Glossary

.condarc

The Conda Runtime Configuration file, an optional .yaml file that allows you to configure many aspects of conda, such as which channels it searches for packages, proxy settings and environment directories. A .condarc file is not included by default, but it is automatically created in your home directory when you use the conda config command. The .condarc file can also be located in a root environment, in which case it overrides any .condarc in the home directory. For more information, see Using the .condarc conda configuration file and Administering a multi-user conda installation. Pronounced “conda r-c”.

activate/deactivate environment

Conda commands used to switch or move between installed environments. The activate command prepends the path of your current environment to the PATH environment variable so that you do not need to type it each time. deactivate removes it. Even when an environment is deactivated, you can still execute programs in that environment by specifying their paths directly, as in ~/anaconda/envs/envname/bin/program_name. When an environment is activated, you can execute the program in that environment with just program_name.

NOTE: Replace envname with the name of the environment and replace program_name with the name of the program.

Anaconda

A downloadable, free, open source, high-performance and optimized Python and R distribution. Anaconda includes conda, conda build, Python and 100+ automatically installed, open source scientific packages and their dependencies that have been tested to work well together, including SciPy, NumPy and many others. Use the conda install command to easily install 1,000+ popular open source packages for data science—including advanced and scientific analytics—from the Continuum repository. Use the conda command to install thousands more open source packages.

Because Anaconda is a Python distribution, it can make installing Python quick and easy even for new users.

Available for Windows, macOS and Linux, all versions of Anaconda are supported by the community.

See also Miniconda and Conda.

Anaconda Cloud

A web-based repository hosting service in the cloud. Packages created locally can be published to the cloud to be shared with others. Free accounts on Cloud can publish packages to be shared publicly. Paid subscriptions to Cloud can designate packages as private to be shared with authorized users. Anaconda Cloud is a public version of Continuum’s Anaconda Repository.

Anaconda Navigator

A desktop graphical user interface (GUI) included in all versions of Anaconda that allows you to easily manage conda packages, environments, channels and notebooks without a command line interface (CLI).

Channels

The locations of the repositories where conda looks for packages. Channels may point to a Cloud repository or a private location on a remote or local repository that you or your organization created. The conda channel command has a default set of channels to search, beginning with https://repo.continuum.io/pkgs/, which you may override, for example, to maintain a private or internal channel. These default channels are referred to in conda commands and in the .condarc file by the channel name “defaults.”

Conda

The package and environment manager program bundled with Anaconda that installs and updates conda packages and their dependencies. Conda also lets you easily switch between conda environments on your local computer.

Conda environment

A folder or directory that contains a specific collection of conda packages and their dependencies, so they can be maintained and run separately without interference from each other. For example, you may use a conda environment for only Python 2 and Python 2 packages, maintain another conda environment with only Python 3 and Python 3 packages, and maintain another for R language packages. Environments can be created from:

  • The Navigator GUI.

  • The command line.

  • An environment specification file with the name your-environment-name.yml.

    NOTE: Replace your-environment-name with the name of your environment.

Conda package

A compressed file that contains everything that a software program needs in order to be installed and run, so that you do not have to manually find and install each dependency separately. A conda package includes system-level libraries, Python or R language modules, executable programs and other components. You manage conda packages with conda.

Conda repository

A cloud-based repository that contains 720+ open source certified packages that are easily installed locally with the conda install command. Anyone can access the repository from:

Metapackage

A conda package that only lists dependencies and does not include any functional programs or libraries. The metapackage may contain links to software files that are automatically downloaded when executed. An example of a metapackage is “anaconda,” which collects together all the packages in the Anaconda installer. The command conda create -n envname anaconda creates an environment that exactly matches what would be created from the Anaconda installer. You can create metapackages with the conda metapackage command.

Miniconda

A free minimal installer for conda. Miniconda is a small, bootstrap version of Anaconda that includes only conda, Python, the packages they depend on and a small number of other useful packages, including pip, zlib and a few others. Use the conda install command to install 720+ additional conda packages from the Continuum repository.

Because Miniconda is a Python distribution, and it can make installing Python quick and easy even for new users.

See also Anaconda and Conda.

Noarch package

A conda package that contains nothing specific to any system architecture, so it may be installed from any system. When conda searches for packages on any system in a channel, conda checks both the system-specific subdirectory, such as linux-64, and the noarch directory. Noarch is a contraction of “no architecture”.

Package manager

A collection of software tools that automates the process of installing, updating, configuring and removing computer programs for a computer’s operating system. Also known as a package management system. Conda is a package manager.

Packages

Software files and information about the software, such as its name, the specific version and a description, bundled into a file that can be installed and managed by a package manager.

Repository

Any storage location from which software assets may be retrieved and installed on a local computer. See also Anaconda Cloud and Conda repository.

Silent mode installation

When installing Miniconda or Anaconda in silent mode, screen prompts are not shown on screen and default settings are automatically accepted.