I use my ipython terminal daily. It's my go-to way of running python most of the time. After you use it for a little bit you will probably want to set up a bit of your own configuration.

install ipython

Activate your virtual environment of choice and pip install it. Any time you are running your project in a virtual environment, you will need to install ipython inside it to access those packages from ipython.

pip install ipython

You are using a virtual environment right? Virtual environments like venv or conda can save you a ton of pain down the road.


When you install ipython you start out with no config at all. Running ipython profile create will start a new profile called profile_default that contains all of the default configuration.

ipython profile create

This command will create a directory ~/.ipython/profile_default

multiple configurations

You can run multiple configurations by naming them with ipython profile create [profile_name] This command will create a directory ~/.ipython/[profile_name]

ipython profile create my_profile
ipython --profile=my-profile


Inside the profile, there will be a startup directory ~/.ipython/profile_default/startup. Ipython will execute each of the files in this directory on startup. This is particularly handy to create custom prompts, search, or import packages automatically for certain profiles.

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Custom Ipython Prompt

I've grown tired of the standard ipython prompt as it doesn't do much to give me any useful information. The default on

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This post creates a custom ipython prompt by creating a ~/.ipython/profile_default/startup/prompt.py file.


There are tons of options that are in the ipython_config.py file. My favorite is to automatically enable my favorite magic command autoreload.

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Autoreload in Ipython

Autoreload in python

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c.InteractiveShellApp.extensions = ['autoreload'
c.InteractiveShellApp.exec_lines = []'%autoreload 2']
c.InteractiveShellApp.exec_lines.append('print("Warning: disable autoreload in ipython_config.py to improve performance.")')