I use Conda for package management in Python. I have a basic environment which I use almost all of the time, and I want it to be loaded by default when I open a terminal. How do I set up my .bashrc to load the environment?

So far, I tried source activate myenv, but my understanding is that I need to provide an actual path within the .bashrc file. I then tried source ~/anaconda3/envs/myenv/bin/activate. Although this doesn't throw an error, it also doesn't activate the environment. I'm running Ubuntu 16.04.

9 Answers 9


It looks like the accepted answers might be out of date. From the docs:

If your shell is Bash or a Bourne variant, enable conda for the current user with

$ echo ". /home/<user>/miniconda3/etc/profile.d/conda.sh" >> ~/.bashrc

or, for all users, enable conda with

$ sudo ln -s /home/<user>/miniconda3/etc/profile.d/conda.sh /etc/profile.d/conda.sh

The options above will permanently enable the 'conda' command, but they do NOT put conda's base (root) environment on PATH. To do so, run

$ conda activate

in your terminal, or to put the base environment on PATH permanently, run

$ echo "conda activate" >> ~/.bashrc

Previous to conda 4.4, the recommended way to activate conda was to modify PATH in your ~/.bashrc file. You should manually remove the line that looks like

export PATH="/home/<user>/miniconda3/bin:$PATH"

^^^ The above line should NO LONGER be in your ~/.bashrc file! ^^^

  • The softlink method is RAD!
    – abalter
    Commented Feb 6, 2019 at 19:05
  • If adding in .bashrc is not working, then try adding it in .profile file.
    – oya163
    Commented Mar 18, 2020 at 18:41
  • Can someone explain what is wrong with the method at the bottom (exporting to PATH)? What are the downsides of doing it this way?
    – J. Taylor
    Commented Jan 27 at 8:03

For bash use:

$ ./conda init bash

That will automatically edit your .bashrc.


$ source ~/.bashrc

Test (install Spyder):

$ conda install -c anaconda spyder

Run Spyder

$ spyder

Correct Fix

(works for versions >= 4.6)

find . -type f -name 'conda' check where the conda binary is and thene cd to it or just give the complete path and run

conda config --set auto_activate_base true

To deactivate just do the same but with false. Obviously:

conda config --set auto_activate_base false

Quick & Dirty Fix #1

Paste the following into your .bashrc, replace with the obvious and source your .bashrc (source .bashrc). Should work for Miniconda3 version >= 4.6

# >>> conda initialize >>>
# !! Contents within this block are managed by 'conda init' !!
__conda_setup="$('/home/<YOUR_USER>/miniconda3/bin/conda' 'shell.bash' 'hook' 2> /dev/null)"
if [ $? -eq 0 ]; then
    eval "$__conda_setup"
    if [ -f "/home/<YOUR_USER>/miniconda3/etc/profile.d/conda.sh" ]; then
        . "/home/<YOUR_USER>/miniconda3/etc/profile.d/conda.sh"
        export PATH="/home/<YOUR_USER>/miniconda3/bin:$PATH"
unset __conda_setup
# <<< conda initialize <<<

This is a cut and paste from my own .bashrc, you can remove the comments but I find them handy as delimiters.

Quick & Dirty Fix #2

Remove the whole thing with your favourite removal command (rm -rf ~/miniconda3), run the install script again and pay attention to the prompt as it will aks you if you want to autostart it.

Whatever rocks your boat :)

  • 1
    Note you may need to run this first: export PATH="/home/<YOUR_USER>/miniconda3/bin:$PATH" before it'll find the conda binary ;)
    – Owl
    Commented Sep 21, 2022 at 15:17
  • 1
    Hi Owl, not necessary, find will return the whole path and I mentioned that the user should use that one. And the .bashrc code already indicates the full path. Conda will set the $PATH itself once activated. But thanks for the tip (it's an old answer and I had to check) ;
    – runlevel0
    Commented Sep 28, 2022 at 12:40
  • 1
    ahh yes good point. If for some reason you do need to run the conda binary - say you have a script that does it that's part of some config utility, export the path with the path to the conda binary first.
    – Owl
    Commented Sep 28, 2022 at 14:04

During the Anaconda install there should be an entry added the .bashrc file like this

export PATH="/home/<user>/anaconda3/bin:$PATH"

if it is not there, verify the install by running which conda, and update .bashrc with the path up to bin.

This points to the 'conda' executable, and sets up the path to handle conda activate.

Add this line after the export command:

source activate <your_environment>

from there you can source ~/.bashrc to load the environment to the current shell.



conda init bash

That will automatically edit your .bashrc.


As commented by @oya163, if .bashrc doesn't work then try copying ~/.bashrc to ~/.profile, it resolved my issue.
Also, run conda init, it will setup necessary steps for conda activate and setup commands are added into ~/.bashrc file by conda init. Later, one can copy this whole ~/.bashrc to ~/.profile or ~/.bash_profile

I use the below scripts to setup above mentioned things

conda_setup() {
      echo "setting up conda..."

      # setting up .profile

      if [ ! -f "$PROFILE_FILE" ] 
            conda init
            cp -rf "$BASHRC_FILE" "$PROFILE_FILE"
      ls -ll "$PROFILE_FILE"

      echo "conda setup done" 

conda_setup || echo "some issue in conda setup"

If you want a conda environment to be activated by default when you launch a new bash terminal, you can add the following line to your ~/.bashrc file:


You should replace <PATH_TO_YOUR_CONDA_ENVIRONMENT/bin> in the above line with the full path to your conda environment.

In your case, you can add the following line to your ~/.bashrc file:

export PATH=~/anaconda3/envs/myenv/bin:$PATH

Basically we are adding the bin directory of your conda environment as the first entry in your PATH which is essentially what the activate convenience script will do. After this, When you open a new bash terminal, the conda environment will be "activated"/"enabled" by default.

Note that you may not see the (myenv) prefix to your bash prompt like you would if you did source activate myenv. If you want the prefix to your prompt to show up as well, add the following line to your ~/.bashrc file:

export PS1="(myenv)"$PS1

Where (myenv) is any custom name you can give that will show up as the prefix to the bash prompt.

  • For me this works, but conda info --envs still shows the root environment as current. Is there any reason I can't just add source activate py34 (py34 is my environment name) to my ~/.bashrc? It seems to work, but is there some reason this wasn't recommended?
    – BStateham
    Commented May 4, 2018 at 5:42
  • 2
    Make sure that the PATH variable is pointing to the bin folder under the conda environment's folder and not the base/root bin folder. For example: ~/anaconda3/envs/myenv/bin and not ~/anaconda3/bin) Yes. you can simply add the anaconda bin folder (eg.: ~/anaconda3/bin) to the system PATH and then source activate ENV_NAME in your ~/.bashrc or ~/.bash_profile. It was not recommended because, the config files (~/.bashrc or ~/.bash_profile) are themselves sourced and are not executed when a new bash terminal is opened. Commented May 5, 2018 at 13:45

To activate conda environment simply put this at the end of your .bashrc file to open .bashrc open terminal, go to home directory. Run/type nano .bashrc, at the prompt put the following at the end of the file:

conda activate my_environment_name

now save the .bashrc file (Ctrl+Shift+o) press enter.

  • While I am no conda expert, I can tell you ~$ refers to nothing but ~$ (which isn't anything). ~ or $HOME will reference /home/user/
    – j-money
    Commented Mar 5, 2019 at 11:08
  • 1
    yes "~ "is what im referring to. so when you see ~$ your in home environment just trying to explain so anyone can understand, its pity you downvoted over the dollar sign as this could have been helpful pertaining to the actual question in hand...
    – Cat
    Commented Mar 5, 2019 at 11:45
  • Unfortunately for me, I commented but did not downvote (so now I get the aftermath).. In any event how can anyone understand ~$ as the correct path when it isn't even a path?
    – j-money
    Commented Mar 5, 2019 at 11:47
  • ok point taken , i will try and be more "specific"
    – Cat
    Commented Mar 5, 2019 at 11:53
  • 1
    ^Ooo just found a fix for my previous comment: run conda config --set auto_activate_base false to disable the auto loading of base. After that, it WILL start up with the environment you specify!
    – sh37211
    Commented Sep 10, 2022 at 22:56

This may be somewhere above (but I got it wrong first off). Its important that in your bashrc file you first export your conda path. So the path to conda (or miniconda etc) will come above the conda activate <env> line. The format is like so:

export <path to conda bin>

<any other conda initializations>

conda activate <env>

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