Anaconda is a package management, environment manager, and Python distribution including a large number of open source packages. This is useful since, when working on a data science project, you will require several different packages (numpy, scikit-learn, scipy, and pandas, to name a few).
These packages are preinstalled in Anaconda. If you need to install more packages after installing Anaconda, you may use conda or pip. This is quite helpful since it eliminates the need to manually handle package dependencies. Conda also facilitates switching between Python 2 and 3 (you can learn more here). In fact, Anaconda installation is also the preferred method for installing Jupyter Notebooks, as you can learn in the DataCamp site.
How to Download and properly Install Anaconda
Choose a Python 3.x graphical installer (A) or a Python 2.x graphical installation (B) from the Anaconda website (B). Choose Python 3 if you are unsure which Python version to install. Do not select both.
When the screen below appears, click on Next.
3. Read the license agreement and click on I Agree.
4. Click on Next.
8. You can install Microsoft VSCode if you wish, but it is optional.
9. Click on Finish.
Path Anaconda should be included (Optional)
This is a completely optional step. This is for if you didn’t tick the box in step 6 and want to add Anaconda to your Path now. The benefit is that you will be able to utilize Anaconda in your Command Prompt, Git Bash, cmder, and so on.
1. Launch the Command Prompt.
2. Check to see if Anaconda is already in your path. Enter the following commands into your Command Prompt. This checks to see if Anaconda is already in your path. Proceed to step 3 if you receive a command not recognized error, as shown on the left side of the image below. You have already added Anaconda to your route if you get an output similar to the right side of the image below.
3. Open an Anaconda Prompt and type the following instructions if you don’t know where your conda and/or python are. This will show you where conda and python are on your PC.
4. Add Python and Conda to your PATH. You may accomplish this by heading to your Environment Variables and adding the output of step 3 (circled in red) to your path. If you’re having trouble, here’s a quick video on how to add conda and Python to your PATH.
5. Launch a new Command Prompt window. To see if everything went correctly, type conda —version and python —version into the Command Prompt.