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Miniconda’s installers contain the conda package manager, Python, and a few necessary packages. Once Miniconda is installed, you can use the conda command to install any other packages and create environments.

For example:

$ conda install numpy
$ conda create -n py3k anaconda python=3

There are two variants of the installer: Miniconda is Python 2 based, while Miniconda3 is Python 3 based. Which Miniconda is installed only affects the root environment. Regardless of which version of Miniconda you install, you can still use conda to install both Python 2.x and Python 3.x environments.

However, Miniconda3 (the Python 3 version of Miniconda) will default to Python 3 when creating new environments and building packages.

For example, take the command below:

$ conda create -n myenv python

Miniconda (Python 2 based) installs Python 2.7, while Miniconda3 (Python 3 based) installs Python 3.11 by default. You can override the default by explicitly setting python=2 or python=3 when creating the environment. The Miniconda version also determines the default value of CONDA_PY when using conda build.


If you already have Miniconda or Anaconda installed, and you just want to upgrade, you should not use the installer. Just use conda update conda.