Advanced Usage of Pipenv

This document covers some of pipenv’s more advanced features.

☤ Example Pipfile & Pipfile.lock

Here is a simple example of a Pipfile and the resulting Pipfile.lock.

Example Pipfile

pytest = "*"

requests = "*"

Example Pipfile.lock

    "default": {
        "requests": {
            "version": "==2.13.0",
            "hash": "sha256:1a720e8862a41aa22e339373b526f508ef0c8988baf48b84d3fc891a8e237efb"
    "develop": {
        "packaging": {
            "version": "==16.8",
            "hash": "sha256:99276dc6e3a7851f32027a68f1095cd3f77c148091b092ea867a351811cfe388"
        "pytest": {
            "version": "==3.0.6",
            "hash": "sha256:da0ab50c7eec0683bc24f1c1137db1f4111752054ecdad63125e7ec71316b813"
        "setuptools": {
            "version": "==34.1.0",
            "hash": "sha256:edd9d39782fe38b9c533002b2e6fdf06498793cbd29266accdcc519431d4b7ba"
        "pyparsing": {
            "version": "==2.1.10",
            "hash": "sha256:67101d7acee692962f33dd30b5dce079ff532dd9aa99ff48d52a3dad51d2fe84"
        "py": {
            "version": "==1.4.32",
            "hash": "sha256:2d4bba2e25fff58140e6bdce1e485e89bb59776adbe01d490baa6b1f37a3dd6b"
        "six": {
            "version": "==1.10.0",
            "hash": "sha256:0ff78c403d9bccf5a425a6d31a12aa6b47f1c21ca4dc2573a7e2f32a97335eb1"
        "appdirs": {
            "version": "==1.4.0",
            "hash": "sha256:85e58578db8f29538f3109c11250c2a5514a2fcdc9890d9b2fe777eb55517736"
    "_meta": {
        "sources": [
                "url": "",
                "verify_ssl": true
        "requires": {},
        "hash": {
            "sha256": "08e3181df84d04301c9d435357ec9cf43c4a491d79a1ada682cce8936c492f49"

☤ Fancy Installation of Pipenv

To install pipenv in a fancy way, we recommend using pipsi.

Pipsi is a powerful tool which allows you to install Python scripts into isolated virtual environments.

To install pipsi, first run this:

$ curl | python

Follow the instructions, you’ll have to update your PATH.

Then, simply run:

$ pipsi install pew
$ pipsi install pipenv

To upgrade pipenv at any time:

$ pipsi upgrade pipenv

This will install both pipenv and pew (one of our dependencies) in an isolated virtualenv, so it doesn’t interfere with the rest of your Python installation!

☤ Environment Management with Pipenv

The two primary commands you’ll use in managing your pipenv environment are $ pipenv install, $ pipenv uninstall, and ``$ pipenv lock`.

$ pipenv install

$ pipenv install is used for installing packages into the pipenv virtual environment and updating your Pipfile.

Along with the basic install command, which takes the form:

$ pipenv install [package names]

The user can provide these additional parameters:

  • --two — Performs the installation in a virtualenv using the system python2 link.
  • --three — Performs the installation in a virtualenv using the system python3 link.
  • --python — Performs the installation in a virtualenv using the provided Python intepreter.


None of the above commands should be used together. They are also destructive and will delete your current virtualenv before replacing it with an appropriately versioned one.

  • --dev — Install both develop and default packages from Pipfile.lock.
  • --system — Use the system pip command rather than the one from your virtualenv.
  • --lock — Generate a new Pipfile.lock adding the newly installed packages.

$ pipenv uninstall

$ pipenv uninstall supports all of the parameters in pipenv install, as well as one additonal, --all.

  • --all — This parameter will purge all files from the virtual environment,

    but leave the Pipfile untouched.

$ pipenv lock

$ pipenv lock is used to create a Pipfile.lock, which declares all dependencies (and sub-depdendencies) of your project, their latest available versions, and the current hashes for the downloaded files. This ensures repeatable, and most importantly deterministic, builds.

☤ Configuration With Environment Variables

pipenv comes with a handful of options that can be enabled via shell environment variables. To activate them, simply create the variable in your shell and pipenv will detect it.

  • PIPENV_SHELL_COMPAT — Toggle from our default pipenv shell mode to classic.

    (Suggested for use with pyenv).

  • PIPENV_VENV_IN_PROJECT — Toggle for detecting a .venv in your project directory

    and using it over the default environment manager, pew.

  • PIPENV_COLORBLIND — Disable terminal colors, for some reason.

  • PIPENV_NOSPIN — Disable terminal spinner, for cleaner logs.

  • PIPENV_MAX_DEPTH — Set to an integer for the maximum number of directories to

    search for a Pipfile.

☤ Testing Projects

While pipenv is still a relatively new project, it’s already being used in projects like Requests. Specifically for transitioning to the new Pipfile format and running the test suite.

We’ve currently tested deployments with both Travis-CI and tox with success.


It’s highly recommended to run pipenv lock before installing on a CI platform, due to possible hash conflicts between system binaries.

Travis CI

An example Travis CI setup can be found in Requests. The project uses a Makefile to define common functions such as its init and tests commands. Here is a stripped down example .travis.yml:

language: python
    - "2.6"
    - "2.7"
    - "3.3"
    - "3.4"
    - "3.5"
    - "3.6"
    - "3.7dev"

# command to install dependencies
install: "make"

# command to run tests
    - make test

and the corresponding Makefile:

    pip install pipenv
    pipenv lock
    pipenv install --dev

    pipenv run py.test tests

$ pipenv lock needs to be run here, because Python 2 will generate a different lockfile than Python 3.

Tox Automation Project

Alternatively, you can configure a tox.ini like the one below for both local and external testing:

envlist = flake8-py3, py26, py27, py33, py34, py35, py36, pypy

deps = pipenv
    pipenv lock
    pipenv install --dev
    pipenv run py.test tests

basepython = python3.4
    pipenv lock
    pipenv install --dev
    pipenv run flake8 --version
    pipenv run flake8 docs project test

☤ Shell Completion

Set _PIPENV_COMPLETE and then source the output of the program. For example, with fish, put this in your ~/.config/fish/completions/

eval (env _PIPENV_COMPLETE=source-fish pipenv)

Magic shell completions are now enabled!