On Windows system, if you install Python3 via Anaconda. Under Anaconda root, there is directory named Scripts, in which pip.exe, pip3.exe and pip3.6.exe all exist. When we want to install a package, a natural question arises, is there any difference if I use pip install PACKAGE or pip3 install PACKAGE?

On Windows

The there executables have exactly the same file size and file last-mod time:

If you show their version infomation, the output is also exactly the same. On my system, the output is:

pip 18.1 from d:\anaconda\lib\site-packages\pip (python 3.6)

So, on Windows, the three executables have no difference.

What about Linux?

On Linux, the default python is usally Python2. If you are a system administrator and install python2-pip package, you will see that pip and pip2 under /usr/bin are the same. If you also installed python3-pip, there will an executable named pip3 under /usr/bin. Under this situation, pip and pip2 is usde for installing Python 2.X packages and pip3 is used for Python 3.

You can also verify this by using pip[3] --version. On my system (Ubuntu on Windows), the output of pip --version is:

pip 9.0.1 from /usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages (python 2.7)

while the output of pip3 --version is;

pip 9.0.1 from /usr/lib/python3/dist-packages (python 3.6)

It is clear that they are different.

References