How to create a Python virtual environment with Jupyter
Gustavo Saidler
by Gustavo Saidler
1 min read


  • how to


  • python
  • jupyter

If you use Python, you probably create a separate virtual environment (venv) for each project, or at least you have heard that this a good practice to be followed.

Here are some reasons for using it:

  • It helps to maintain your system clean since you don’t install system-wide libraries that you are only going to need for a small project;
  • It allows you to use a certain version of a library for one project and another version for another project;

So, basically, you have completely isolated Python environments for each of your projects, which can prevent big headaches (words from someone who had it already).

Until recently, I didn’t know it is also possible to create a venv in a Jupyter environment, but it is, and it’s quite easy!

Here is how:

1. Navigate to the folder where your project will reside.

2. Execute the following command to create a virtual environment:

python3.6 -m venv venv

3. Then activate it (so far exactly as “normal” Python):

source venv/bin/activate

4. Now, you have to install the ipykernel using pip:

pip install ipykernel

5. Once finished, you have to install a new kernel:

ipython kernel install --user --name=new_project

6. That’s it! If you start Jupyter now, you will see that the new_project kernel is available to be used when creating new notebooks


- All packages you install while having the venv activated (steps 3 and 4) will be available exclusively for this new kernel

These commands where executed on a Macbook with Python 3.6 installed, but it should be the same processe for every other system (you’d probably call python instead of python3.6 though)