Anaconda is a package manager, an environment manager, and a Python distribution that contains a collection of many open source packages. This is beneficial because when working on a data science project, you will find that you need many different packages (NumPy, sci-kit-learn, scipy, pandas, to name a few) that have an installation of Anaconda pre-installed. If you need additional packages after installing Anaconda, you can use Anaconda’s package manager, conda or pip to install these packages. This is very beneficial because you don’t have to manage dependencies between multiple packages yourself. Conda even makes it easy to switch between Python 2 and 3 (learn more here). In fact, an installation of Anaconda is also the recommended method for installing Jupyter Notebooks, which you can learn more about here in the DataCamp community.
What is Anaconda Python?
Anaconda is an open-source package manager, environment manager, and distribution of the Python and R programming languages. It is widely used for data science, machine learning, large-scale data processing, scientific computing, and predictive analytics.
Anaconda offers a collection of over 1,000 Data Science packages and is available in both free and paid enterprise versions. The Anaconda distribution comes with the conda command-line utility. You can learn more about Anaconda and conda by reading the official Anaconda documentation.
This tutorial will walk you through installing the Python 3 version of Anaconda on an Ubuntu 20.04 server.
Download and install Anaconda
- go to the Anaconda website and select a Python 3.x graphical installer (A) or a Python 2.x graphical installer (B). If you are not sure which Python version to install, choose Python 3. Do not choose both.
- Locate your download and double-click it.When the following screen appears, click Next.
- Read the license agreement and click I Agree.
- Click Next.
- make a note of your installation location and then click Next.
- This is an important part of the installation process. The recommended approach is to not check the box to add Anaconda to your path. This means that you must use Anaconda Navigator or the Anaconda prompt (under “Anaconda” in the Start menu) if you want to use Anaconda (you can always add Anaconda to your PATH later if you do not select the check box). . If you want to use Anaconda in your command prompt (or git bash, cmd, PowerShell, etc.), please use the alternate approach and select the check box.
- Click Next.
- If you want, you can install Microsoft VSCode, but this is optional.
- Click Finish.
Advantages of using Python Anaconda
It has more than 1500 Python/R data science packages. Anaconda simplifies package management and deployment. It has tools to easily collect data from sources using machine learning and AI. It creates an environment that is easy to manage for the deployment of any project.