There are two very simple ways to create a Python virtual environment on Debian 10. They're very similar and offer nearly the same benefits. As an added bonus, you won't need to install anything outside of the default Debian repositories to use them.

In this tutorial you will learn:
  • How to Install the Dependencies
  • How to Use Python 3's Venv
  • How to Use Virtualenv
Python Virtual Environment on Debian 10
Python Virtual Environment on Debian 10.

Software Requirements and Conventions Used

Software Requirements and Linux Command Line Conventions
Category Requirements, Conventions or Software Version Used
System Debian 10 Buster
Software Python 3
Other Privileged access to your Linux system as root or via the sudo command.
Conventions # - requires given linux commands to be executed with root privileges either directly as a root user or by use of sudo command
$ - requires given linux commands to be executed as a regular non-privileged user

Install the Dependencies

Before you get started, make sure that you have Python 3.

$ sudo apt install python3 python3-venv

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Then, if you plan to use Virtualenv, install that too.

$ sudo apt install virtualenv python3-virtualenv

Use Python 3's Venv

Set Up Python Venv on Debian 10
Set Up Python Venv on Debian 10.

Python 3's venv functionality is built-in, and you can use it to get set up without anything else.

$ python3 -m venv /path/to/virtual/environment
Activate Python Venv on Debian 10
Activate Python Venv on Debian 10.

It will only take a few seconds to get set up. Once it's done, you can activate the virtual environment with:

$ source your-broject/bin/activate

Now, you're working with the Python install from your virtual environment, instead of the system wide one. Anything you do now, should reside in your project folder. When you're done, just run deactivate to exit the virtual Python.

Use Virtualenv

Create Python Virtualenv on Debian 10
Create Python Virtualenv on Debian 10.

To start, create your environment with the virtualenv command. You'll also need to tell it to use Python 3 with the -p flag.

$ virtualenv -p python3 /path/to/virtual/environment


Activate Python Virtualenv on Debian 10
Activate Python Virtualenv on Debian 10.

This will take a few seconds to get itself setup with Pip and the other Python packages it includes. When it's finished, activate the environment.

$ source your-project/bin/activate

Do your work inside the project directories. When you're done, use deactivate to exit the virtual environment.

Conclusion

It's super easy to get set up with Python virtual environments, and the benefits are pretty clear. You'll be able to compartmentalize your projects, and keep things from conflicting. It's also easier to manage Python package versions as you work.

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