Quick Start Guide

Get everything installed

The Enthought Deployment Manager (EDM) is a tool to manage Python development environments, and install applications, on your system. Think of it as a more-capable version of pip or conda.

You’ll need EDM, and of course Visual Studio Code itself plus the Enthought Tools extension:

Please note that your system administrator may have already installed one or more of these applications. To check if EDM is installed, look for a desktop or start menu icon with the “E” Enthought logo; Visual Studio Code should also create desktop or start menu shortcuts.

Create a development environment

Open Visual Studio Code and click the “E” logo on the sidebar. The Enthought Tools pane will open and you should see something like this:

Import remote bundle


The top left pane shows Python environments. A Python environment is a complete, standalone, isolated installation of Python plus any packages you specify.

Don’t worry if nothing shows up; if this is your first time using EDM or the Enthought Tools, the list will be empty.


You can create an environment manually (more on that later), but the easiest way to get started is through the “GettingStarted” bundle. This is a complete specification for a set of packages useful for software development.

Hover your mouse over the GettingStarted bundle and click the “+” symbol. It will prompt you to give the new environment a name:

  • If you don’t have any environments yet, name the environment after the project that you’ll be developing or course that you are taking. Use alphanumerics, dashes, and underscores.
  • If you’ve got several environments, name it after the project you’ll be developing.

After giving a name, the system will work for a little while setting up your environment. It’s installing a private copy of Python, along with a list of packages provided by the bundle.

Activating an environment

When you create an environment, it’s automatically activated. That means that Visual Studio Code will use that environment for everything having to do with Python development: debugging, running source files, checking your code for syntax mistakes, offering helpful suggestions...

If you have more than one environment, you can switch between them by clicking the “play” button (>) next to the environment’s name. Here’s what the window looks like with a couple of different environments created:

Activate an environment

Start developing!

At this point you’re all set; once an EDM environment has been activated, all Visual Studio code functionality that needs Python will use your activated environment. That includes the built-in debugger, along with any code linting tools.

A terminal will also automatically be opened with your environment’s copy of Python in the PATH. The name of the activated environment appears in parentheses (in this case, (edm)):

Reset path setting

If you would like to use Python from the terminal, just type “ipython” to begin:

Reset path setting

Finally, be aware that not all EDM functionality is available via the Enthought Tools UI. EDM has a complete command-line interface that lets you install packages and perform other operations.

For example, to install TensorFlow into your activated environment, type “edm install tensorflow”:

Example of installing a package

Tips & common issues

What it means to “activate” an EDM environment

Activating a Python environment will activate it as the User default for Visual Studio Code. You can override this in individual workspace(s) if desired, via the Visual Studio Code settings menu (Python: Python Path).

To remove the override and return to using the “activated” environment as listed in the Enthought Tools window, reset the value:

Reset path setting

You may need to restart Visual Studio Code for this change to become effective.