Anaconda and PowerShell working together!

Yes! To my surprise, when I completed installing the latest update of Anaconda (Anaconda3 2019.10 (64bit) v4.8.1), I realized they have included the following menu item: “Anaconda PowerShell Prompt (Anaconda3)“. Apparently, this menu item has been added for some time.

So, we can take advantage of this shortcut, especially when we can use this console prompt for working with “PowerShell Notebook.” Please, check out Rob Sewell blog post on the recent update .NET Notebook Preview 2 post about “New .NET Notebooks are here – PowerShell 7 notebooks are here.“.

But, Wait! Let’s take this a little further and get you ready to do some fun.

What’s the main advantage?

The “Anaconda PowerShell Prompt” shortcut is already set to activate Anaconda to be used with Windows PowerShell. There’s no need to do a manual activation by opening a DOS command shell and executing:

c:\> conda activate

Trying to use Python without activating Anaconda, it will give you a message.

The activation will allow you to use Python within Windows PowerShell. Or, just use the shortcut “Anaconda PowerShell Prompt.”

As you probably will notice, this menu item only open Windows PowerShell. So, what about PowerShell Core?

This is probably because of PowerShell Core has multiple versions: PowerShell 6.2.4 (GA) and PowerShell 7 Preview (RC2), both supported by Microsoft.

Would you like to create the Anaconda Pwsh7 Prompt shortcut?

Yes! We can create our own PowerShell Core shortcut. And, here’s how to create the shortcut for Anaconda PowerShell 7 Preview.

First, I will make another copy of the original shortcut and label it “Anaconda Pwsh7-Preview Prompt (Anaconda3)“.

Here’s the original path use the Windows PowerShell shortcut:

%windir%\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\powershell.exe -ExecutionPolicy ByPass -NoExit -Command "& 'C:\ProgramData\Anaconda3\shell\condabin\conda-hook.ps1' ; conda activate 'C:\ProgramData\Anaconda3' "

And, here’s my shortcut modification to use PowerShell 7 Preview:

%ProgramFiles%\PowerShell\7-preview\pwsh.exe -ExecutionPolicy ByPass -NoExit -Command "& 'C:\ProgramData\Anaconda3\shell\condabin\conda-hook.ps1' ; conda activate 'C:\ProgramData\Anaconda3' "

Keep in mind, you will need administrator privileges to create this shortcut in the ProgramData Anaconda menu.

After making all the necessary changes to the new shortcut, we got both Window PowerShell and PowerShell 7 Preview working with Anaconda.

Now go ahead and expand your scripting knowledge!