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pip, Pipfiles, and Pipenv

This will help you install Pipfiles and the virtual environment for this project.

Pipenv creates virtual environments for your Python project, ensuring that your system doesn't break. You likely have a version of Python pre-installed in your computer. If we keep installing things with regular pip, it may break things. Therefore, to keep your computer safe, we're going to use Pipenv.


packageA library with code created by someone else that we want to use in our project.
package managerA package manager is a program that installs other programs on your computer. There's many of them, such as dnf/apt for Linux, pip for Python, npm for NodeJS, and cargo for Rust.
pipA package manager for Python
PipfilePipfiles is a file that includes the packages required for our program, written in TOML
Pipfile.lockThis file includes the hashes of the packages, giving it extra security.

python/pip or python3/pip3?

Python has been used for a very long time. We're currently in version 3 of the language, but some systems came preinstalled with version 2. Version 2 of Python is often python in the command line, and version 3 is python3. Likewise, pip is for Python 2.x, and pip3 is for version 3.x. Check your version by running:

python --version

Although this tutorial uses python/pip, please make sure you are using Python 3.x. Python 2 is not a good idea to use.


In Python, pip is often used to install external libraries. It can be a handy tool to know as its become the defacto Python package manager.

Installing pip

If you don't know whether or not you have pip installed, run this command:

pip --version

If you get a version number, you're set to go! Otherwise, please install pip by downloading this script and running:

cd ~/Downloads

Installing packages with pip

To install packages system-wide, it's as simple as running...

pip install requests

In the example above, we're trying to install Requests, a popular HTTP library for Python.


Some projects include a requirements.txt file in their repository. These files include the libraries that the project requires to run.

A sample requirements.txt file looks like this:


If you ever have to install from requirements.txt with pip, you can run this command:

pip install -r requirements.txt


There's a few issues with pip. First of all, it usually installs packages globally, meaning it could break some apps on your system that are built with Python. Secondly, installing from requirements.txt don't really provide much security. Thirdly, some projects require different versions of Python and different packages installed.

This is where Pipenv comes in. It creates a virtual environment for our project. It makes sure it does not interact with our system packages.

Installing Pipenv

Install Pipenv globally by entering in your terminal:

pip install --user pipenv

Creating a Pipenv project

To create a project, go into a newly created folder and decide on a Python version you want to use. For the sake of this document, we'll use Python 3.11.

In the terminal of a new project folder, enter:

pipenv --python 3.11

This creates the Pipfile and installs the virtual environment.

Installing packages with pipenv

Using pipenv to install packages is very similar to using pip.

Enter the following commands to install the correct packages and their appropriate options for this project:

pipenv install requests

If you want to install a specific version, you can run:

pipenv install requests==2.31.0

Generating requirements.txt from Pipfiles

Sometimes, you need a requirements.txt file. We can create one from our Pipfile by running:

pipenv requirements > requirements.txt