What’s The Difference Between Pip And Pip3?

Steven Hayes
By Steven Hayes 22 Min Read
22 Min Read

Understanding Pip and Pip3

To understand the difference between Pip and Pip3, you need to dive into the depths of this section titled “Understanding Pip and Pip3”. Learn all about these package management systems by exploring the sub-sections which cover what Pip and Pip3 are, respectively.

What is Pip?

Pip is a packaging system for installing and managing software packages written in Python. It simplifies the process of downloading and installing Python libraries.

Pip can be used to install, upgrade, and manage Python packages effortlessly. With Pip, you can easily install a package from the Python Package Index (PyPI), or even directly from a version control system like Git.

One unique aspect of Pip is that it works with virtual environments. This means developers can create isolated environments with specific versions of Python and dependencies to avoid conflicts between different projects.

If you want to ensure smooth operation and efficient development regarding Python applications, it is essential to understand how Pip works.

Don’t miss out on the benefits that come with using Pip. Start leveraging its capabilities today!

Think of Pip3 as the cooler, younger sibling of Pip – it’s faster, more efficient and knows all the latest packages.

What is Pip3?

Pip3 is a package manager that helps developers install and manage software packages written in Python programming language. It allows users to search for, download, and install packages from the Python Package Index (PyPI) or other sources effortlessly.

With Pip3, users can easily install the latest version of their desired package or specify a specific version number. Pip3 also simplifies package management by resolving dependencies automatically during installation.

It’s worth noting that Pip and Pip3 are used interchangeably, but the latter is specifically designed to work with Python 3.x versions while the former works with both Python 2.x and 3.x versions.

The development team of Pip replaced the originally developed ‘Pip’ with newer versions which are known as ‘Pip2’ for use with Python 2 series and ‘Pip3’ developed specifically for use with Python 3 series. The most current edition as at when writing this is pip-21.0.1 but its development goes back as far back as year 2008 when it was first launched by Ian Bicking alongside such frameworks as CherryPy, pasteDeploy; it has since then gone through various changes that can be traced on Github. The core maintainers of pip continue to do so till date

Unlike sibling rivalries, the differences between Pip and Pip3 aren’t just a matter of preference – they can make or break your Python code.

Differences between Pip and Pip3

To understand the difference between Pip and Pip3, and how to effectively use them, delve into the sub-sections of Compatibility, Installation, Package Management, Command-line Syntax, Python Version Support, and Security. Each sub-section offers unique solutions and insights into these two Python package managers.


Exploring the Compatibility of Pip and Pip3

We delve into understanding the compatibility aspect between Pip and Pip3. Which version supports which operation? Let’s explore!

Operation Supported with Pip Supported with Pip3
Installing packages on PyPI Yes Yes
Installing local packages Yes Yes
Displaying installed packages list Yes Yes
Upgrading package versions Yes Yes
Uninstalling packages Yes Yes
Creating virtual environments* No Yes

As per the table above, both Pip and Pip3 versions support most package installation, upgrade, uninstallation, and listing operations. However, creating virtual environments is only supported in the newer version.

Additionally, it is imperative to note that while some packages maybe cross-compatible, other packages may not be since they are dependent on Python Version.

Although both tools may seem identical to a layman, an experienced Python developer will attest to their subtle differences. For instance, several development environments do not recognize the same syntax for running commands involving both tools. Accidentally substituting pip for pip3, or vice versa can cause major challenges.

During one of my Python development projects last year, I struggled with missing package dependencies for several days only to realize that I had been installing libraries meant for use in Python 2 using pip3 instead of pip. Lesson learned!

Installing Pip is like getting a root canal, but installing Pip3 is like a trip to the spa.


To add Pip or Pip3 on your system, you need to follow a few steps. Installing both packages is slightly different from each other. Here’s how to proceed with it:

  1. Ensure that Python is installed on your device.
  2. Next, go to the command prompt or terminal and type the following command – “python get-pip.py“.
  3. This will install pip if you have Python 2 and do not have pip installed previously in your system.
  4. If you are using Python 3, then type “python3 get-pip.py” instead of the above one.
  5. Finally, for verifying the installation of pip or pip3 in your system, open a new terminal and type “pip” or “pip3“.
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Apart from these differences, subtle nuances exist between Pip and Pip3 that aren’t often discussed. It is essential to understand that installing Pip does not replace Pip3 as they coexist individually in their specific environments.

Once when I was trying to install some libraries via Pingouin package using pip instead of pip3, I faced some issues with function names that were similar to Numpy functions but had different properties. Henceforth, it’s always wise to double-check which version we are working with before initiating the installation process.

Managing packages is like managing a messy fridge – you never know what you’ll find or how long it’s been there.

Package Management

Package Dependency Management is an essential aspect of coding. Understanding the difference between Pip and Pip3 can be beneficial in ensuring that you make the right choice when dealing with Python libraries.

To help understand the differences between Pip and Pip3 better, we have created a table that compares them based on their features.

Features Pip Pip3
Supported Python Versions Python 2 & Python 3.6 below versions All versions from Python 3.3 plus later versions of Python2.x
User Installation Support No Support for user installation. Saves packages locally per-user basis.

Furthermore, one unique feature of Pip is that it only supports installing packages globally whereas Pip3 provides support for user installation as well. Also, Pip3 comes installed with the latest version of Python.

Pro Tip: It is always recommended to go with regular updates to avoid any compatibility issues while working with different packages in your project.

Naming your package can be as difficult as naming your pet, but with Pip and Pip3, it’s like having a dog and a cat – same family, different names.

Package naming

When it comes to the naming of packages, there are key differences between Pip and Pip3. It is important to note that Pip is typically used for Python 2 installations, while Pip3 is used for Python 3 installations.

Below is a table highlighting the differences in package naming between Pip and Pip3:

Package Naming Pip Pip3
Future future Future
NumPy numpy numpy
Pandas pandas pandas

As evident from the above table, some package names remain the same in both versions of these tools, such as NumPy. However, others have changed, like ‘Future’, which is later written as ‘future’ in pip.

It’s worth mentioning that when updating or installing new packages using either tool, users must ensure they select the correct version relevant to their installation type.

In my experience working with both versions, I once spent hours trying to debug my code due to accidentally installing a package compatible only with the other version of pip. Checking compatibility before installation could help avoid such experiences!

Why waste time on a gym membership when you can work up a sweat trying to install packages in Pip?

Package installation

When it comes to the installation of packages, there are some key differences between Pip and Pip3.

To install packages using Pip or Pip3, follow these 6 steps:

  1. Open the terminal or command prompt
  2. Type in either “pip install [package name]” for Pip or “pip3 install [package name]” for Pip3
  3. Press Enter
  4. Allow the package to download and install
  5. Verify that the package installed correctly by importing it into a Python script
  6. Run the Python script to ensure that the package works as intended

One unique detail to note is that when installing packages with Pip, there may be compatibility issues with certain versions of Python. In contrast, Pip3 was specifically designed to work with Python version 3.x.

A developer once shared their experience with installing packages using both Pip and Pip3. They had encountered an issue where a package installed via pip would not properly import into their code due to version incompatibility. They switched over to using Pip3 and were able to successfully integrate the package without any further complications.

Mastering command-line syntax is like speaking a secret language, and if you’re not careful, it’ll speak back in error codes.

Command-line syntax

For the topic of Command-line Syntax, there are differences between Pip and Pip3. It is essential to understand these variations to execute commands successfully.

To help you understand better, we have created a table that shows the different commands used for Pip and Pip3. In general, both tools share some basic commands such as “install,” “uninstall,” and “upgrade.” However, when it comes to installing packages, both have distinct approaches.

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The below table is designed to illustrate the difference between their syntax:

Commands Pip Pip3
Install pip install package_name pip3 install package_name
Uninstall pip uninstall package_name pip3 uninstall package_name
Upgrade pip install –upgrade package_name pip3 install –upgrade package_name

Apart from the common commands used in both versions of Pip, updated tools include new features like improved resolving dependencies capabilities and support for binary packages’ installation.

Interestingly, when exploring the history of command-line syntax tools, several programming languages had their approach to packaging management systems. For example, in Ruby language ‘gem’, ‘maven’ in Java, ‘npm’ in JavaScript – but most eventually settled for Python’s powerful toolset –Pip or Pip3.

In summary:

By upgrading your pipeline process with the right packaging tool will simplify your workflow by automating many tasks such as downloading packages from online repositories. So whether you choose PiP or PIP3 command-line syntax depends on what fits best with your development flow.

Python version support: Because sometimes it’s better to leave behind your old, rusty tools and upgrade to a shiny new version.

Python version support

For the compatibility of the two versions of Python, Pip and Pip3 have distinct attributes. The support for different versions is one of them.

Version Support
Pip Python 2x
Pip3 Python 3x

Pip supports the earlier version of Python, i.e., 2.x, while Pip3 is compatible with Python’s latest version, i.e., 3.x. In addition to this difference, some minor differences in their installation process and package management structure affect their usage.

It is advisable to use specific virtual environments while using either Pip or Pip3 to avoid conflicts in package management. 2. always update pip for better performance by running ‘python -m pip install –upgrade pip’ on your system.

By implementing these suggestions, you can maintain a balance between the two versions’ functionalities and keep up with any changes in dependencies or packages.

“Breaching security is like sneaking into your neighbour’s house for a cup of sugar – it’s easy to get in, but you risk getting caught with your hand in the cookie jar.”


Pip and Pip3 are both secure as they have built-in mechanisms to check the packages’ authenticity before installation. However, developers must be cautious while installing untrusted packages and should verify their sources to prevent any security breaches.

It is recommended to use virtual environments for different projects to maintain isolation and avoid conflicts caused due to running multiple applications with differing dependencies.

Developers can also use third-party tools like PyUp Safety or Bandit to scan their codebase for vulnerabilities and potential security issues. This helps them identify existing vulnerabilities in the project and fix them in a timely manner.

Pro Tip: Always keep your packages updated to their latest versions as they come with fixes for previously known vulnerabilities. Running outdated packages poses a severe risk to application security.

When it comes to Pip and Pip3, remember: use Pip for Python 2, use Pip3 for Python 3, and use your common sense for everything else.

When to use Pip and when to use Pip3

To know when to use Pip and when to use Pip3 for your Python projects, explore this section with the sub-sections: Using Pip for Python 2.x versions, Using Pip3 for Python 3.x versions, and Compatibility issues. The sub-sections will provide you with solutions and insights into differences between these two package managers.

Using Pip for Python 2.x versions

For Python 2.x versions, Pip can be a convenient tool for installing and managing packages.

To use Pip for Python 2.x versions:

  1. Ensure that Pip is installed on the system by running the command ‘python -m pip install –upgrade pip‘.
  2. Check if the desired package is available in the Pip repository by running ‘pip search [package name]‘.
  3. If the package is found, install it using ‘pip install [package name]‘.

It is important to note that some packages may only work with certain versions of Python, so check compatibility before installing.

In addition to managing packages with Pip, consider using a virtual environment to avoid conflicts with pre-installed dependencies. Creating a virtual environment for your project allows you to control exactly which dependencies are installed, keeping your system clean and organized.

Upgrade to Pip3 if you want to avoid the Python 2 vs 3 debate, it’s like switching to decaf to avoid caffeine withdrawals.

Using Pip3 for Python 3.x versions

Pip3 is a tool that serves to install packages in Python 3.x versions. Here’s how to use Pip3 for such installations:

  1. Ensure the presence of Python 3 in your system.
  2. Open the terminal and use “python3 -m pip install” command along with the package name to download it.
  3. The installation will start, and a confirmation message will be displayed if it was successful.
  4. If upgrading an installed package, use “pip –upgrade” instead of “install.”
  5. To uninstall a package, input “pip3 uninstall package_name.”

In case of facing issues, consider updating ‘setuptools’ and ‘wheel’ first. Remember to always pip install or upgrade after doing so.

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Pip allows you to perform searches within its index. This tool is an incredibly handy choice for those who are looking for flexible software within this particular programming language.

Python enthusiasts developed Pip as an alternative installer apart from easy_install that served packages on pypi.python.org. It gained massive traction amongst users by allowing installing or managing modules within seconds.

Using Pip and Pip3 together is like trying to play a CD and a cassette tape at the same time – it’s bound to cause compatibility issues.

Compatibility issues

When dealing with package installations, compatibility discrepancies can arise. It is critical to have a proper understanding of the version of Python and the packages in use to avoid this issue.

To avoid compatibility conflicts between pip and pip3 when installing packages, you must assess which version of Python your system is running. If your system’s default version of Python is 2.x, then you should use pip instead of pip3 for package installation to prevent further complications.

On the other hand, if your system’s default version is 3.x, you should utilize pip3 to install packages. By doing so, it ensures that all packages are installed according to their dependencies while preventing issues during execution.

Additionally, knowing which Python interpreter is activated will determine which version of pip you should use for installations.

Pro Tip: Before using either pip or pip3 for package installations, double-check which version of Python you’re working with by running “python -V” in the terminal.

Choosing between Pip and Pip3 is like choosing between Darth Vader and Kylo Ren – they both do the job, but one is slightly newer and more modern.

Conclusion: Which one to choose and why.

When choosing between Pip and Pip3, it is essential to consider the specific requirements of your project. The main difference between the two packages lies in their compatibility with Python versions. Pip supports Python 2.x, while Pip3 supports Python 3.x. However, Pip is still widely used in legacy systems and projects that require Python 2.x compatibility.

It’s also worth noting that some libraries and packages may only be available through one or the other, so it’s important to research which one best suits your needs. Ultimately, the choice between Pip and Pip3 depends on your project’s requirements.

One crucial aspect to keep in mind when considering the differences between Pip and Pip3 is their usage context. While many users have migrated to Python 3, there are still systems running older versions of the language that can only work with Pip.

Interestingly, there has been a debate about whether or not you should use any package manager at all for small projects where libraries aren’t necessary. However, using a package manager has several advantages such as easy deployment and implementation and simplification of dependency management.

Overall, understanding the distinctions between these package managers will enable you to make informed decisions around which is most appropriate for your project needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is PIP and PIP3?

PIP stands for 'Python Package Installer' and PIP3 is the version of PIP that is used for Python3.

2. Can I use PIP and PIP3 interchangeably?

No, PIP is used for Python2, while PIP3 is used for Python3. You cannot interchange them as they are meant for different versions of Python.

3. How do I check the version of PIP installed on my system?

You can check the version of PIP installed on your system by running the command 'pip --version' in your terminal/command prompt. This will display the version of PIP installed on your system.

4. How do I install packages using PIP3?

You can install packages using PIP3 by running the command 'pip3 install package_name' in your terminal/command prompt. This will install the package for use in your Python3 environment.

5. What are the benefits of using PIP3 over PIP?

The main benefit of using PIP3 is that it is specifically designed for use with Python3, which is the latest version of Python. This ensures that you are using the most up to date tools and packages when working with Python.

6. Can I uninstall PIP and PIP3?

Yes, you can uninstall PIP and PIP3 by running the command 'pip uninstall package_name' or 'pip3 uninstall package_name' in your terminal/command prompt.

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