matte\AppData\Local\pypa\virtualenv)
    added seed packages: pip==23.0, setuptools==67.1.0, wheel==0.38.4
  activators BashActivator,BatchActivator,FishActivator,NushellActivator,PowerShellActivator,PythonActivator

Successfully created virtual environment!
Virtualenv location: C:\Users\matte\.virtualenvs\example-7V6BFyzL
Installing requests...
Resolving requests...
Adding requests to Pipfile's [packages] ...
Installation Succeeded
Installing dependencies from Pipfile.lock (3b5a71)...
To activate this project's virtualenv, run pipenv shell.
Alternatively, run a command inside the virtualenv with pipenv run.

Using installed packages

Now that requests is installed you can create a simple main.py file to use it:

import requests

response = requests.get('https://httpbin.org/ip')
print('Your IP is {0}'.format(response.json()['origin']))

Then you can run this script using pipenv run

$ pipenv run python main.py

You should get output similar to this:

Your IP is

Using $ pipenv run ensures that your installed packages are available to your script by activating the virtualenv. It is also possible to spawn a new shell that ensures all commands have access to your installed packages with $ pipenv shell.

Virtualenv mapping caveat

  • Pipenv automatically maps projects to their specific virtualenvs.

  • By default, the virtualenv is stored globally with the name of the project’s root directory plus the hash of the full path to the project’s root (e.g., my_project-a3de50).

  • Should you change your project’s path, you break such a default mapping and pipenv will no longer be able to find and to use the project’s virtualenv.

  • Customize this behavior with PIPENV_CUSTOM_VENV_NAME environment variable.

  • You might also prefer to set PIPENV_VENV_IN_PROJECT=1 in your .env or .bashrc/.zshrc (or other shell configuration file) for creating the virtualenv inside your project’s directory.