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Anaconda export Environment file

How can I make anaconda environment file which could be use on other computers?

I exported my anaconda python environment to YML using conda env export > environment.yml. The exported environment.yml contains this line prefix: /home/superdev/miniconda3/envs/juicyenv which maps to my anaconda's location which will be different on other's pcs.

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    • I was just doing some testing, and thought I found the prefix is ignored... not sure why it is in the env export. You should be able to do conda env create -f environment.yml Just as an aside, in my experience this is not going to work across platforms, because conda env will list many dependencies such as ` vs2015_runtime` if you are on Windows. But of course that is not available on linux.

I can't find anything in the conda specs which allow you to export an environment file without the prefix: ... line. However, as Alex pointed out in the comments, conda doesn't seem to care about the prefix line when creating an environment from file.

With that in mind, if you want the other user to have no knowledge of your default install path, you can remove the prefix line with grep before writing to environment.yml.

conda env export | grep -v "^prefix: " > environment.yml

Either way, the other user then runs:

conda env create -f environment.yml

and the environment will get installed in their default conda environment path.

If you want to specify a different install path than the default for your system (not related to 'prefix' in the environment.yml), just use the -p flag followed by the required path.

conda env create -f environment.yml -p /home/user/anaconda3/envs/env_name

Note that Conda recommends creating the environment.yml by hand, which is especially important if you are wanting to share your environment across platforms (Windows/Linux/Mac). In this case, you can just leave out the prefix line.

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The easiest way to save the packages from an environment to be installed in another computer is:

$ conda list -e > req.txt

then you can install the environment using

$ conda create -n new environment --file req.txt

if you use pip, please use the following commands: reference https://pip.pypa.io/en/stable/reference/pip_freeze/

$ env1/bin/pip freeze > requirements.txt
$ env2/bin/pip install -r requirements.txt
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  • Linux

    conda env export --no-builds | grep -v "prefix" > environment.yml

  • Windows

    conda env export --no-builds | findstr -v "prefix" > environment.yml


Rationale: By default, conda env export includes the build information:

$ conda env export
...
dependencies:
  - backcall=0.1.0=py37_0
  - blas=1.0=mkl
  - boto=2.49.0=py_0
...

You can instead export your environment without build info:

$ conda env export --no-builds
...
dependencies:
  - backcall=0.1.0
  - blas=1.0
  - boto=2.49.0
...

Which unties the environment from the Python version and OS.

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    • I agree that this is a good answer, but consider adding some details on why excluding build info is useful for transferring envs across platforms.
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    • Unfortunately, this will not always work when installing exporting and re-installing on different OS.

I find exporting the packages in string format only is more portable than exporting the whole conda environment. As the previous answer already suggested:

$ conda list -e > requirements.txt

However, this requirements.txt contains build numbers which are not portable between operating systems, e.g. between Mac and Ubuntu. In conda env export we have the option --no-builds but not with conda list -e, so we can remove the build number by issuing the following command:

$ sed -i -E "s/^(.*\=.*)(\=.*)/\1/" requirements.txt 

And recreate the environment on another computer:

conda create -n recreated_env --file requirements.txt 
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      • 1
    • sed command worked pretty nice. I had to delete a patch version. So major.minor.patch to major.minor and it worked. Turns out, the lower patch number had been dropped by the main repos.
  1. First activate your conda environment (the one u want to export/backup)
conda activate myEnv
  1. Export all packages to a file (myEnvBkp.txt)
conda list --explicit > myEnvBkp.txt
  1. Restore/import the environment:
conda create --name myEnvRestored --file myEnvBkp.txt
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