Managing project dependencies

Note: This guide is not about Ploomber, but rather to explain our recommended way to manage project dependencies.

To make sure someone else is able to reproduce your results, you have to ensure that they can install all required packages.

There are a few options to do so, however, we highly recommend you to use conda. conda is able to handle many dependencies that otherwise would require a lot of setup to be installed correctly. Even if you use conda, you’ll still be able to use pip.

If you want to know more about dependency management, check out this post in our blog.

Installing miniconda (aka conda)

Conda is available for Windows, MacOS and Linux, click here for installation instructions.

Important: Follow instructions for Miniconda, not Anaconda.

Once you finish the setup process, verify that conda was installed correctly by running:

conda --help

Declaring dependencies (environment.yml)

Once conda is installed, declare dependencies in an environment.yml file, here’s an example with common dependencies to get you started:

name: some_project

  # having a pkg here is the same as "conda install {pkg}"
  - python==3.8
  - pip
  - numpy
  - scipy
  - pandas
  - matplotlib
  - pip:
    # having a package here is the same as "pip install {pkg}"
    - ploomber

For documentation on environment.yml, click here.

Installing dependencies

To create your environment:

conda env create --file environment.yml

To activate it:

conda activate {env_name}

If you modify your environment.yml file, you can update your dependencies with:

conda env update --name {env_name} --file environment.yml  --prune

Where {env_name} is the value for the name key in your environment.yml file.


Once your environment is installed, you might run into trouble if you keep running conda install and pip install on it. Whenever you encounter issues, the safe way to fix them is to modify your environment.yml and then create the environment again.

To re-create your environment, first move to the base environment (created by default):

conda activate

Then install your environment with the --force option to replace the old one:

conda env create --file environment.yml --force