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Anaconda vs. miniconda

Nouman Abbasi

Anaconda and miniconda are software distributions that are widely used in data science to simplify package management and deployment.

In this Answer, we will cover the differences between the two applications.


There are essentially two main differences:

  1. Number of packages: Anaconda comes with over 150 data science packages, whereas miniconda comes with only a handful.
  2. Interface: Anaconda has a graphical user interface (GUI) called the Navigator, while miniconda has a command-line interface.

In other words, miniconda is a mini version of Anaconda. Miniconda ships with just the repository management system and a few packages. Whereas, with Anaconda, you have the distribution of some 150 built-in packages.


How to choose

Choose Anaconda if you:

  • Are new to conda or Python
  • Like the convenience of having Python and over 150 scientific packages automatically installed at once
  • Have the time and disk space (a few minutes and 3 GB)
  • Don’t want to have to individually install each of the packages you want to use

Choose miniconda if you:

  • Do not mind individually installing each of the packages you want to use
  • Do not have time or disk space to install over 150 packages at once
  • Want fast access to Python and the conda commands and wish to sort out the other programs later.



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