Skip to main content

Python - Install modules without root access

This guide outlines several ways to install python modules on a remote host without root access.

Using pip

This is the recommended method, assuming user has access to pip.

Check if pip is installed with either:

  • which pip
  • which pip3

Install packages relative to your home directory with either of the following commands:

  • pip install --install-option="--prefix=$HOME/local" package_name
  • pip install --user package_name

Download and Install Anaconda

Anaconda is recommended if users do not have access to pip. If it is already installed, consult the Using Anaconda section below.

1. Check that anaconda isn't already installed with `which conda`.

2. Download the shell script from anaconda's website. To get the latest download url, go to Anaconda's website and right click the download button with the 'copy link' option.

curl --location --output

3. Run the installer


4. Enter through the license and answer 'yes' to all the questions. Specifically when it asks "Do you wish the installer to initialize Anaconda3 by running conda in it?" make sure to say yes.

5. Ensure that anaconda is installing in 

/home/<your username>/anaconda

6. Go to your home directory, if you are not already there, and source your `.bashrc` file.

cd ~
source .bashrc

7. Verify your installation

conda info

8. Install pip and any other packages you may want

conda install pip
conda install whatever_you_want

Using Anaconda

Create a local anaconda environment:

conda create -n myenv python=3.9

Install to a specific env, with the `-n` flag

conda install -n env-name package-name

See Anaconda's managing environments documentation for how to manage anaconda environments

Using virtual env (venv)

These instructions should be used with venv 3.3 or above only.

Create a virtual environment in your home directory:

python -m venv ~/my-env

Activate the virtual environment:

source ~/my-env/bin/activate

Install your desired packages:

pip install whatever

Using pipenv

Before using pipenv, please read pipenv documentation for a description of what pipenv is and how to install it. Much of its functionality is beyond the scope of this documentation.

Please note: Pipenv is helpful for large projects, where keeping dependencies installed and up-to-date is an issue. If you are working on small projects and/or ones which don't need to be deployed/shared, then pipenv is probably not necessary.

The capability that we are concerned with is installing modules without root. To do this, simply `cd` into your project's directory:

cd your_project_folder

Then install your desired package:

pipenv install package_name

Additional resources