python – How can I rename a conda environment?

The Question :

343 people think this question is useful

I have a conda environment named old_name, how can I change its name to new_name without breaking references?

The Question Comments :
  • See also this post on how to clone a conda environment
  • you can’t rename (frustrating!) but you can clone the old env with the new name and delete the old env: conda create --name new_name --clone old_name then delete old one: conda remove --name old_name --all

The Answer 1

542 people think this answer is useful

You can’t.

One workaround is to create clone environment, and then remove original one:

(remember about deactivating current environment with deactivate on Windows and source deactivate on macOS/Linux)

conda create --name new_name --clone old_name
conda remove --name old_name --all # or its alias: `conda env remove --name old_name`

There are several drawbacks of this method:

  1. it redownloads packages – you can use --offline flag to disable it,
  2. time consumed on copying environment’s files,
  3. temporary double disk usage.

There is an open issue requesting this feature.

The Answer 2

16 people think this answer is useful

Based upon dwanderson‘s helpful comment, I was able to do this in a Bash one-liner:

conda create --name envpython2 --file <(conda list -n env1 -e )

My badly named env was “env1” and the new one I wish to clone from it is “envpython2”.

The Answer 3

10 people think this answer is useful

conda create --name new_name --copy --clone old_name is better

I use conda create --name new_name --clone old_name which is without --copy but encountered pip breaks…

the following url may help Installing tensorflow in cloned conda environment breaks conda environment it was cloned from

The Answer 4

6 people think this answer is useful

conda should have given us a simple tool like cond env rename <old> <new> but it hasn’t. Simply renaming the directory, as in this previous answer, of course, breaks the hardcoded hashbangs(#!). Hence, we need to go one more level deeper to achieve what we want.

conda env list
# conda environments:
#
base                  *  /home/tgowda/miniconda3
junkdetect               /home/tgowda/miniconda3/envs/junkdetect
rtg                      /home/tgowda/miniconda3/envs/rtg

Here I am trying to rename rtg –> unsup (please bear with those names, this is my real use case)

$ cd /home/tgowda/miniconda3/envs 
$ OLD=rtg
$ NEW=unsup
$ mv $OLD $NEW   # rename dir

$ conda env list
# conda environments:
#
base                  *  /home/tgowda/miniconda3
junkdetect               /home/tgowda/miniconda3/envs/junkdetect
unsup                    /home/tgowda/miniconda3/envs/unsup


$ conda activate $NEW
$ which python
  /home/tgowda/miniconda3/envs/unsup/bin/python

the previous answer reported upto this, but wait, we are not done yet! the pending task is, $NEW/bin dir has a bunch of executable scripts with hashbangs (#!) pointing to the $OLD env paths.

See jupyter, for example:

$ which jupyter
/home/tgowda/miniconda3/envs/unsup/bin/jupyter

$ head -1 $(which jupyter) # its hashbang is still looking at old
#!/home/tgowda/miniconda3/envs/rtg/bin/python

So, we can easily fix it with a sed

$ sed  -i.bak "s:envs/$OLD/bin:envs/$NEW/bin:" $NEW/bin/*  
# `-i.bak` created backups, to be safe

$ head -1 $(which jupyter) # check if updated
#!/home/tgowda/miniconda3/envs/unsup/bin/python
$ jupyter --version # check if it works
jupyter core     : 4.6.3
jupyter-notebook : 6.0.3

$ rm $NEW/bin/*.bak  # remove backups


Now we are done 💯

I think it should be trivial to write a portable script to do all those and bind it to conda env rename old new.


I tested this on ubuntu. For whatever unforseen reasons, if things break and you wish to revert the above changes:

$ mv $NEW  $OLD
$ sed  -i.bak "s:envs/$NEW/bin:envs/$OLD/bin:" $OLD/bin/*

The Answer 5

3 people think this answer is useful

You can rename your Conda env by just renaming the env folder. Here is the proof:

Conda env renaming

You can find your Conda env folder inside of C:\ProgramData\Anaconda3\envs or you can enter conda env list to see the list of conda envs and its location.

The Answer 6

1 people think this answer is useful

I’m using Conda on Windows and this answer did not work for me. But I can suggest another solution:

  • rename enviroment folder (old_name to new_name)

  • open shell and activate env with custom folder:

    conda.bat activate "C:\Users\USER_NAME\Miniconda3\envs\new_name"

  • now you can use this enviroment, but it’s not on the enviroment list. Update\install\remove any package to fix it. For example, update numpy:

    conda update numpy

  • after applying any action to package, the environment will show in env list. To check this, type:

    conda env list

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