Snakemake is available on PyPi as well as through Bioconda and also from source code. You can use one of the following ways for installing Snakemake.

Installation via Conda

This is the recommended way to install Snakemake, because it also enables Snakemake to handle software dependencies of your workflow.

First, you have to install the Miniconda Python3 distribution. See here for installation instructions. Make sure to …

  • Install the Python 3 version of Miniconda.
  • Answer yes to the question whether conda shall be put into your PATH.

Then, you can install Snakemake with

$ conda install -c bioconda -c conda-forge snakemake

from the Bioconda channel. Alternatively, Snakemake can be installed into an isolated software environment with

$ conda create -c bioconda -c conda-forge -n snakemake snakemake

The software environment has to be activated before using Snakemake:

$ conda activate snakemake
$ snakemake --help

A minimal version of Snakemake which only depends on the bare necessities can be installed with

$ conda install -c bioconda -c conda-forge snakemake-minimal

Note that Snakemake is available via Bioconda for historical, reproducibility, and continuity reasons. However, it is easy to combine Snakemake installation with other channels, e.g., by prefixing the package name with ::bioconda, i.e.,

$ conda install -c conda-forge bioconda::snakemake bioconda::snakemake-minimal

Global Installation

With a working Python >=3.5 setup, installation of Snakemake can be performed by issuing

$ easy_install3 snakemake


$ pip3 install snakemake

in your terminal.

Installing in Virtualenv

To create an installation in a virtual environment, use the following commands:

$ virtualenv -p python3 .venv
$ source .venv/bin/activate
$ pip install snakemake

Installing from Source

We recommend installing Snakemake into a virtualenv or a conda environment instead of globally. Use the following commands to create a virtualenv and install Snakemake. Note that this will install the development version and as you are installing from the source code, we trust that you know what you are doing and how to checkout individual versions/tags.

$ git clone
$ cd snakemake
$ virtualenv -p python3 .venv
$ source .venv/bin/activate
$ python install

You can also use python develop to create a “development installation” in which no files are copied but a link is created and changes in the source code are immediately visible in your snakemake commands.