Miniconda: Uses, Requirements, and Installation

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First things first, what is Miniconda? It is a free minimal Conda Installer. Broadly, to understand Miniconda is, you can think of it as a tiny, bootstrap version of Anaconda. It comprises Python, Conda, the package they rely on, and a few applicable packages, such as zlib, pip, and others.


What is Conda environment?

After briefing you on Miniconda, the next thing you must know is Conda environment? First, you can understand the Conda environment as a directory, which comprises a certain number of Conda packages, which you have installed.


For instance, you have one environment with NumPy 1.6 for legacy testing and another with NumPy 1.7 and its dependencies. So, even when one environment is changed, the other environments will not be affected.


Moreover, activating or deactivating the environments is easy. Hence, switching between environments is seamless. Sharing your environment is also easy. All you have to do is provide them with a copy of the environment.YAML file and that is all.


Understanding Conda, Miniconda, and Anaconda Relationship

Conda is the umbrella term, which covers both Anaconda and Miniconda. So, broadly, Conda is a packet management system. It is the core or heat of the functioning of Anaconda. Miniconda is a type of Anaconda.


Anaconda is open source and created or coded on Python, which functions and exists independently, whereas Miniconda’s functions are mainly concentrated and restricted to Python and related functions.


Similar to what is Miniconda, there are other specific function software versions of Anaconda too. However, the more advanced versions are licensed software, such as software as a service or SAAS.


To choose between Anaconda and Miniconda, you must understand what is Miniconda, and its relationship with Anaconda.


Both Miniconda and Anaconda are software distributions, which are prevalently employed in data science to streamline package management and deployment. So, now, to help you understand what is Miniconda and its relationship with Anaconda, we will help you understand the differences between these two apps.


Difference between Miniconda and Anaconda

Primarily, there are two key differences between Miniconda and Anaconda.


  1. Interface – The GUI is the Navigator in Anaconda, whereas Miniconda has a command-like interface.
  2. Packages – Miniconda has a few packages, whereas Anaconda has more than 150 data science packages.


So, when you try to understand Miniconda, you can think of it as a smaller version of Anaconda. Miniconda is a small repository management system and comprises only a few packages, whereas Anaconda is a whole distribution comprising about 150 built-in packages.


Hopefully, now, you know what is Miniconda, Anaconda, and Conda. The next thing you should know is when to pick Anaconda vs. Miniconda.


You must opt for Anaconda if:

  1. You are a beginner at Python or Conda
  2. You prefer the convenience of having Python and other 150 scientific packages installed automatically in a single go.
  3. You have 3 GB of disk space available
  4. You have time, will need only a few minutes
  5. You do not want to go through individually installing all the packages that you may need.


You must opt for Miniconda if:

  1. You are okay with installing all the requisite packages individually.
  2. There is no disk space available to install more than 150 packages in one go.
  3. You do not have ample time in hand.
  4. You wish to have quick access to Conda commands and Python and later sort out the other programs.


What is the use of Miniconda?

What is Miniconda? Miniconda is a workbench for a data scientist, and every workbench starts neat, addressing only the fundamental necessities.


However, as the project grows and expands, the tools on the workbench also grow. They will change, they will be utilized more, and they will definitely be swapped.


Therefore, every workbench can be personalized in a manner suitable to the data scientist. However, the apparent fact of the matter is that a workbench for one data scientist might not be the same as that of the other data scientist, irrespective of whether they are on one team or not.


People usually favor employing Anaconda, the complete hardware store of data science tools, when they commence a project. However, if you are addressing a long-term project, you will want to build a distinct environment that has the tools you need for your project, not everything.


In Conda, there is an array of different ways to build a personalized environment. For instance, you can download and install Miniconda, which has just the essential data science tools to help you get started.


Following this, you can progress to creating a customized workbench within the project folder or directory. It is undoubtedly an excellent strategy to build a new project folder.


In this directory, you can include all the relevant files needed in the project, such as the tools, the code, and the data that you use.


Following this, you will set a new project, say Project_1, and in this project environment, you can have all the necessary tools. Then within this directly, you can set an environment to progress with the same project as stated. It also makes it easy for you to share your projects with others in the time to come.


But, where does Miniconda install packages? Miniconda will install all the packages within the environment folder. You can find these packages in the folder known as \conda-meta.


System requirements for Miniconda

Now that you know what is Miniconda, if you desire to download the install package, you must be thorough with the System requirements.


For the Miniconda install Python, here is a list of all the system requirements:


1. Operating system – For the Miniconda install package, you will require 64-bit macOS 10.13+, or Windows 8 or newer, or a Linux Operating system, comprising CentOS 7+, RedHat, Ubuntu, and alike. However, for those wanting the install package in OS older than what’s supported, you can look for older versions of Miniconda in the archive.

2. License – As per the terms of EULA for Miniconda, free use and distribution license will be needed.

3. System architecture – MacOS- 64-bit x86; Windows- 64-bit x86, 32-bit x86; Linux- 64-bit x86, 64-bit aarch64

4. Space – Minimum 400 MB of disk space for downloading and installation.


Be it Linux, macOS, or Windows, it is ideal for downloading the Miniconda install package for local users, as it will not need any specific administrator permissions. Thus, it is indeed one of the most potent installation mechanisms. But, if you wish, you can also install Miniconda system-wide sans administrator permissions.


Does Miniconda install Python? If yes, how do I install Python on Miniconda?

Yes, Miniconda installs Python. So, how do you perform it? Let us find out what is Miniconda installation guide for different OS.


For Mac

Typically in the modern macOS versions, Python 2 comes pre-installed. However, today, Python 3 is more prevalent and must be installed. You can install the same via the official Python 3 installer.

  1. For this, visit the Python Releases for Mac OS X page. From there, you need to download the newest stable release, macOS 32-bit or 64-bit installer.
  2. So, go ahead, and download the latest version.
  3. Once you are through with the download process, you can run the installer. Next, click on the setup steps. Please keep all the pre-selected installation defaults as they are.
  4. After this is done, you can check if the Python was installed rightly. For this, you can open the Terminal and input the command python3 –version. You can see if the latest Python 3.7 version number is written there.


For Windows

To install Python 3 on Windows, you can follow the steps below:

  1. Head to the Python Releases for Windows page. From there, download the stable and the latest release Windows x86-64 executable installer.
  2. On page 1 of the installer, you must select the “Add Python to PATH” option. Following this, you will have to click through the remnant steps. Across this, do not change any pre-select installation defaults.
  3. After this is done, you can ensure that the installation is done correctly. For this, open the Command Prompt (CMD or PowerShell) and then enter the command python –version. You should see the latest Python 3.7 version number added to the console.


How do I download and install Miniconda on Linux, Mac, and Windows?

Installing Miniconda (Source*)

Platform Name SHA256 hash
Windows Miniconda3 Windows 64-bit b33797064593ab2229a0135dc69001bea05cb56a20c2f243b1231213642e260a
Miniconda3 Windows 32-bit 24f438e57ff2ef1ce1e93050d4e9d13f5050955f759f448d84a4018d3cd12d6b
MacOSX Miniconda3 MaxOSX 64-bit bash 786de9721f43e2c7d2803144c635f5f6e4823483536dc141ccd82dbb927cd508
Miniconda3 MaxOSX 64-bit pkg 8fa371ae97218c3c005cd5f04b1f40156d1506a9bd1d5c078f89d563fd416816
Linux Miniconda3 Linux 64-bit 1ea2f885b4dbc3098662845560bc64271eb17085387a70c2ba3f29fff6f8d52f
Miniconda3 Linux-aarch64 64-bit 4879820a10718743f945d88ef142c3a4b30dfc8e448d1ca08e019586374b773f
Miniconda3 Linux-ppc64le 64-bit fa92ee4773611f58ed9333f977d32bbb64769292f605d518732183be1f3321fa
Miniconda3 Linux-s390x 64-bit 1faed9abecf4a4ddd4e0d8891fc2cdaa3394c51e877af14ad6b9d4aadb4e90d8


Windows installers

Here are the steps to be followed for downloading and installation of the Miniconda version for Mac.

  1. Head to the Miniconda Download page. From there, download the Python 3.7 Windows 64-bit .exe installer.
  2. After you are through with the download process, you need to run the installer.
  3. Following this, click through all the steps, leaving the pre-selected installation to their default selections.
  4. Once done, you can check to ensure that Miniconda was properly installed. You can do this by opening the Command Prompt (CMD or PowerShell) and entering the command Conda list. Here, you can access all the packages installed by Miniconda.


Python version Name Size SHA256 hash
Python 3.9 Miniconda3 Windows 64-bit 58.1 MiB b33797064593ab2229a0135dc69001bea05cb56a20c2f243b1231213642e260a
Python 3.8 Miniconda3 Windows 64-bit 57.3 MiB 8940cdd621557bc55743d6bb4518c6d343a4587127e76de808fb07e51df03fea
Python 3.7 Miniconda3 Windows 64-bit 55.8 MiB 9c031506bfcb0428a0ac46c9152f9bdd48d5bdaa83046691bf8e0a4480663c05
Python 3.9 Miniconda3 Windows 32-bit 55.3 MiB 24f438e57ff2ef1ce1e93050d4e9d13f5050955f759f448d84a4018d3cd12d6b
Python 3.8 Miniconda3 Windows 32-bit 54.5 MiB f81c165384c18d1986e2ba2f86cef384bc62266c46b34cd3d274e751ff5d91ed
Python 3.7 Miniconda3 Windows 32-bit 55.3 MiB a1bb8338be12ee09dbd4cab9dcc2fbdc99f65d99281dd2c07d24ad0f23dd1f7c


MacOSX installers

Here are the steps to be followed for downloading and installation of the Miniconda version for Mac.

  • Head to the Miniconda Download page. From there, download Python 3.7 Mac OS X 64-bit .pkg installer.
  • Once you are done with the download, run the installer.
  • Click through the steps, and ensure that the pre-selections are left to defaults.
  • Once done, you can confirm if Miniconda was properly installed. For this, open the Terminal and enter command conda list. Here, you can see the packages installed by Miniconda.


Python version Name Size SHA256 hash
Python 3.9 Miniconda3 MacOSX 64-bit bash 42.3 MiB 786de9721f43e2c7d2803144c635f5f6e4823483536dc141ccd82dbb927cd508
Miniconda3 MacOSX 64-bit pkg 49.9 MiB 8fa371ae97218c3c005cd5f04b1f40156d1506a9bd1d5c078f89d563fd416816
Python 3.8 Miniconda3 MacOSX 64-bit bash 53.3 MiB 93e514e01142866629175f5a9e2e1d0bac8bc705f61d1ed1da3c010b7225683a
Miniconda3 MacOSX 64-bit pkg 60.8 MiB faab44cd21b4b09f5c032aa49a8a23d3c53ef629dc9322411348ce413e41df35
Python 3.7 Miniconda3 MacOSX 64-bit bash 50.6 MiB ca7492d456c319d15682b2d3845112a631365f293d38d1f62872c33a2e57e430
Miniconda3 MacOSX 64-bit pkg 58.1 MiB c3710f25748884741ef8d97777ebb3541c992d51130298830b5b9ad449dbbf1e


Linux installers: Download Miniconda Linux

  1. To download, first you have to download the installer: Miniconda installer for Linux.
  2. Next step is to Verify your installer hashes.
  3. Third step to download Miniconda Linux is to head o the terminal window, wherein you will run Miniconda: bash
  4. Now, you can follow all the prompts that appear on the installer screens. Typically, you can leave the default pre-set options as it is, but you can always come back and change later.
  5. For your changes to take effect, close, and then again open the terminal window.
  6. To check the installation, in the terminal window, you can run the conda list command. Here, you can see all the packages installed.


Python version Name Size SHA256 hash
Python 3.9 Miniconda3 Linux 64-bit 63.6 MiB 1ea2f885b4dbc3098662845560bc64271eb17085387a70c2ba3f29fff6f8d52f
Miniconda3 Linux-aarch64 64-bit 62.6 MiB 4879820a10718743f945d88ef142c3a4b30dfc8e448d1ca08e019586374b773f
Miniconda3 Linux-ppc64le 64-bit 60.6 MiB fa92ee4773611f58ed9333f977d32bbb64769292f605d518732183be1f3321fa
Miniconda3 Linux-s390x 64-bit 57.1 MiB 1faed9abecf4a4ddd4e0d8891fc2cdaa3394c51e877af14ad6b9d4aadb4e90d8
Python 3.8 Miniconda3 Linux 64-bit 98.8 MiB 935d72deb16e42739d69644977290395561b7a6db059b316958d97939e9bdf3d
Miniconda3 Linux-aarch64 64-bit 94.8 MiB 19584b4fb5c0656e0cf9de72aaa0b0a7991fbd6f1254d12e2119048c9a47e5cc
Miniconda3 Linux-ppc64le 64-bit 93.3 MiB c1ac79540cb77b2e0ca5b9f78b3bc367567d810118500a167dea4a0bcab5d063
Miniconda3 Linux-s390x 64-bit 89.0 MiB 55f514110a50e98549a68912cbb03e43a36193940a1889e1c8beb30009b4da19
Python 3.7 Miniconda3 Linux 64-bit 84.9 MiB a1a7285dea0edc430b2bc7951d89bb30a2a1b32026d2a7b02aacaaa95cf69c7c
Miniconda3 Linux-aarch64 64-bit 89.2 MiB 65f400a906e3132ddbba35a38d619478be77d32210a2acab05133d92ba08f111
Miniconda3 Linux-ppc64le 64-bit 88.1 MiB e4f8b4a5eb8da1badf0b0c91fd7ee25e39120d4d77443e7a1ef3661fd439a997
Miniconda3 Linux-s390x 64-bit 84.1 MiB 7ab9f813dd84cb0951a2d755cd84708263ce4e03c656e65e2fa79ed0f024f0f7


So, this is all from our end on what is Conda environment and what is Miniconda? We sincerely hope that by now you know how to download Miniconda Linux. We have tried to clear all your doubts on can Miniconda install Python and Miniconda install package as well.

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