Python Virtual Environments

The usual tools for creating Python virtual environments—venv, virtualenv, pew—don’t play well with xonsh. We won’t dig deeper into why it is so, but the general gist is that these tools are hacky and hard-coded for bash, zsh, and other mainstream shells.

Luckily, xonsh ships with its own virtual environments manager called Vox.


First, load the vox xontrib:

$ xontrib load vox

To create a new environment with vox, run vox new <envname>:

$ vox new myenv
Creating environment...
Environment "myenv" created. Activate it with "vox activate myenv".

By default, environments are stored in ~/.virtualenvs, but you can override it by setting the $VIRTUALENV_HOME environment variable.

To see all existing environments, run vox list:

$ vox list
Available environments:

To activate an environment, run vox activate <envname>:

$ vox activate myenv
Activated "myenv".

Instead of activate, you can call workon or enter.

To exit the currently active environment, run vox deactivate or vox exit:

$ vox deactivate
Deactivated "myenv".

To remove an environment, run vox remove <envname>:

$ vox remove myenv
Environment "myenv" removed.

Instead of remove, you can call rm, delete, or del.

To see all available commands, run vox help, vox --help, or vox -h:

Vox is a virtual environment manager for xonsh.

Available commands:
    vox new <env>
        Create new virtual environment in $VIRTUALENV_HOME

    vox activate (workon, enter) <env>
        Activate virtual environment

    vox deactivate (exit)
        Deactivate current virtual environment

    vox list (ls)
        List all available environments

    vox remove (rm, delete, del) <env> <env2> ...
        Remove virtual environments

    vox help (-h, --help)
        Show help

virtualenv like prompt

Although it’s included in the default prompt, you can customize your prompt to automatically update in the same way as virtualenv.

Simply add the '{env_name}' variable to your $PROMPT:

$PROMPT = '{env_name: {}}' + restofmyprompt

Note that you do not need to load the vox xontrib for this to work. For more details see Customizing the Prompt.