Getting started with Anaconda Distribution#

Welcome to Anaconda! This document is here to help you get started with Anaconda Distribution, which includes conda, Anaconda Navigator, and over 250 scientific and machine learning packages.

Should I use Anaconda Navigator or conda?#

Anaconda Navigator is a desktop application that is included with every installation of Anaconda Distribution. It is built on top of conda, the open-source package and environment manager, and allows you to manage your packages and environments from a graphical user interface (GUI). This is especially helpful when you’re not comfortable with the command line.

A command line interface (or CLI) is a program on your computer that processes text commands to do various tasks. Conda is a CLI program, which means it can only be used via the command line. On Windows computers, Anaconda recommends that you use the Anaconda Prompt CLI to work with conda. MacOS and Linux users can use their built-in command line applications.


If you installed Miniconda instead of Anaconda Distribution (see Should I use Anaconda Distribution or Miniconda?), Anaconda Navigator is not included. Use the command conda install anaconda-navigator to manually install Navigator onto your computer.

Free Anaconda Learning course - Get Started with Anaconda#

Learn to use Anaconda Navigator to launch an application. Then, create and run a simple Python program with Spyder and Jupyter Notebook. Watch our short training videos on Anaconda Learning to get up and running with Jupyter Notebook and JupyterLab, along with several other popular integrated development environments (IDEs):

Anaconda Learning

An introduction to Navigator and the command line#

Navigator and the CLI interact with conda in similar but distinct ways, and each have their benefits and drawbacks. Anaconda recommends that you learn the basics of both to determine what is preferable for your programming workflow. See My first Python program: Hello, Anaconda! to go through a short programming exercise and get a better idea for what you prefer.

What’s next?#

Conda resources#

IDE tutorials#

The following tutorials show you the basics of using some popular IDEs (integrated development environments) with Anaconda:

Jupyter Notebook external resources#

Jupyter Notebook is a web-based development application that you can launch from Navigator. The resources below can help get you started and provide more information about using notebooks for your education, research, and work:

Spyder external resources#

Spyder is a free development environment that you can launch from Navigator. The resources below provide more information about using notebooks for your education, research, and work: