Atom prevents bitbake with petalinux/Ubuntu

I have installed Ubuntu 16.04.6 in VirtualBox on Windows 10 host. I am developing embedded software with Xilinx PetaLinux 2017.3. The versions do not seem to matter, I had the same problem with different versions of Ubuntu and PetalLinux. The problem is, if I have Atom editor open, PetalLinux cannot bitbake/build my projects. The moment I close Atom it builds fine. Does anyone have any insight into this problem?
ERROR: Failed to source bitbake

Searching found this thread which might yield some clues. Are you using python 2?

I am not actually using python, but python 2.7.12 is installed. Atom might use it under the hood I suppose, but they specify 2.x.x for python to solve their issues. Their seems to be something about running Atom that interferes with sourcing bitbake under petalinux. As soon as I exit Atom the problem goes away, so whatever it is resets when Atom exits. I usually just use another editor now for quick edits and bring up Atom only when I have a large number of changes. A bit of a pain.