Switching to the Command-line¶
While the Anaconda Navigator interface is convenient if you've never written code before, it is much quicker (and easier!) to use the command-line. Don't worry, it's much simpler than you probably expect. Even if you don't know how to code, you can master the command-line in just a few minutes.
Each command can be viewed as a "button". For example, the command
cd stands for "change directory". When you call it, it just opens up a new folder to view the contents -- so the same thing as double-clicking a folder to open it up.
Running our first command¶
Let's try this out with our command-line.
- On Windows, search for and open "Anaconda Powershell Prompt" using your Start menu.
- On Mac and Linux, search for and open the app named "Terminal"
You should see something like this:
(base) at the start of the line. This is our anaconda enviornment that we are currently using. After that, you'll see the "current working directory", which is the folder we currently have open and are sitting in. On Windows this will be your user folder (e.g.
C:\Users\jacksund) and for Mac/Linux you'll see
~ which is shorthand for your user folder (e.g.
Now, try typing in the command
cd Desktop and then hit enter. This will open up your Desktop folder. Then enter the command
ls, which will list all files and folders on your Desktop.
# run these two commands cd Desktop ls
Learning new commands¶
For other simple commands, you can take a look at this cheat sheet or take a full tutorial. Memorizing commands will come slowly over time, so keep this cheat-sheet handy. We highly recommend that you spend 30 minutes going through these links once you finish this tutorial.
Obviously, the tricky part with the command-line is knowing what to type. Fortunately, however, most programs have a single command that forms the base of more complex commands. For anaconda, the command is
conda. If you aren't sure what it does or how to use it, you just add
--help to it. Type in the command
conda --help and you'll see an output like this:
usage: conda [-h] [-V] command ... conda is a tool for managing and deploying applications, environments and packages. Options: positional arguments: command clean Remove unused packages and caches. compare Compare packages between conda environments. config Modify configuration values in .condarc. This is modeled after the git config command. Writes to the user .condarc file (/home/jacksund/.condarc) by default. create Create a new conda environment from a list of specified packages. info Display information about current conda install. init Initialize conda for shell interaction. [Experimental] install Installs a list of packages into a specified conda environment. list List linked packages in a conda environment. package Low-level conda package utility. (EXPERIMENTAL) remove Remove a list of packages from a specified conda environment. uninstall Alias for conda remove. run Run an executable in a conda environment. search Search for packages and display associated information. The input is a MatchSpec, a query language for conda packages. See examples below. update Updates conda packages to the latest compatible version. upgrade Alias for conda update. optional arguments: -h, --help Show this help message and exit. -V, --version Show the conda version number and exit. conda commands available from other packages: build content-trust convert debug develop env index inspect metapackage pack render repo server skeleton token verify
Don't get overwhelmed by the amount of information printed out. Each line is getting accross a simple idea.
For example, the line
-h, --help Show this help message and exit. is telling us what the
conda --help command does! It also tells us that we could have done
conda -h for the same output.
This help message also tells us there are other "subcommands" available. One is
create which says it creates a new environment. To learn more about that one, we can run the command
conda create --help.
There's a bunch here... But again, you don't need to memorize all of this. Just remember how to get this help page when you need it. Up next, we'll use these commands to create our environment and install Simmate.