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Comment: updates from testing with current miniconda


Anaconda is an open-source Python distribution that makes is possible to easily install and manage many pre-packaged third party Python modules. It is a competing fully open-source alternative to the Enthought Python Distribution (EPD).

It has some big advantages over using the Python Esri provides with ArcGIS:

  • Very useful tools and modules not in Esri's standard distribution are available (iPythonIPython, pandasJupyter notebook, etcSpyder).
  • You can install and update the Python stack as a regular (non-pr) user
  • You can install and remove, and update third party packages easily, with Anaconda checking for compatibility for you 
  • A single Python install stack can be used to set up different "virtual environments" Manage multiple environments (for example, one compatible with ArcMap, another compatible with ArcGIS Pro)


The general workflow to make this happen is to:

  • Install Anaconda without fouling the Windows environment (paths, registry) to break Esri's python stack
  • Configure Anaconda with the particular add-ons you want, and
  • Configure ArcGIS's Python so that it is aware of the appropriate Anaconda content.Anaconda environment (so you can import modules not in Esri's stack)



Miniconda only includes the minimal Python (the main distribution now includes R and many other packages and is very large).


titleArcGIS Pro has Conda!

If you have ArcGIS Pro (it's included in the EGIS ArcGIS install) you already have Conda installed so you do not need this step!


Download MiniConda for Python 2.7
Download links: ( x32 | x64 ) (save do not run link)
The 32-bit version works with ArcGIS Desktop (which is 32-bit)
The 64-bit version is optional, but required to use Anaconda with ArcGIS background processing (and Pro)

Download and Install Anaconda

The main distribution is pretty large. MiniConda downloads what you need to do to start. Choose the Miniconda that matches the main software you want to integrate with. (You can install both if you want.)

Run the .exe installers

Select install for a single user (Not "All Users")

  1. Install to a folder where there is going to be plenty of space (recommend the D drive, not the C drive)
  2. IMPORTANT: To avoid breaking ArcGIS, uncheck the checkboxes  (a) make Anaconda the default Python and (b) add Anaconda's Python to the PATH. 
  3. Here are screenshots to help guide you through the install process.

Set up the Start menu shortcuts

Open a command window and enter these commands:Anaconda first run

Open the Anaconda prompt window (Search in Windows and start the shortcut "Anaconda Prompt") and enter "python"

Code Block
First Anaconda Session
conda install console_shortcut
cd D:\Users\cprice\Anaconda64\Scripts
conda install console_shortcut


\Miniconda2) C:\Users\cprice>python
Python 2.7.13 |Continuum Analytics, Inc.| (default, May 11 2017, 14:07:41) [MSC v.1500 32 bit (Intel)] on win32
Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.
Anaconda is brought to you by Continuum Analytics.
Please check out: and

At this point, you will have  have a nice Anaconda Python setup (~ 225 MB) that's spiffy and new and totally useless with ArcMap.

2) Set up an SSL certificate (USGS instructions) for Conda

DOI is now requiring SSL encryption. Without the setup below you will likely get a error that SSL certificates are not valid. The following steps will get you set up to use SSL so Conda will work:


  1. Download the DOI certificate:  


  1. to your Downloads folder
  2. Open "Anaconda Prompt" window
  3. Set up the certificate to use it with Conda
Code Block
mkdir %USERPROFILE%\.certificates
copy %USERPROFILE%\Downloads\DOIRootCA.crt %USERPROFILE%\.certificates
conda config --set ssl_verify %USERPROFILE%\.certificates\DOIRootCA.crt

3) Configure Anaconda To Work with ArcGIS

The following workflow will demonstrate how set up a custom Python environment within Anaconda that is similar to that of has the same modules installed as ArcGIS Python, and then add a compatible version pandas  module. Pandas is great for a whole variety of data processing tasks (just google "python pandas"). If you get this far, you can adapt this workflow to include any other modules you may want.of Jupyter notebook.  

The following example is for ArcGIS, assuming you have successfully installed MiniConda 2 32-bit (as above).

A. Find the versions of numpy and matplotlib


for your version of ArcGIS Desktop

The critical modules for ArcGIS compatibility can be determined from your version of ArcGIS from the command line.


We'll also include a few other modules that we know are shipped in the ArcGIS Python stack.

  1. Get to Open the Anaconda Command Prompt (Start > Search > Anaconda, pick each of your Anaconda startup shortcuts)prompt
  2. Type (depending on Arc version):
    ArcGIS 10.2.2:  "conda create -n arc1022 python=2.7.5 numpy=1.7.1 matplotlib=1.3.0 pyparsing xlrd xlwt"
    ArcGIS 10.3.1:  "conda create -n arc1031 python=2.7.8 numpy=1.7.1 matplotlib=1.3.0 pyparsing xlrd xlwt"
    ArcGIS 10.4.1: "conda create -n arc1041 python=2.7.10 numpy=1.9.2 matplotlib=1.4.3 scipy=0.16.0 pandas pyparsing xlrd xlwt"
    ArcGIS 10.5: "conda create -n arc105 python=2.7.12 numpy=1.9.2 matplotlib=1.4.3  scipy=0.17.0 pandas pyparsing xlrd xlwt"
    ArcGIS Pro 1.2 (x64): "conda create -n arcpro12 python=3.4.3 numpy=1.9.3 matplotlib=1.4.3 scipy=0.16.0 pandas pyparsing xlrd xlwt"
    ArcGIS Pro 1.3 (x64): "conda create -n arcpro13 python=3.4.4 numpy=1.9.3 matplotlib=1.4.3 scipy=0.16.1 pandas pyparsing xlrd xlwt"
  3. The conda tool will:
    • Determine that the specified package versions are compatible with each other.
    • Find any packages on which these depend and determine most recent versions that are compatible with what you've asked for, if not completely specified.
    • Show you what it plans to do and prompts you to continue.
    • Download (only) the packages you need to "overlay" onto the base environment to get the environment you have specified.
    • Set up a environment subdirectory, (CD:\AnacondaUsers\cprice\Miniconda2\envs\arc1022arc1041 in our example) installing the downloaded packages into it. This adds up to about 1.5 GB in our ArcGIS 10.4.1 example.

C. Test the virtual environment


Open an Anaconda command window and load the virtual environment.


Code Block
C:\Users\cprice> conda info --envs
# conda environments:
arc1022arc1041                  D:\Users\cprice\Anaconda32Miniconda2\envs\arc1022
root                  *  D:\Users\cprice\Anaconda32Miniconda2
D:\Users\cprice>activate arc1022
Activating environment "arc1022arc1041"...
[arc1022] D:\Users\cprice> conda list
# packages in environment at D:\Users\cprice\Anaconda32\envs\arc1022:
dateutil                  2.4.1                    py27_0
matplotlib                1.3.0                np17py27_0
numpy                     1.7.1                    py27_3
pip                       8.1.1                    py27_1
pyparsing                 1.5.6                    py27_0
pyside                    1.2.1                    py27_0
python                    2.7.5                         2
python-dateutil           2.4.1                     <pip>
pytz                      2016.4                   py27_0
setuptools                21.2.1                   py27_0
six                       1.10.0                   py27_0
wheel                     0.29.0                   py27_0
xlrd                      0.9.4                    py27_0
xlwt                      1.0.0                    py27_0

D. Add more packages

You can add more packages using conda install, but make sure you specify version numbers for these that won't change the environment's version of python or numpy (or ArcGIS will not be able to use that environment anymore).

Let's add the pandas modulethe Jupyter notebook and the Spyder IDE which are both popular additions to your toolbox.

Specifying python, numpy, and matplotlib versions makes sure the environment will still work with ArcGIS, and Anaconda determines the most recent compatible version of pandas (in our case, 0.13.0).

Code Block
conda install -n arc1022 deactivate
set ARCLIST=python=2.7.510 matplotlibnumpy=1.39.02 numpymatplotlib=1.74.1 pandas
The following NEW packages will be INSTALLED:
pandas: 0.13.0-np17py27_0 ### this version works with python 2.7 and numpy 1.7

A few of the most popular things to add to your environment is interactive python ("ipython"), in several flavors:

Code Block
3 scipy=0.16.0 pandas pyparsing xlrd xlwt
conda install -n arc1041 arc1022 python=2.7.5 matplotlib=1.3.0 numpy=1.7.1 ipython ipython-notebook ipython-qtconsole

Here is another example, that installs both pandas and spyder, which includes a whole host of tools (including iPython and iPython notebook).

Code Block
conda install -n arc1022 python=2.7.5 matplotlib=1.3.0 numpy=1.7.1 pandas spyder%ARCLIST% jupyter spyder
The following NEW packages will be INSTALLED:

You can search for more packages available in conda with conda search.


  1. Install Anaconda, setup environment to match your ArcGIS version
  2. Download and edit the installation paths in this script ( to match your setup
  3. IMPORTANT - Debug this script by running it from python.exe for each of your environments, for example:
    > C:\Python27\ArcGIS10.2\python.exe <path>\
    > activate arc1041
    > C:\Anaconda32\envs\myenv\python.exe <path>\
  4. Place the script in the Conda Python user site packages folder (with the name
    The user site-packages folder path can be found with:  python -m site --user-site
    Usually it is:  C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\Python\Python27\site-packages


  1. Open Anaconda Command Prompt (via the Start menu on Windows, e.g.)
  2. conda install -n arc101 python=2.7.5 matplotlib=1.3.0 numpy=1.6.1 pandas=0.10.0

Special instructions: Jupyter notebook


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titleDOS Batch file


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