A brief introduction

What is conda-forge?

conda-forge is a community effort that provides conda packages for a wide range of software.

Missing a package that you would love to install with conda? - Chances are we have already packaged it for you!

You can search for packages online. Look out for packages provided by our conda-forge organization.

Cannot find a package or only outdated versions of a package? - Everybody is welcome to contribute to our package stack! Please refer to Becoming involved, for an overview over how to start contributing.

Why conda-forge?

The conda team from Anaconda, Inc packages a multitude of packages and provides them to all users free of charge in their default channel.

But what if a package you are looking for is not in the default channel? In the past users only had the option to create an Anaconda Cloud account and create their own channel.

This came with a list of disadvantages:

  • locating packages was difficult due to them being scattered over many channels.

  • combining packages across channels was not always possible due to binary incompatibilities.

  • packages were only available for architectures the developer was interested in or had access to.

  • channels were often abandoned, updating required locating new channels

conda-forge is a community effort that tackles these issues:

  • all packages are shared in a single channel named conda-forge

  • care is taken that all packages are up-to-date

  • common standards ensure that all packages have compatible versions

  • by default, we build packages for macOS, Linux AMD64 and Windows AMD64

  • many packages are updated by multiple maintainers with an easy option to become a maintainer

  • an active core developer team is trying to also maintain abandoned packages

How can I install packages from conda-forge?

Using conda-forge is as easy! Make sure you have at least conda >=4.6, then you just have to register the conda-forge channel as a package source for conda, and activate the strict channel priority (strict will be activated by default in conda 5.0).

conda config --add channels conda-forge
conda config --set channel_priority strict

From now on using conda install <package-name> will also find packages in our conda-forge channels.

Note

In addition to the channel priority, we recommend to always install your packages inside a new environment instead of the base (formerly known as root) environment, and we also recommend the use miniconda instead of the Anaconda Distribution. Using environments make it easier to debug problems with packages and ensure the stability of your base environment. Avoiding the Anaconda Distribution reduces chances of unsolvable/conflicts installations, it is also a smaller download.

Note

Please be aware that the order of your conda package channels is important, especially when you combine conda-forge with other channels, e.g. bioconda.

Please refer to Using multiple channels for pitfalls and more information.