How to Clone an Environment with MiniConda via the Console

MiniConda is a free minimal installer for the Conda package manager. It's a powerful tool for managing and deploying applications, environments, and packages. Among its many features, one of the most useful is the ability to clone existing environments. Cloning is a handy way to create a duplicate environment, which can be useful when you want to create an exact copy for testing, sharing, or reproducibility. In this post, we'll guide you on how to clone an environment with MiniConda via the console.

The imagery below for the blog post seems fitting.  Creating and maintaining environments can seem like we are going into the abyse.  But fear not! It is as easy as three lines of code!

Steps to Clone a Conda Environment:

Listing Existing Environments:

Before cloning an environment, we need to identify the one we wish to clone. To list all of your Conda environments, use the following command: 

This will display a list of all your environments. The name of each environment will be displayed next to its path. Let's say the environment you want to clone is named myenv.

Cloning the Environment:

Once you've identified the environment you want to clone, you can create a clone using the conda create command with the --clone option. Let's say we want to create a clone of myenv named myclone. Here's how to do it:

This command will create a new environment named myclone, which is an exact replica of myenv. Remember to replace myenv and myclone with the actual names of your environments.

Cloning an environment might take a few moments as Conda needs to copy all packages from the source environment to the new one.

Activating the Cloned Environment:
After successfully cloning the environment, you can activate your new environment with:

Now myclone is your active environment and should have the same packages and versions as myenv. You can check this by running conda list, which will display the list of packages in the active environment.

If you are cloning a project from year to year, include a naming convention that helps in the process.  For example, if the project is military times, have a short descriptive name for the project, miltimes followed by the cycle.  If it is by year, use {YYYY} if it is quarter, try q1{YY}.  Whatever you choose, be sure to follow the convention for at least three cycles and then evaluate if it still fits in the workflow. 


Cloning Conda environments is a powerful feature that aids in ensuring reproducibility and isolation, making your data science or programming projects manageable and shareable. Through this short guide, we hope you've learned how easy it is to clone a Conda environment using MiniConda via the console. Happy coding!


Popular posts from this blog

Drawing Tables with ReportLab: A Comprehensive Example

Blog Topics

DataFrame groupby agg style bar