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Package Distribution and the Terms of Service

· 2 min read

Various members of the community have raised questions publicly and privately about the implications of Anaconda's new Terms of Service (TOS) on First of all, we understand your concerns. We would like to explain a bit how conda-forge works, how the TOS change affects us and conda-forge users, and what our plans as a community are for the future.

What makes it non-surprising [that no other free conda package distribution services have appeared] is that, at the moment, any third party channel like conda-forge is free. The TOS change does not apply to conda-forge, nor to other channels hosted on; the TOS change in question applies only to the "defaults" channel and other software hosted on

While having alternative hosting is in our plans, we cannot afford the costs. We are just a community of volunteers. We have experimented with uploading the conda-forge artifacts to GitHub and continue to do so (see regro/releases). We also have put those artifacts behind an experimental repodata server. One of our core devs (@wolfv) is working to setup quetz with conda-forge artifacts as well.

It is very important to recognize that Anaconda Inc kindly donates use of their hosting and employee time to us, absorbing all of these costs. They host about 1.8 TB of our data and serve over 100 million downloads of artifacts from that data each month. This is a highly significant donation and conda-forge would not exist without it. Anaconda Inc employees also provide help with maintaining some of the most complex package recipes in conda-forge.

Note that Anaconda Inc has also said that part of the revenue from the TOS change will be donated to OSS projects. (see this blog post). You should be aware that conda-forge is a part of NumFOCUS, and so it stands to benefit from the change in TOS, as do many other OSS projects.

We absolutely welcome help from the community to move our efforts on building out more hosting infrastructure for conda-forge forward. This could be anything from spending time developing quetz to providing hosting/mirroring for our data. Please do get in contact with us if you'd like to help out!