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I'm trying to use .dir-locals.el within porjects to specify the Python virtualenv that is activated on a per project basis using pyvenv. I've read the examples at Directory Variables - GNU Emacs Manual and have tried

((python-mode . ((pyvenv-workon "~/.virtualenvs/default")
         (subdirs . nil))))

With this I get the following error...

File local-variables error: (wrong-type-argument stringp (~/virtualenvs/default)

...and it does not activate this virtual environment, instead its activating anaconda3 which is a nuisance because I thought I'd purged my system of Anaconda (in favour of using virtualenvwrapper).

I have the following in ~/.emacs.d/settings/python-settings.el (which is called from ~/.emacs.d/init.el)

;; elpy configuration
(elpy-enable)
(pyvenv-activate "~/.virtualenvs/dskit")

;; Set ipython as the default interpreter
(setq elpy-rpc-python-command "python3")
(setq python-shell-interpreter "ipython"
      python-shell-interpreter-args "-i --simple-prompt")

...and as I say I've purged my system of anaconda so I'm not sure how or why its being picked up as a virtual environment. Is there anyway to get debugging information out of Emacs pyvenv module when its loading to find out what its doing co I can work out whats going on?

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One of the confusing things about .dir-locals.el variables is that the bindings need to be conses, usually written in dotted form:

((python-mode . ((pyvenv-workon . "~/.virtualenvs/default")
                 (subdirs . nil))))

Without the ., lisp interprets the second part of the pair as a list, so (in this case), your configuration was saying that the value of pyvenv-workon was the list ("~/.virtualenvs/default") instead of just the string, which is what the wrong-type-argument error is saying. If the bit about cons is unfamiliar, you might take a look at cons in the Emacs Lisp manual.

  • Thank you @Win that has done the trick. Slowly learning more Lisp as I get more into using Emacs for my IDE and all other aspects of my work on computers. – slackline Dec 17 '18 at 13:02

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