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Anaconda vs Miniconda: Which one to use and why?

Python is a general-purpose programming language popular for data analytics, machine learning, and web applications. Anaconda and Miniconda both are Python distributions built for applications like machine learning, data processing, etc.

In this article, you will get to know which one you should use, Anaconda or Miniconda, and why.

Also read: Difference between Python 2 and Python 3.


Anaconda

Anaconda is a Python distribution with a graphical user interface and includes python, conda — a package manager tool — and various packages. It carries more than 200 packages and therefore consumes more space and more time during installation.

Screenshot of Anaconda Navigator

Since Anaconda includes lots of packages, you save yourself from the process and time required for installing the packages, and you can use those packages directly. However, some packages that you are not going to use still acquire space unnecessarily. The GUI of Anaconda provides users, especially the new ones, an easier way to use and access the packages.


Miniconda

Miniconda is a mini version of Anaconda distribution. It has a command-line interface and includes python, conda, and some basic packages. Since it contains few packages, it consumes less space and takes less time during installation.

Similar to Anaconda, Miniconda does not have many packages, and hence, you need to install the packages you want to use through the command-line interface. Since Miniconda has a command-line interface, you should know the commands, and being a beginner, you can face some difficulty. Miniconda gives you faster access to python and conda commands as compared to Anaconda.

Also read: How to run Python in terminal?


Which one should you use?

SpecsAnacondaMiniconda
InterfaceGraphical user interfaceCommand-line interface
PackagesMore than 200 packagesOnly some packages
Space UtilizationNeeds more spaceNeeds less space
Install TimeTakes more timeTakes less time
UsageUser-friendly due to the presence of GUILess user-friendly
Comparison of Anaconda and Miniconda

Depending upon the time and the storage space you have, you can choose between Anaconda and Miniconda. If you have enough storage space, are comfortable using GUI, then you can opt for Anaconda. If you have less storage space and know the packages you need for your work, you can opt for Miniconda.

Both Miniconda and Anaconda have some benefits and drawbacks. Depending on your use case, you can go for any one of them.

Also read: Top 7 Python IDEs and Text Editors for Data Science Applications.

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