What is Miniconda

If you already know what Anaconda is, then everything is simple for you: Miniconda is a short version of Anaconda, without the variety of packages that Anaconda includes. Only Python, conda and a little more.

If you have never heard of Anaconda or conda, it’s time to find out about them.

Conda is a system for managing packages, dependencies and environment. Conda makes it easier to install packages and successfully resolve dependencies (similar to pip in Python), and it allows you to create virtual environments (similar to venv in Python), not only for Python, but for other programming languages as well.

Conda is an integral part of Anaconda and Miniconda. You can read more about the possibilities and benefits of conda in the official documentation.

Anaconda is a package manager, environment manager, and Python distribution that includes conda, conda-build, Python and more than two hundred packages used mainly in Data Science and Machine Learning (e.g. NumPy or Pandas).

Anaconda also includes Anaconda Navigator, which can be used to control conda through the GUI. If you’re not a big fan of the command line, Anaconda Navigator is for you.

If you are not into Data Science or Machine Learning, you can still take advantage of conda and Anaconda Navigator included with Anaconda. However, in this case, probably, the best choice would be Miniconda.

Miniconda is a minimum distribution that includes conda, Python, the packages they depend on, and some useful additional packages, such as pip or zlib. Everything else (including Anaconda Navigator) you can install yourself.


To find out what packages Miniconda includes, run conda list after you install Miniconda.

So by installing Miniconda, you get the minimum you need: conda, that is a package, dependency and environment management system; Python and a small number of extra packages, including pip (you can use pip inside conda if you want).

If you already have Python installed on your computer, you don’t need to uninstall it: Miniconda installs its Python in parallel to the one that has already been installed.