Installing Anaconda on Windows Ubuntu Terminal

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Installing Anaconda on Windows Ubuntu Terminal

As part of my master's program at Pitt, I took a data analysis class that involved installing and using Jupyter Notebooks. I am NOT a Windows developer, but at the time, I wanted to use my home Desktop running Windows 10 for homework. I decided to see if it was possible to use Jupyter with the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL). Here's what worked with me.

Installation Steps

  1. Install WSL (Ubuntu for Windows - can be found in Windows Store). I recommend the latest version (I'm using 18.04) because there are some bugs they worked out since 14/16 (

  2. Go to to find the list of Anaconda releases

  3. Select the release you want. I have a 64-bit computer, so I chose the latest release ending in If I had a 32-bit computer, I'd select the version. If you accidentally try to install the wrong one, you'll get a warning in the terminal. I chose

  4. From the terminal run wget [[YOUR]( VERSION]. Example: wget

  5. Run the installation script: bash Anaconda[YOUR VERSION].sh (bash

  6. Read the license agreement and follow the prompts to accept. When asks you if you'd like the installer to prepend it to the path, say yes.

  7. Optionally install VS Code when prompted

  8. Close the terminal and reopen it to reload .bash configs.

  9. To test that it worked, run which python. It should print a path that has anaconda in it. Mine is /home/kauff/anaconda3/bin/python. If it doesn't have anaconda in the path, do the next step. Otherwise, move to step 11.

  10. Manually add the Anaconda bin folder to your PATH. To do this, I added export PATH=/home/kauff/anaconda3/bin:$PATH to the bottom of my ~/.bashrc file.

  11. To open jupyter, type jupyter notebook --no-browser. The no browser flag will still run Jupyter on port 8888, but it won't pop it open automatically. it's necessary since you don't have a browser (probably) in your subsystem. In the terminal, it will give you a link to paste into your browser. If it worked, you should see your notebooks!

Optional Steps

I made a symlink between my C:/Users/kauff/Documents/JupyterNotebooks folder (where I put my downloaded notebooks in Windows) to my Ubuntu notebook directory.

In the WSL terminal:

cd ~
ln -s /mnt/c/Users/kauff/Documents/JupyterNotebooks/ notebooks

Now when you look at Jupyter on :8888, you should see a notebooks folder that has everything your C:/Users/kauff folder has. I also made an alias for the juypter command by putting this command in my .bash_aliases.

alias jup='cd /home/kauff/notebooks && jupyter notebook --no-browser

Restart the terminal for this new command to take effect. To test, simply type jup from anywhere in the ubuntu directory and it will take you notebooks folder and run jupyter. When you copy and paste the URL, you'll see everything in your C:/Users/kauff/JupyterNotebooks folder.


  1. Anaconda Glossary

  2. Qutip on WSL

  3. Jupyter Install

See the original gist here, which includes some helpful comments from others who tried it as well.

Thanks for reading! Leave a comment with any additions or thoughts.