Installing and Configuring Python with RStudio


The following steps represent a minimal workflow for using Python with RStudio Connect via the reticulate package, whether you are using the RStudio IDE on your local machine or RStudio Server Pro.


Step 1. Install a base version of Python

If you are working on your local machine, you can install Python from or Anaconda.

If you are working on a server with RStudio Server Pro, your administrator can install a system-wide version of Python, or you can install Python in your home directory from or Anaconda.

In either case, ensure that your base installation of Python has the pip and virtualenv packages installed.


Step 2. Create a Python environment in your project

It is recommended that you use one virtual environment per project, similar to how packrat is used to manage R packages within a project.

Use the following commands in a terminal to create a new virtualenv in a folder called .venv within your project directory:

cd <project-dir>
/path/to/python/bin/virtualenv .venv


Step 3. Activate your Python environment

You can activate the virtualenv in your project using the following command in a terminal:

source .venv/bin/activate

You can verify that you have activated the correct version of Python using the following command in a terminal:

which python


Step 4. Install Python packages in your environment

You can install Python packages such as numpy, pandas, matplotlib, and other packages in your Python virtualenv by using pip install using the following command in a terminal:

pip install numpy pandas matplotlib


Step 5. Install and configure reticulate to use your Python version

Install the reticulate package using the following command in your R console:


To configure reticulate to point to the Python executable in your virtualenv, create a file in your project directory called .Rprofile with the following contents:

Sys.setenv(RETICULATE_PYTHON = ".venv/bin/python")

You'll need to restart your R session for the setting to take effect. You can verify that reticulate is configured for the correct version of Python using the following command in your R console:



Step 6. Publish a project to RStudio Connect

You can then develop Shiny apps, R Markdown, and Plumber APIs with Python/R in the RStudio IDE and RStudio Server Pro using the reticulate package per and and deploy the applications to RStudio Connect.

For more details on each step, refer to the concepts and best practices in the support article for Best Practices for Using Python with RStudio Connect.