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Installing Algobattle

The first thing we'll need to do is install the Algobattle framework. There's several ways to do this, which one you choose is entirely up to you and won't change the way things behaves. For each step we've outlined what we think is the easiest option and also outlined some alternatives.

Setting up your environment

Installing Python

Algobattle is a python package, so the first step is to make sure we have Python version 3.11 or higher available to us in an environment that you can install the Algobattle package and some dependencies into. If you already have that setup or know how to do it, feel free to skip to the next section.

Not sure if you've already got python 3.11?

You can check if you've already installed Python and what version it is by running python --version.

Our recommendation

There's a few different ways to install and use Python. If you don't care too much about the specifics, we recommend using Conda since it can do everything in one tool. There's several other programs that do similar jobs, and they all will have the same result. If you're already using one of them, feel free to just stick to using that one.

With Conda

Conda is very easy to use and manages python versions, virtual environments, and packages for you. You can get an installer for your operating system from the official Conda website. Once you've got it running you don't need to do anything else for this step since it will install python for you when we make a virtual environment.


You can also install Python manually from the Python website, or use another package manager.

Virtual environments

Python doesn't do a great job of managing package dependencies, which can cause issues if Algobattle needs a version of a library (or of Python itself) that some other program you use is incompatible with. To prevent this issue we use virtual environments, which basically behave as though they are separate installations of Python that do not affect each other. This means we can just make a fresh environment with Python 3.11 and install Algobattle there and never have to worry about anything breaking.

First we create a virtual environment like this

conda create -n algobattle python=3.11

This process may take a second if it needs to download and install python. Once it's done we can now activate the environment

conda  activate algobattle

What this does, is make your current shell session use the Python installation from that environment. So if you now run python --version you should see 3.11, not whatever your global installation is (if you even have one). The environment will stay active until you close the shell or run conda deactivate. For everything other than Python commands your console will keep behaving just like it normally would.


Always remember to activate this environment when you want to use Algobattle. You won't need to do it every time you run a command, but once when you start a new terminal. If you're using an IDE like VSCode you can also configure it to automatically activate the environment whenever you open a console in a specific project.

Using the global Python

If you have a global Python installation that is 3.11 or higher you can also skip making a virtual environment. This generally is not a great idea, but if you really want to you can do it. In that case we recommend installing Algobattle into user space as explained in the last step.

Installing Docker

We use Docker to easily manage and run the code students write, so you'll need to grab a fresh installation of it too. You can get the latest version from the official site here.


If you're using Linux you have the choice between Docker desktop and the Linux Docker Engine. If you're unsure what to get, we recommend Docker desktop as it provides a nicer user experience.

Installing Algobattle

Installing Algobattle itself is the easiest part of everything since it's available in the Python Package Index. All we need to do is make sure the correct environment is active and run this

pip install algobattle-base

Using the global Python

If you really want to install Algobattle into the global environment we recommend running pip install --user algobattle-base instead.