There are multiple ways to update Python using Anaconda. You can create a virtual environment with desired version of Python or you can also install target Python version in main environment.
What is Anaconda?
Conda is the open source package & environment management system. It was created for Python but could be used for any language. In simple words, it helps you find and install packages.
Before doing anything, you should know the current installed version on Python in your system.
python --version # Output 👉 Python 3.9.13
Next we need to see the available versions of Python in conda package manager –
conda search python
With the help of this, we now know the available versions and the version installed on our system.
1. Installing Python in Virtual Environment
Follow these steps to create a virtual environment of desired Python version.
Step 1: Create Virtual Environment using the below command –
conda create -n virtual_env_name python=3.6 anaconda
virtual_env_name with whatever you want to call this environment. And we are using python v3.6 but you can use any available version.
Step 2: Activate the environment –
conda activate virtual_env_name
virtual_env_name with your environment name.
Why environment activation is required?
Activation helps in two purposes –
- Running activation scripts which are necessary for setting environment variables for packages.
- Adding entries to the PATH for environment
Step 3: Check if you are in the correct environment. In the terminal you should see your environment name in () or  like
If you could not see that, then list all the environments using below command and check if your desired environment is selected by (*).
conda info --envs
Step 4: Check the python version in the new environment.
2. Upgrading minor version of Python
If you just want to upgrade the minor version of Python then you can use the below command –
conda update python
By minor version, I mean that the python will update within same branch. So, if you have 3.5.4 installed then it will upgrade to 3.5.6. But it won’t change to 3.9.15. Only the minor version 3.5.x will upgrade.
3. Upgrading major version of Python
If you wish to upgrade major version then you need to install that. Anaconda will replace the necessary files for upgradation. This is not recommended as files will be replaced by conda and could lead to breaking of installation. Better to create a virtual environment for different versions.
conda install python=3.8