See also my post on setting up a Git development environment and R on Windows.

Windows without WSL

  1. Check if you have Windows Terminal installed. If not, install it from the Microsoft Store.

  2. Launch a Windows Terminal instance. This should start a PowerShell session.

  3. Update the PowerShell execution policy by running the following command:

    Set-ExecutionPolicy -Scope CurrentUser -ExecutionPolicy RemoteSigned
  4. Check if winget (the Windows package manager) is installed. The following command should bring up details about winget. If not, install it from the Microsoft Store.

    winget -?

    When using winget for the first time, you will be asked to accept some terms and conditions.

  5. Install a text editor. We will use Visual Studio Code.

    winget install vscode
  6. Find an appropriate Python version to install using the following command.

    winget search --tag python --cmd python --source winget

    This will output the following:

    Name            Id                  Version     Match
    Python 3        Python.Python.3.9   3.9.13      Tag: python
    Python 3.12     Python.Python.3.12  3.12.0      Tag: python
    Python 3.11     Python.Python.3.11  3.11.6      Tag: python
    Python 3.10     Python.Python.3.10  3.10.11     Tag: python
    Python 2        Python.Python.2     2.7.18150   Tag: python
    Python Launcher Python.Launcher     3.12.0      Tag: python
    Miniconda3      Anaconda.Miniconda3 py39_4.10.3 Tag: python
    Anaconda3       Anaconda.Anaconda3  2023.09     Tag: python
  7. Install Python. At the time of writing this guide, the latest version was 3.12, so I am installing 3.11.

    winget install Python.Python.3.11
  8. Check if Python was installed correctly. This command should start a Python interpreter.

  9. Launch Visual Studio Code and install the following extensions:

  10. Create a project folder, e.g. in C:\User\Username\Documents\project_folder.

  11. Create a virtual environment in the project folder.

    cd C:\User\Username\Documents\project_folder
    py -m venv .venv
  12. Install appropriate packages (e.g. JupyterLab) in the virtual environment.

    py -m pip install --upgrade pip  # upgrade pip
    py -m pip install jupyterlab matplotlib pandas
  13. Create an example Jupyter Notebook in the project folder, e.g. my_notebook.ipynb.

  14. Try to open the notebook using either VS Code or JupyterLab. To launch JupyterLab, run the following in the terminal from the project folder, which will launch a web browser instance:

    jupyter lab
  15. Activate the kernel in the Jupyter notebook and start coding!

Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) - Ubuntu

  1. In PowerShell, install Visual Studio Code and WSL (Ubuntu):

    winget install vscode
    wsl --install
  2. Install the WSL VS Code extension locally in Windows.

  3. Launch an Ubuntu Bash shell instance from Windows Terminal.

  4. Python should already be installed; check its version:

    python3 -v

    Note that it’s python on Ubuntu, not py.

  5. Launch VS Code using the WSL shell from the project folder’s directory:

    cd C:/User/Username/Documents/project_folder
    code .
  6. Install local VS Code extensions (e.g. Python and Jupyter) in WSL.

  7. Set-up a virtual environment in the project folder and install relevant packages:

    python3 -m venv .venv
    source .venv/bin/activate
    python3 -m pip install --upgrade pip
    python3 -m pip install jupyterlab matplotlib pandas

Further reading

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