virtualenv Man page



virtualenv – create virtual Python instances


virtualenv [options…] [destination-directory]


virtualenv creates virtual Python executables, each of which can have
its own set of installed modules. Programs that require different
versions of modules or sets of modules that may be incompatible with
others to be installed on the same system without conflicts.

The result is a directory containing its own Python executables (in
DIR/bin/pythonVER and DIR/bin/python) and its own module directory
containing the standard library as installed by the system. Additional
modules may be installed via setuptools, as invoked from the binary
directory (DIR/bin/easy_install). The system´s site-packages
directories will not be available by default, but can be made visible
with the –system-site-packages option. They can then be overridden
with locally-installed modules.

In addition, a shell script called “activate” will be installed in the
bin directory. If sourced, this will cause normal invocations of the
Python executable to use the virtual environment.

By running the virtualenv command explicitly under the desired Python
interpreter, the user can control which version of Python is created in
the virtual environment.


-h, –help
Show summary of options.

Show the version of the program.

-v, –verbose
Be more verbose.

-q, –quiet
Be less verbose; suppress unimportant output.

Clear out a previously-created virtual Python instance in this
location before creating a new one.

The Python interpreter to use to create the new environment.

Ignored (the default). Don´t give access to the global
site-packages modules to the virtual environment.

Give access to the global site-packages modules to the virtual

Always copy files rather than symlinking.

Unzip Setuptools when installing it. This fixes up scripts and
makes all .pth files relative.

Make an EXISTING virtualenv environment relocatable.

Do not install setuptools (or pip) in the new virtualenv.

Do not install pip in the new virtualenv.

Directory to search for setuptools/distribute/pip distributions in.
Can be specified multiple times.

Provides an alternative prompt prefix for this environment.

This manual page was originally written by Jeff Licquia , later rewritten by Carl Chenet .

Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU General Public License, version 2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation.

On Debian systems, the complete text of the GNU General Public License can be found in /usr/share/common-licenses/GPL.


Copyright © 2007 Jeff Licquia

12/02/2009 VIRTUALENV(1)