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Pipenv is a packaging tool for Python that solves some common problems associated with the typical workflow using pip, virtualenv, and the good old requirements.txt.


pip3 install pipenv

Package installation using pipenv

pipenv install requests

If a pipenv is not setup for the application yet, running the above will create a virtual environment along with the installation of pipenv and also create Pipfile and Pipfile.lock under the application directory.

The below shows a sample pipfile (toml):

name = "pypi"
url = ""
verify_ssl = true


requests = "*"

python_version = "3.7"

you can install package you need, flask. For example you need version 0.12.1 and not the latest version, so go ahead and be specific by:

pipenv install flask==0.12.1

You can also install directly from a version control system by:

pipenv install -e git+

Production Environment based package Install

Let’s say you have some unit tests for the application that you are building, and you want to use pytest for running them. You don’t need pytest in production so you can specify that this dependency is only for development with the –dev argument:

pipenv install pytest --dev

This package will be auto added by pipenv to the Pipfile under [dev-packages].

Activate your pipenv environment

Spawn a shell in a virtual environment to isolate the development of your app by running:

pipenv shell

Deactivate your pipenv environment

To deactivate the environment spawned by running the above command use exit. Avoid using deactivate as this does not completely (not a clean) exit from a pipenv environment.

(myenv)$ exit

Running a script

You can run a script without activating the environment created.

pipenv run python

You can also run a command in the virtual environment without launching a shell by:

pipenv run <insert command here>

Install from requirements.txt

You can install required packaged for an app from a legacy virtual environment requirements.txt

pipenv install -r pathto/requirements.txt

Uninstall a Package

Now, let’s say you no longer need a package. You can uninstall it:

pipenv uninstall requests

If you want to wipe off all the packages from the environment:

pipenv uninstall --all

Pip Freeze in pipenv

This is the equivalent to pip freeze, gives you the list of packages installed under that environment.

pipenv lock -r

PipEnv Path(s)

To find out where your virtual environment is located:

pipenv --venv

To find out where your project home is

pipenv --where

Package vulnerabilities

Check for security vulnerabilities in your environment:

pipenv check

Environment Variables and PipEnv

Pipenv supports the automatic loading of environmental variables when a .env file exists in the project directory. That way, when you pipenv shell to open the virtual environment, it loads your environmental variables from the file. The .env file just contains key-value pairs:

14:03:47~/PycharmProjects/cloudMigrationDVApp$ pipenv run python
Loading .env environment variables…
Python 3.7.3 (v3.7.3:ef4ec6ed12, Mar 25 2019, 16:52:21)
[Clang 6.0 (clang-600.0.57)] on darwin
Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.
>>> import os
>>> os.environ['SECRET_KEY']

Dependency mapping with PipEnv (with pipenv graph command)

Pipenv can show a dependency graph to understand your top-level dependencies and their sub-dependencies:

pipenv graph

$ pipenv graph
  - et-xmlfile [required: Any, installed: 1.0.1]
  - jdcal [required: Any, installed: 1.4.1]
  - certifi [required: >=2017.4.17, installed: 2019.3.9]
  - chardet [required: >=3.0.2,<3.1.0, installed: 3.0.4]
  - idna [required: >=2.5,<2.9, installed: 2.8]
  - urllib3 [required: >=1.21.1,<1.26,!=1.25.1,!=1.25.0, installed: 1.25.3]

Switch to a different python version

Given a situation if your app python version needs to be changed from one version to another pipenv pipfile can be edited to change the python version under:

python_version = "3.6" ## changed from 3.7 to 3.6

And then by running the below will reinstall the virtual environment with the version specified.

pipenv --python 3.6

To remove pipenv completely

You can remove the pipenv environment completely by running

pipenv --rm

This will still not delete the Pipfile and the Pipfile.lock, this would need to be manually removed (If not needed).

To install the pipenv with the pipfile`s in place, run:

pipenv install

Changing version of a package installed

In order to update a pip package change the version under the pip file.

openpyxl = "*"
requests = "==2.22.0" # Changed from 2.21 to 2.22

and then run:

pipenv install

Should result in the required version installed:

$ pipenv lock -r | grep requests

Production Ready

Once your application is ready with the required packages in development, You need to lock your environment to ensure you have the same (version) packages in production:

pipenv lock

This will create/update your Pipfile.lock, which you’ll never need to (and are never meant to) edit manually.

Once you get your code and Pipfile.lock in your production environment, you should install the last successful environment recorded by:

pipenv install --ignore-pipfile

This tells Pipenv to ignore the Pipfile for installation and use what’s in the Pipfile.lock.

Dev Environment

To setup packages and environment for dev environment:

pipenv install --dev

From legacy virtualenv to pipenv

If you have a dev-requirements.txt or something similar, you can add those to the Pipfile as well by:

pipenv install -r dev-requirements.txt --dev

Additionally, you can go the other way and generate requirements files from a Pipfile.

pipenv lock -r > requirements.txt pipenv lock -r -d > dev-requirements.txt

Resources to Refer