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Level Up with Poetry: 5 Reasons for Picking Poetry over Pip & Venv for Your Python Environment

Updated: Jun 29, 2023

When managing cloud infrastructure, efficiency and accuracy are key. Poetry is here to enhance your workflow. Let’s dive into 5 compelling reasons for opting Poetry over pip and venv for managing your Idem cloud python environment.

1. Streamlined Package Management

With Poetry, managing your dependencies becomes a breeze. The poetry add command not only adds the packages but also diligently records them along with their version requirements in pyproject.toml. This provides a clear and organized view of the packages explicitly installed in your project. Additionally, you can specify which versions of a package to track with various methods like ==, ^, ~, etc.


Add the idem-aws package to your project and specify the version:

poetry add 'idem-aws@>21, !=22.1.0'

Inspect the pyproject.toml file to see how cleanly everything is structured.

2. Ensuring Environment Reproducibility

Poetry takes precision to the next level by noting down the exact versions and dependencies in the poetry.lock file. Running poetry install --sync will install the precise set of packages specified in poetry.lock, ensuring that your environment is consistent across different setups.


# Examine the poetry.lock file for details
cat poetry.lock
# List the existing environments
poetry env list
# Remove the current environment
poetry env remove python_version
# Reinstall exact versions in the poetry.lock file  
poetry install --sync  

3. Syncing with Infrastructure Configuration

When you version poetry.lock and pyproject.toml with your source code, you create a tight coupling between package versions and your infrastructure configuration files. By employing a post-checkout hook, your environment can automatically align with the plugin configuration active at the time the infrastructure code was written.


Create a post-checkout git hook script named .git/hooks/post-checkout, make it executable, and include the following:

poetry install --sync

This ensures that your environment stays synchronized as you switch git branches.

4. Safeguard Against Incompatible Package Upgrades

One of the strengths of Poetry is its strict package compatibility checks. Unlike pip, Poetry ensures that you cannot inadvertently install incompatible packages. It performs an analysis and will not proceed with installation if conflicts are detected.


# Poetry will prevent this incompatible combination
pip install idem@20.0.0
pip install idem-aws@1.4.0
pip install idem@23.0.0

Poetry protects your environment's integrity.

5. Flexibility with Package Sources

Poetry enables you to install packages directly from git repositories. This means you’re not bound to wait for official releases to access new features. Additionally, Poetry records the commit hash in poetry.lock, so subsequent installs will fetch the exact code.


poetry add git+

Bonus: Seamless Switching Between Idem Versions

By configuring Idem with an alias, you can effortlessly switch between different Idem versions as you move across configuration projects. This ensures that the correct Idem version is used based on the project requirements.


# Add this alias to your .bashrc or equivalent shell configuration file
alias idem="poetry run idem"
# Check version in the current directory
idem --version
# Check version in another directory  
cd another-directory
idem --version  


With Poetry, you gain streamlined package management, precise environment reproducibility, seamless integration with infrastructure configurations, protection against incompatible package upgrades, and flexible package sourcing. Embracing Poetry in your Idem cloud python environment will empower you to work with greater confidence and efficiency.

Time to get coding! 🚀

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