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.


It looks like the accepted answers might be out of date.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 Feb 6 at 19:05

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.


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 May 4 '18 at 5:42
  • 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. – Praveen Palanisamy May 5 '18 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 $HOME will reference /home/user/ – j-money Mar 5 at 11:08
  • yes "~ "is what im referring to. so when you see ~$ 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 Mar 5 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 Mar 5 at 11:47
  • ok point taken , i will try and be more "specific" – Cat Mar 5 at 11:53

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