Software Installation for Plasma Hack Week

This page contains instructions for installing software to be used during Plasma Hack Week. In addition, here are installation links for


There are several ways to obtain git for your specific operating systems. git provides a great download page,, that outlines these methods, or provides a direct download when applicable.

We also recommend that you create a free GitHub account in order to follow along with many of the tutorials.


Installation with Anaconda Navigator (recommended)

The following instructions are designed to help us set up a Python environment with several of the packages to be discussed during the Hack Week.

  1. Please follow these instructions for installing Anaconda.
    When this is done, you should have Anaconda Navigator installed.
  2. Create a folder on your computer for the Hack Week, which we'll call hackweek.
  3. Download this environment.yml file to the hackweek folder. You might need to use the "save page as" option from your web browser menu.
  4. Open Anaconda Navigator.
  5. Under the "Home" tab on Anaconda Navigator, search for and install "Jupyter Notebook".
  6. Create an Anaconda environment for the Hack Week.
    • Select the "Environment" tab.
    • Below the list of environments, click "Import".
    • Click the file folder icon.
    • Navigate to and select the environment.yml (possibly in your Downloads folder).
    • Click "Import".
  7. Under the "Environments" tab on Anaconda Navigator, find the hackweek environment. Click on the arrow for that environment, and select the option to "Open with Jupyter Notebook".
  8. After Jupyter Notebook opens in your web browser, click on the button for "New", and click on "Python 3" to open a Python notebook.
  9. Test the installation by typing

    import plasmapy

    and then press shift-Enter to execute the cell. This should run without giving any errors.

Installation with conda from the command line

If you have a working installation of conda then you can install the hackweek environment with the following steps.

  1. Open a terminal.
  2. Create a folder on your computer for the Hack Week, which we'll call hackweek. Enter that folder.
  3. Download the environment.yml file by running

  4. Run the following command to create the environment.

    conda env create -f environment.yml
  5. Activate this environment by running

    conda activate hackweek
  6. Test the environment by running

    jupyter notebook

    In the Jupyter notebook, run

    import plasmapy

Binder link

If you run into any problems with installation, you can also create a Binder environment to access a Python environment from your web browser.


Integrated development environments

An integrated development environment (IDE) is software used for code development. IDEs typically include a source code editor as well as built-in tools for refactoring, version control, running tests, and debugging.

  • PyCharm
  • Community version is free and open source
  • To be used during git & GitHub and clean coding tutorials
  • Visual Studio Code
  • Community version is free and open source
  • Atom
  • Full version is open source

Unix shell

Python and git are often used from the Unix shell, which is one of the most commonly used command line interfaces. Here are instructions on installing and/or accessing the bash shell, which is one of the most commonly used Unix shells.