For some reason, if you install the Python Tools for Visual Studio 2017, you’ll end up with an Anaconda command prompt that won’t work. It apparently is due to a path length limitation where the total target path exceeds some ridiculously small number in Windows for a shortcut.
Thankfully, the fix isn’t painful — it’s just frustrating that it needs to be done.
I’ve seen suggestions to use the old-school DOS 8.3 file paths, but I prefer to use something that still reads well and maps to other dev command line tools on my workstation.
I created a directory junction in an existing folder C:\Dev:
mklink /d c:\Dev\Anaconda3_64 "c:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio\Shared\Anaconda3_64"
Specifically, I created:
which is a junction to:
c:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio\Shared\Anaconda3_64
You can use any junction directory you want, but remember that it can’t be too long, or you’ll have the same problem with a different name/path. :) When using mklink, be sure to quote the path for the Anaconda install in the Visual Studio directory as shown above in the mklink example.
Next, I updated the command prompt with the new path:
c:\Dev\Anaconda3_64\pythonw.exe C:\Dev\Anaconda3_64\cwp.py C:\Dev\Anaconda3_64 %windir%\system32\cmd.exe /k c:\Dev\Anaconda3_64\Scripts\activate.bat c:\Dev\Anaconda3_64
Of course, you’ll need to substitute the path you used (just copy and paste into Notepad and do a quick search and replace with the full path I used).
It should start up without issue now.