Using (Ana)conda within PyCharm

I've got Pycharm 4 running on my Linux (Ubuntu 14.04) machine. In addition to the system python, I've also got Anaconda installed. Getting the two to play nicely together seems to be a bit of a problem... PyCharm provides some interesting integration for virtualenvs and pip, but the Anaconda Python distribution seems to prefer using its own conda tool for both activities.

Is there a relatively simple/painless way to be able to use conda in conjunction with PyCharm? Not just as an alternative interpreter i.e. point PyCharm at the Anaconda Python binary for a project interpreter, but to be able to create, source/activate and deactivate virtual envs, add/remove packages in those virtual envs, etc.

Or am I going to have to choose between using Anaconda (and having a more recent and up-to-date python than may come with the system), and being able to use PyCharm's features to their fullest extent?

I know it's late, but I thought it would be nice to clarify things: PyCharm and Conda and pip work well together.

The short answer

Just manage Conda from the command line. PyCharm will automatically notice changes once they happen, just like it does with pip.

The long answer

Create a new Conda environment:

conda create --name foo pandas bokeh

This environment lives under conda_root/envs/foo. Your python interpreter is conda_root/envs/foo/bin/pythonX.X and your all your site-packages are in conda_root/envs/foo/lib/pythonX.X/site-packages. This is same directory structure as in a pip virtual environement. PyCharm sees no difference.

Now to activate your new environment from PyCharm go to file > settings > project > interpreter , select Add local in the project interpreter field (the little gear wheel) and hunt down your python interpreter. Congratulations! You now have a Conda environment with pandas and bokeh!

Now install more packages:

conda install scikit-learn

OK... go back to your interpreter in settings. Magically, PyCharm now sees scikit-learn!

And the reverse is also true , i.e. when you pip install another package in PyCharm, Conda will automatically notice. Say you've installed requests. Now list the Conda packages in your current environment:

conda list

The list now includes requests and Conda has correctly detected (3rd column) that it was installed with pip.


This is definitely good news for people like myself who are trying to get away from the pip/virtualenv installation problems when packages are not pure python.

NB: I run PyCharm pro edition 4.5.3 on Linux. For Windows users, replace in command line with in the GUI (and forward slashes with backslashes). There's no reason it shouldn't work for you too.

EDIT: PyCharm5 is out with Conda support! In the community edition too.