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How to associate a virtual environment with a Python project in PyCharm

When it comes to Python development, PyCharm is my favourite IDE.

Before working on a new Python project, I like to create a virtual environment and associate it with the corresponding PyCharm project. In case you like this mode of operation, this is how you can associate a virtual environment with a Python project in PyCharm.

Creating a virtualenv environment for a new Python 3 project

First, let us create a virtual environment for that new Python 3 project.

Since Python 3.5, the recommended way to create a new virtual environment is through the venv module within Python 3.

When we have a version later than Python 3.5 installed on an linux environment, we can run the following command to create a virtual environment:

python3 -m venv proj_1_venv

After the command completes, you will find the proj_1_venv folder in your current working directory. Inside proj_1_venv folder, you will find a bin folder that contains the Python binary and scripts to activate and deactivate the virtual environment.

Associating a virtual environment during PyCharm project creation

To associate a virtual environment durung PyCharm project creation, you can go through the following screens:

Click on Create New Project

PyCharm CE Version 2018.2.3 starting screen

Select Existing Interpreter and click on ...

PyCharm CE Version 2018.2.3 new project options screen with existing interpreter chosen

Click ... to select a Python Interpreter
PyCharm CE Version 2018.2.3 add Python Interpreter for new project screen with any Python Interpreter

Include the path to proj_1_venv/bin/python and click OK
PyCharm CE Version 2018.2.3 select Python Interpreter for new project screen

Click OK to confirm the virtual environment selection
PyCharm CE Version 2018.2.3 add Python Interpreter for new project screen

Click Create to create a new PyCharm project
PyCharm CE Version 2018.2.3 new project options screen with proj_1_venv chosen as the Python Interpreter for new project

Associating a virtual environment to an existing PyCharm project

To associate a virtual environment to an existing PyCharm project, you can go through the following screens:

While your project is selected, click on PyCharm -> Preferences...
PyCharm CE Version 2018.2.3 Preferences Menu Item highlighted for project_1

In the Preferences window, select Project Interpreter for your project
PyCharm CE Version 2018.2.3 Preferences Screen with Project Interpreter selected

Click on the Project Interpreter dropbox and then click on Show All...
PyCharm CE Version 2018.2.3 Project Interpreter dropbox collapsed with Show All.. highlighted

In the Project Interpreters Dialog, click on +
PyCharm CE Version 2018.2.3 Project Interpreters Dialog with + button highlighted

Select Existing Interpreter and click on ...

PyCharm CE Version 2018.2.3 new project options screen with existing interpreter chosen

Click ... to select a Python Interpreter
PyCharm CE Version 2018.2.3 add Python Interpreter for new project screen with any Python Interpreter

Include the path to proj_1_venv/bin/python and click OK
PyCharm CE Version 2018.2.3 select Python Interpreter for new project screen

Click OK to confirm the virtual environment selection
PyCharm CE Version 2018.2.3 add Python Interpreter for new project screen

Click OK to select the associated virtual environment for your project
PyCharm CE Version 2018.2.3 Project Interpreters Dialog with 2 Python environments and Ok button highlighted

Click Apply then OK to confirm the virtual environment for your project
PyCharm CE Version 2018.2.3 Project Interpreter with proj_1_venv as the virtual environment with Apply and OK button highlighted

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About Clivant

Clivant a.k.a Chai Heng enjoys composing software and building systems to serve people. He owns techcoil.com and hopes that whatever he had written and built so far had benefited people. All views expressed belongs to him and are not representative of the company that he works/worked for.

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