Issues downloading miniconda3 on macOS Catalina

Hello, I don’t think there was a post regarding issues with zsh shell script so I figured I’d start a thread to get some feedback.

I was beginning the exercise on Brute Force Linear Regression here and having trouble getting miniconda3 to work on macOS Catalina. None of my conda commands would work on the terminal after installing. I think the installation process was interrupted somehow, causing it not to initialize?

I found a couple possible issues after some digging, hopefully someone can verify I’m on the right track:

  1. newest stable version of python is 3.8.4rc1, and (I think) is not compatable with miniconda3 – only versions 3.7 seem to work based on some other threads. I had to download 3.7 and make sure it was the default version (not 3.8). I checked using:
which python

python --version

  1. since the default shell script on macOS Catalina is zsh instead of bash, I found the following steps are necessary here Essentially, there are 2 additional commands that need to be entered in the terminal before miniconda3 can work properly:
source <path to conda>/bin/activate


conda init zsh

After performing those 2 steps, I was finally able to use conda-related commands in the terminal.

If anyone can clarify on or confirm the above issues due to zsh shell script that would be great!

1 Like

Thank you for sharing the details :+1:. I’ve not tried using conda for a little while but if I get the chance I’ll run it later today. I do think a few others have had issues along the same line; @lisalisaj is this what you ran into as well?

It seems the conda install defaults to altering the bash profile rather than the zsh profile which would be a problem for those using Catalina (I think zsh is now the default) since you wouldn’t have conda/anaconda added to the path.

If you were really determined to use both 3.8 and conda there’s a couple of loose suggestions about installing python 3.8 normally and using conda to create a virtual environment specifying the 3.8 install. None too sure if there’s any benefit to using conda to do this and you might end up messing up some dependcies (you’d have to look into it) so perhaps using your own environments for 3.8 would be a better shout.

Yes, that’s it.
I followed this article & it fixed my issue. I don’t use conda or navigator anymore. I just initiate jupyter notebook in my terminal window. Or, even better: I use Colab.


There’s also this thread if you have Jupyter issues: