python – No module named virtualenvwrapper

python – No module named virtualenvwrapper

Instead of specifying a different python interpreter with -p flag, you can also config your desired interpreter as default.

According to virtualenvwrappers documentation, finds the first python and virtualenv programs on the $PATH and remembers them to use later.

If your virtualenvwrapper is not installed on your OSs default python interpreter (/usr/bin/python), make sure you override the environment variables as below:

  • VIRTUALENVWRAPPER_PYTHON to the full path of your python interpreter
  • VIRTUALENVWRAPPER_VIRTUALENV to the full path of the virtualenv

For example, on my .bash_profile (Mac):

export WORKON_HOME=$HOME/.virtualenvs
export VIRTUALENVWRAPPER_PYTHON=/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/3.5/bin/python3
export VIRTUALENVWRAPPER_VIRTUALENV=/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/3.5/bin/virtualenv
source /Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/3.5/bin/

Reload your new variables by running source ~/.bash_profile

I had the same problem after the recent Homebrew updates.

In the past, most people would have run pip install virtualenvwrapper into the system site packages and it would have worked.

Homebrew broke this workflow by 1) no longer shadowing the system python, and 2) no longer symlinking pip to pip2/pip3.

Most users will realize this when they cant find pip, and then try to use pip2/pip3. However, using pip2/pip3 will create a problem because virtualenvwrapper is now installed for python2/python3, but not for python. So when virtualenvwrapper runs and calls python, it wont find the virtualenvwrapper/virtualenv python packages in the system pythons site packages.

Explicitly setting VIRTUALENVWRAPPER_PYTHON is the cleanest fix, and not a hack. Heres how I did it in my dotfiles

export VIRTUALENVWRAPPER_PYTHON=/usr/local/bin/python3

python – No module named virtualenvwrapper

On Ubuntu 20.04, the problem can occur when trying to install virtualenvwrapper with python 3.8 (python 3 default) and init the wrapper with python 2.7 (python 2 default).


Manually set python3 interpreter

export VIRTUALENVWRAPPER_PYTHON=$(which python3)
source /usr/local/bin/

In more details, Why does this happen?

Lets get some informations:

$ which python

$ python --version
Python 2.7.18rc1

$ which python3

$ python3 --version
Python 3.8.2

$ pip3 --version
pip 20.0.2 from /usr/lib/python3/dist-packages/pip (python 3.8)

Following the guidelines, we are asked to install virtualenvwrapper with pip (python 3):
pip3 install virtualenvwrapper

Current stable version (4.8.4) of virtualenvwrapper is linking to default python version, which we saw its python 2.7:

VIRTUALENVWRAPPER_PYTHON=$(command which python)

So, the problem is that we installed virtualenvwrapper in python3 and try to init with python2 (sourcing shell script). The fix is therefore to init with python 3 by overriding default.

But, it is very likely that one of the next releases will include a fix already merged onto master that look from highest to lowest python version:

    for NAME in python3 python2 python
        python_executable=$(which $NAME 2>/dev/null)
        if ! [ -z $python_executable ]
            if $python_executable -m virtualenvwrapper.hook_loader --help >/dev/null 2>&1

Using in the documentation, the fix is to manually set the Python interpreter to use before sourcing: Not python (2.7) but python3 (3.8 here)

export VIRTUALENVWRAPPER_PYTHON=$(which python3)
source /usr/local/bin/

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