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Command Reference

Like git, the pyenv command delegates to subcommands based on its first argument.

The most common subcommands are:

pyenv help

List all available pyenv commands along with a brief description of what they do. Run pyenv help <command> for information on a specific command. For full documentation, see: https://github.com/pyenv/pyenv#readme

pyenv commands

Lists all available pyenv commands.

pyenv local

Sets a local application-specific Python version by writing the version name to a .python-version file in the current directory. This version overrides the global version, and can be overridden itself by setting the PYENV_VERSION environment variable or with the pyenv shell command.

$ pyenv local 2.7.6

When run without a version number, pyenv local reports the currently configured local version. You can also unset the local version:

$ pyenv local --unset

Previous versions of pyenv stored local version specifications in a file named .pyenv-version. For backwards compatibility, pyenv will read a local version specified in an .pyenv-version file, but a .python-version file in the same directory will take precedence.

pyenv local (advanced)

You can specify multiple versions as local Python at once.

Let's say if you have two versions of 2.7.6 and 3.3.3. If you prefer 2.7.6 over 3.3.3,

$ pyenv local 2.7.6 3.3.3
$ pyenv versions
  system
* 2.7.6 (set by /Users/yyuu/path/to/project/.python-version)
* 3.3.3 (set by /Users/yyuu/path/to/project/.python-version)
$ python --version
Python 2.7.6
$ python2.7 --version
Python 2.7.6
$ python3.3 --version
Python 3.3.3

or, if you prefer 3.3.3 over 2.7.6,

$ pyenv local 3.3.3 2.7.6
$ pyenv versions
  system
* 2.7.6 (set by /Users/yyuu/path/to/project/.python-version)
* 3.3.3 (set by /Users/yyuu/path/to/project/.python-version)
  venv27
$ python --version
Python 3.3.3
$ python2.7 --version
Python 2.7.6
$ python3.3 --version
Python 3.3.3

pyenv global

Sets the global version of Python to be used in all shells by writing the version name to the ~/.pyenv/version file. This version can be overridden by an application-specific .python-version file, or by setting the PYENV_VERSION environment variable.

$ pyenv global 2.7.6

The special version name system tells pyenv to use the system Python (detected by searching your $PATH).

When run without a version number, pyenv global reports the currently configured global version.

pyenv global (advanced)

You can specify multiple versions as global Python at once.

Let's say if you have two versions of 2.7.6 and 3.3.3. If you prefer 2.7.6 over 3.3.3,

$ pyenv global 2.7.6 3.3.3
$ pyenv versions
  system
* 2.7.6 (set by /Users/yyuu/.pyenv/version)
* 3.3.3 (set by /Users/yyuu/.pyenv/version)
$ python --version
Python 2.7.6
$ python2.7 --version
Python 2.7.6
$ python3.3 --version
Python 3.3.3

or, if you prefer 3.3.3 over 2.7.6,

$ pyenv global 3.3.3 2.7.6
$ pyenv versions
  system
* 2.7.6 (set by /Users/yyuu/.pyenv/version)
* 3.3.3 (set by /Users/yyuu/.pyenv/version)
  venv27
$ python --version
Python 3.3.3
$ python2.7 --version
Python 2.7.6
$ python3.3 --version
Python 3.3.3

pyenv shell

Sets a shell-specific Python version by setting the PYENV_VERSION environment variable in your shell. This version overrides application-specific versions and the global version.

$ pyenv shell pypy-2.2.1

When run without a version number, pyenv shell reports the current value of PYENV_VERSION. You can also unset the shell version:

$ pyenv shell --unset

Note that you'll need pyenv's shell integration enabled (step 3 of the installation instructions) in order to use this command. If you prefer not to use shell integration, you may simply set the PYENV_VERSION variable yourself:

$ export PYENV_VERSION=pypy-2.2.1

pyenv shell (advanced)

You can specify multiple versions via PYENV_VERSION at once.

Let's say if you have two versions of 2.7.6 and 3.3.3. If you prefer 2.7.6 over 3.3.3,

$ pyenv shell 2.7.6 3.3.3
$ pyenv versions
  system
* 2.7.6 (set by PYENV_VERSION environment variable)
* 3.3.3 (set by PYENV_VERSION environment variable)
$ python --version
Python 2.7.6
$ python2.7 --version
Python 2.7.6
$ python3.3 --version
Python 3.3.3

or, if you prefer 3.3.3 over 2.7.6,

$ pyenv shell 3.3.3 2.7.6
$ pyenv versions
  system
* 2.7.6 (set by PYENV_VERSION environment variable)
* 3.3.3 (set by PYENV_VERSION environment variable)
  venv27
$ python --version
Python 3.3.3
$ python2.7 --version
Python 2.7.6
$ python3.3 --version
Python 3.3.3

pyenv install

Install a Python version (using python-build).

Usage: pyenv install [-f] [-kvp] <version>
       pyenv install [-f] [-kvp] <definition-file>
       pyenv install -l|--list

  -l/--list             List all available versions
  -f/--force            Install even if the version appears to be installed already
  -s/--skip-existing    Skip the installation if the version appears to be installed already

  python-build options:

  -k/--keep        Keep source tree in $PYENV_BUILD_ROOT after installation
                   (defaults to $PYENV_ROOT/sources)
  -v/--verbose     Verbose mode: print compilation status to stdout
  -p/--patch       Apply a patch from stdin before building
  -g/--debug       Build a debug version

To list the all available versions of Python, including Anaconda, Jython, pypy, and stackless, use:

$ pyenv install --list

Then install the desired versions:

$ pyenv install 2.7.6
$ pyenv install 2.6.8
$ pyenv versions
  system
  2.6.8
* 2.7.6 (set by /home/yyuu/.pyenv/version)

To install the latest version of Python without giving a specific version use the :latest syntax. For example, to install the latest patch version for Python 3.8 you could do:

pyenv install 3.8:latest

To install the latest major release for Python 3 try:

pyenv install 3:latest

pyenv uninstall

Uninstall a specific Python version.

Usage: pyenv uninstall [-f|--force] <version>

   -f  Attempt to remove the specified version without prompting
       for confirmation. If the version does not exist, do not
       display an error message.

pyenv rehash

Installs shims for all Python binaries known to pyenv (i.e., ~/.pyenv/versions/*/bin/*). Run this command after you install a new version of Python, or install a package that provides binaries.

$ pyenv rehash

pyenv version

Displays the currently active Python version, along with information on how it was set.

$ pyenv version
2.7.6 (set by /home/yyuu/.pyenv/version)

pyenv versions

Lists all Python versions known to pyenv, and shows an asterisk next to the currently active version.

$ pyenv versions
  2.5.6
  2.6.8
* 2.7.6 (set by /home/yyuu/.pyenv/version)
  3.3.3
  jython-2.5.3
  pypy-2.2.1

pyenv which

Displays the full path to the executable that pyenv will invoke when you run the given command.

$ pyenv which python3.3
/home/yyuu/.pyenv/versions/3.3.3/bin/python3.3

Use --nosystem argument in case when you don't need to search command in the system environment.

pyenv whence

Lists all Python versions with the given command installed.

$ pyenv whence 2to3
2.6.8
2.7.6
3.3.3

pyenv exec

Usage: pyenv exec <command> [arg1 arg2...]

Runs an executable by first preparing PATH so that the selected Python version's bin directory is at the front.

For example, if the currently selected Python version is 3.9.7:

pyenv exec pip install -r requirements.txt

is equivalent to:

PATH="$PYENV_ROOT/versions/3.9.7/bin:$PATH" pip install -r requirements.txt

pyenv root

Displays the root directory where versions and shims are kept.

$ pyenv root
/home/user/.pyenv

pyenv prefix

Displays the directories where the given Python versions are installed, separated by colons. If no version is given, pyenv prefix displays the locations of the currently selected versions.

$ pyenv prefix 3.9.7
/home/user/.pyenv/versions/3.9.7

pyenv hooks

Lists installed hook scripts for a given pyenv command.

Usage: pyenv hooks <command>

pyenv shims

List existing pyenv shims.

Usage: pyenv shims [--short]

$ pyenv shims
/home/user/.pyenv/shims/2to3
/home/user/.pyenv/shims/2to3-3.9
/home/user/.pyenv/shims/idle
/home/user/.pyenv/shims/idle3
/home/user/.pyenv/shims/idle3.9
/home/user/.pyenv/shims/pip
/home/user/.pyenv/shims/pip3
/home/user/.pyenv/shims/pip3.9
/home/user/.pyenv/shims/pydoc
/home/user/.pyenv/shims/pydoc3
/home/user/.pyenv/shims/pydoc3.9
/home/user/.pyenv/shims/python
/home/user/.pyenv/shims/python3
/home/user/.pyenv/shims/python3.9
/home/user/.pyenv/shims/python3.9-config
/home/user/.pyenv/shims/python3.9-gdb.py
/home/user/.pyenv/shims/python3-config
/home/user/.pyenv/shims/python-config

pyenv init

Configure the shell environment for pyenv

Usage: eval "$(pyenv init [-|--path] [--no-rehash] [<shell>])"

  -                    Initialize shims directory, print PYENV_SHELL variable, completions path
                       and shell function
  --path               Print shims path
  --no-rehash          Add no rehash command to output     

pyenv completions

Lists available completions for a given pyenv command.

Usage: pyenv completions <command> [arg1 arg2...]