The pip packaging tool is used to interact with third-party Python packages. Its most frequent use is for installing packages in a virtual environment. pip can use many sources to find packages, and it has many ways to specify which packages should be installed.
In addition to installing packages, pip can also be used to build wheels. Wheels are a special file format that is optimized to install without any processing. This makes wheels useful for installing the same distribution in many different environments, e.g., on different machines or in different virtual environments in a single machine.
pip can also record the packages installed in a virtual environment in a text file, which can be transferred to reproduce the identical virtual environment. The text file can be emailed, sent over a chat service, or, most commonly, checked into version control.
Download the pip cheat sheet.
Subscribe to our newsletter for regular content on how to use Python.