Thursday, August 24, 2017

Setup Integrated Terminal in VS Code to use Anaconda Python command prompt

I recently discovered about Anaconda for doing Python development.  Anaconda simplifies setting up data science development environment. It installs all the packages for Python, installs Python, installs R etc. It just works. I have tried developing on Python before and it was rough.  Anaconda is great.

I like VS Code as an editor and I want to do Python development using it.  VS Code has Integrated Terminal into it for launching Python scripts. You can have PowerShell or cmd.exe configured. I want to replace it with Anaconda command prompt which is nothing but cmd.exe with some arguments.

Inside VS Code, open user settings page and navigate to Integrated Terminal section



Click on Replace in Settings and User Settings window will open up. There you will add cmd.exe and arguments settings for Anaconda command prompt.

"": "C:\\Windows\\System32\\cmd.exe"

Regarding arguments. Well how do we find the arguments for Anaconda command prompt. Right click on the command prompt for Anaconda icon and then click properties.



As shown in the screen shot above everything after cmd.exe is arguments. Take those and put it inside [] as shown below.

"": [

"/K","C:\\Users\\myusername\\AppData\\Local\\Continuum\\Anaconda3\\Scripts\\activate.bat C:\\Users\\myusername\\AppData\\Local\\Continuum\\Anaconda3"


VS Code also allows you to do debugging with Python, provided you install Python and Python for VS Code extensions. After you install you can start debugging your Python script. But hold on, if your python path doesn’t exist inside environment variable then VS Code will error out asking you to modify launch.json file and modify the pythonPath. Inside your user settings file. Add the following line regarding your Anaconda3 location where python.exe is located as shown below.

"python.pythonPath": "C:\\Users\\myusername\\AppData\\Local\\Continuum\\Anaconda3"

After doing this you will be able to do debugging with VS Code with Python using Anaconda. If you are getting started with Python then I highly recommend using Anaconda for your environment setup. Enjoy!