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?