IntelliJ IDEA 2021.1 Help

Configure a virtual environment

IntelliJ IDEA makes it possible to use the virtualenv tool to create a project-specific isolated virtual environment. The main purpose of virtual environments is to manage settings and dependencies of a particular project regardless of other Python projects. virtualenv tool comes bundled with IntelliJ IDEA, so the user doesn't need to install it.

Create a virtual environment

  1. Ensure that the Python plugin is installed and enabled.

  2. Navigate to File | Project Structure Ctrl+Alt+Shift+S.

    Adding a new SDK

  3. In the Project Structure dialog, select SDKs under the Platform Settings section, click Add a new SDK, and from the popup menu, choose Python SDK.

    Adding a new Python SDK

  4. In the left-hand pane of the Add Python Interpreter dialog, select Virtualenv Environment. The following actions depend on whether the virtual environment existed before.

    creating a virtual environment

    If New environment is selected:

    1. Specify the location of the new virtual environment in the text field, or click Virtual environment location and find location in your file system. Note that the directory where the new virtual environment should be located, must be empty!

    2. Choose the base interpreter from the list, or click Choose the base interpreter and find a Python executable in the your file system.

      If IntelliJ IDEA detects no Python on your machine, it provides two options: to download the latest Python versions from python.org or to specify a path to the Python executable (in case of non-standard installation).

      Downloading Python when creating a virtual env

    3. Select the Inherit global site-packages checkbox if you want that all packages installed in the global Python on your machine to be added to the virtual environment you're going to create. This checkbox corresponds to the --system-site-packages option of the virtualenv tool.

    4. Select the Make available to all projects checkbox, if needed.

    If Existing environment is selected:

    1. Expand the Interpreter list and select any of the existing interpreters. Alternatively, click Select an interpreter and specify a path to the Python executable in your file system, for example, C:\Python36\python.exe.

    2. Select the checkbox Make available to all projects, if needed.

  5. Click OK to complete the task.

You can create as many virtual environments as required. To easily tell them from each other, use different names.

This approach is particularly helpful when you want to upgrade a version of Python your environment is based on, for example, from 3.5 to 3.9. You can specify a new base interpreter and use requirements.txt to ensure all the needed packages are installed.

For any of the configured Python interpreters (but Docker-based), you can:

Last modified: 19 March 2021