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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Cannot find a package or only outdated versions of a package?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 on how to start contributing.

Why conda-forge?

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

But what if a package you are looking for is not in the defaults 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. Other architectures are also available on request (e.g. Apple Silicon, PowerPC, Linux ARM).
  • 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.

You can refer to the glossary Glossary.

How can I install packages from conda-forge?

Using conda-forge is easy!

  • Make sure you have conda >=4.9.
    conda --version
    conda update conda
  • Add conda-forge as the highest priority channel.
    conda config --add channels conda-forge
  • Activate strict channel priority (strict will be activated by default in conda 5.0).
    conda config --set channel_priority strict

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


In addition to the channel priority, we recommend always installing your packages inside a new environment instead of the base (formerly known as root) environment, and we also recommend the use of miniforge 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/conflicting installations, it is also a smaller download.


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.


Miniforge is a community effort to provide Miniconda-like installers, with the added feature that conda-forge is the default channel. Miniforge is the easiest way to get started with conda-forge!

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

Can I contribute packages to conda-forge?

Anyone can contribute packages to the conda-forge channel. You don't have to be the upstream maintainer of a package in order to contribute it to conda-forge. To learn how to contribute your first package read the staging process.

How can I give credit to conda-forge?

If you'd like to credit conda-forge in your work, please cite our Zenodo entry. This citation is

conda-forge community. (2015). The conda-forge Project: Community-based
Software Distribution Built on the conda Package Format and Ecosystem.

or in bibtex it is

author = {conda-forge community},
title = {{The conda-forge Project: Community-based Software
Distribution Built on the conda Package Format and
month = jul,
year = 2015,
publisher = {Zenodo},
doi = {10.5281/zenodo.4774216},
url = {}

Display conda-forge packages in Anaconda Navigator

  1. Open Anaconda Navigator by running anaconda-navigator
  2. Go to the Environments tab.
  3. Click the Channels button.
  4. Click the Add button.
  5. Enter the channel url:
  6. Press the Enter key on your keyboard.
  7. Click the Update channels button.

From now on, whenever the package filter is set to All on the Environments tab, all conda-forge packages will be displayed.