All You Need to Know About Anaconda Distribution For Python

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Python is a high-level programming language devised by Guido van Rossum & first released in 1991. It’s the most popular coding language used by software developers to build, control, manage and for testing.

In Python, compiled code is stored with the file extension .py. For example –

It is also an interpreter which executes Python programs. The python interpreter is called python.exe on Windows. To execute program, type –


Python Packages

Packages or additional libraries help in scientific computing and computational modelling. In Python, the packages are not the part of the Python standard library. Few major packages are –

  • numpy (NUMeric Python): matrices and linear algebra
  • scipy (SCIentific Python): many numerical routines
  • matplotlib: (PLOTting LIBrary) creating plots of data
  • sympy (SYMbolic Python): symbolic computation
  • pytest (Python TESTing): a code testing framework

What is Anaconda Python?

Together with a list of Python packages, tools like editors, Python distributions include the Python interpreter. Anaconda is one of several Python distributions. Anaconda is a new distribution of the Python and R data science package. It was formerly known as Continuum Analytics. Anaconda has more than 100 new packages.

This work environment, Anaconda is used for scientific computing, data science, statistical analysis, and machine learning. The latest version of Anaconda 5.0.1 is released in October 2017.

The released version 5.0.1 addresses some minor bugs and adds useful features, such as updated R language support. All of these features weren’t available in the original 5.0.0 release.

This package manager is also an environment manager, a Python distribution, and a collection of open source packages and contains more than 1000 R and Python Data Science Packages.

Why Anaconda for Python?

There’s no big reason to switch to Anaconda if you are completely happy with you regular python. But some people like data scientists who are not full-time developers, find anaconda much useful as it simplifies a lot of common problems a beginner runs into.

Anaconda can help with –

  • Installing Python on multiple platforms
  • Separating out different environments
  • Dealing with not having correct privileges and
  • Getting up and running with specific packages and libraries

How to Download Anaconda 5.0.1?

The free version of Anaconda distribution community edition can be downloaded directly from Anaconda’s website. For the enterprise edition, one need professional support from Anaconda’s sales team.

Conda treats Python the same as any other package, so it is easy to manage and update multiple installations.

Anaconda supports Python 2.7, 3.4, 3.5 and 3.6. The default is Python 2.7 or 3.6, depending on which installer you used:

  • For the installers “Anaconda” and “Miniconda,” the default is 2.7.
  • For the installers “Anaconda 3” or “Miniconda 3,” the default is 3.6.

How to Install Anaconda?

Once downloaded the .exe file, run through the installer. Do accept the terms, and finish the installation. To check, close the browser and pull up the terminal.

Once the installation is complete, it should have automatically added that to the path. To test this, go ahead and type ‘python’.

The version of python i.e. 3 will show and also the anaconda distribution will be seen. If you install the 4 versions of Anaconda, then all the packages, which are there in the packages, can also be imported easily.

To check type import numpy or import matplotlib and run that.

You can check out our Python training courses for more details.

Related Topics

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Python vs R for Machine Learning – Which Is Better?



About Payel Bhowmick

The author is an analyst at SpringPeople & writes on emerging technology trends for IT professionals. Passionate about technology, her current area of focus is the digital revolution currently underway in the edu-tech industry. When not at work, Payel splits her time between writing, reading and watching sci-fi movies.

Posts by Payel Bhowmick

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