Using Wing with virtualenv

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Wing is a Python IDE that can be used to develop, test, and debug Python code. Wing supports virtualenv, providing auto-completion, call tips, goto-definition, find uses, refactoring, a powerful debugger, unit testing, and many other features that help you navigate, understand, and write Python code.

Two versions of Wing are appropriate for use with this document: Wing Pro is the full-featured Python IDE for professional programmers, and Wing Personal is a free alternative with reduced feature set.

If you do not already have Wing installed, download it now.

This document describes how to configure Wing for virtualenv. To get started using Wing as your Python IDE, please refer to the tutorial in Wing's Help menu or read the Quickstart Guide.

Creating a New Virtualenv

If you are starting a new project from scratch and want to create a new virtualenv for the project, select New Project from the Project menu and use the Create New Virtualenv project type. You will need to enter the following values:

Name is the name for your virtualenv directory.

Parent Directory is the directory where the virtualenv directory will be created.

Python Executable selects the base Python installation to use. You must install virtualenv into the selected Python first, if it's not already present.

Inherit global site-packages controls whether to use the --system-site-packages option when running virtualenv. When checked, the virtualenv will be able to use packages installed into the base Python installation. Otherwise, it will be completely isolated from the base install, other than its use of Python's standard libraries.

Auto-save project controls whether Wing automatically saves its project file to the virtualenv directory. When checked, the project is named using the Name entered above plus .wpr and is stored in the top level of the virtualenv directory. In Wing Pro, which separates sharable project data from user-specific data, a second file ending in .wpu will also be written.

After submitting the New Project dialog, Wing will create the virtualenv, set the Python Executable in Project Properties to the python inside the virtualenv directory, and add the virtualenv directory to the project.

Now source analysis, executing, debugging, and testing in Wing will use the new virtualenv, as long as the project you just created is open. You will need to restart the Python Shell tool in Wing before it uses the newly created virtualenv.

Working on a Remote Host

Wing Pro can also create a new virtualenv on a remote host. This is done the same way as described above, except you will choose Remote for Python Executable and then select or create a remote host configuration. The Python used for creating and running the virtualenv on the remote host is the one chosen in the remote host configuration's Python Executable.

If you check Auto-save Project you will need to mark your remote host configuration as shared in the remote host configuration management dialog, which can be accessed from Remote Hosts in the Project menu or with the Manage button under Python Executable in the New Project dialog. This is needed so remote host configuration is stored locally, while the project will be stored on the remote host.

Using an Existing Virtualenv

To use an existing virtualenv with Wing, simply set the Python Executable in Wing's Project Properties to the python inside your virtualenv directory. Wing uses this to determine the environment to use for source analysis and to execute, test, and debug your code.

The easiest way to find the correct value to set is to launch your virtualenv Python outside of Wing and run import sys; print(sys.executable). Then use the full path that prints as the Python Executable in Wing.

Activating the Virtualenv

If you follow the above instructions, Wing will automatically activate the virtualenv while you're using your project.

An alternative approach is to leave Python Executable unset and instead activate the virtualenv on the command line and then start Wing from the command line so that it inherits the virtual environment. However, setting Python Executable is preferable so that Wing switches virtual environments when you switch projects, without restarting the IDE.

Related Documents

Wing provides many other options and tools. For more information: