Using the .condarc conda configuration file


The conda configuration file, .condarc, is an optional runtime configuration file that allows advanced users to configure various aspects of conda, such as which channels it searches for packages, proxy settings, and environment directories. For all of the conda configuration options, see the configuration page.


A .condarc file can also be used in an administrator-controlled installation to override the users’ configuration. See Administering a multi-user conda installation.

The .condarc file can change many parameters, including:

  • Where conda looks for packages.

  • If and how conda uses a proxy server.

  • Where conda lists known environments.

  • Whether to update the Bash prompt with the currently activated environment name.

  • Whether user-built packages should be uploaded to

  • What default packages or features to include in new environments.

Creating and editing

The .condarc file is not included by default, but it is automatically created in your home directory the first time you run the conda config command. To create or modify a .condarc file, open Anaconda Prompt or a terminal and enter the conda config command.

The .condarc configuration file follows simple YAML syntax.


conda config --add channels conda-forge

Alternatively, you can open a text editor such as Notepad on Windows, TextEdit on macOS, or VS Code. Name the new file .condarc and save it to your user home directory or root directory. To edit the .condarc file, open it from your home or root directory and make edits in the same way you would with any other text file. If the .condarc file is in the root environment, it will override any in the home directory.

You can find information about your .condarc file by typing conda info in your terminal or Anaconda Prompt. This will give you information about your .condarc file, including where it is located.

You can also download a sample .condarc file to edit in your editor and save to your user home directory or root directory.

To set configuration options, edit the .condarc file directly or use the conda config --set command.

EXAMPLE: To set the auto_update_conda option to False, run:

conda config --set auto_update_conda False

For a complete list of conda config commands, see the command reference. The same list is available at the terminal or Anaconda Prompt by running conda config --help. You can also see the conda channel configuration for more information.


Conda supports tab completion with external packages instead of internal configuration.

Conda supports a wide range of configuration options. This page gives a non-exhaustive list of the most frequently used options and their usage. For a complete list of all available options for your version of conda, use the conda config --describe command.

Searching for .condarc

Conda looks in the following locations for a .condarc file:

if on_win:


XDG_CONFIG_HOME is the path to where user-specific configuration files should be stored defined following The XDG Base Directory Specification (XDGBDS). Default to $HOME/.config should be used. CONDA_ROOT is the path for your base conda install. CONDA_PREFIX is the path to the current active environment. CONDARC must be a path to a file named .condarc, condarc, or end with a YAML suffix (.yml or .yaml).


Any condarc files that exist in any of these special search path directories need to end in a valid yaml extension (".yml" or ".yaml").

Conflict merging strategy

When conflicts between configurations arise, the following strategies are employed:

  • Lists - merge

  • Dictionaries - merge

  • Primitive - clobber


The precedence by which the conda configuration is built out is shown below. Each new arrow takes precedence over the ones before it. For example, config files (by parse order) will be superseded by any of the other configuration options. Configuration environment variables (formatted like CONDA_<CONFIG NAME>) will always take precedence over the other 3.


General configuration

Channel locations (channels)

Listing channel locations in the .condarc file overrides conda defaults, causing conda to search only the channels listed here, in the order given.

Use defaults to automatically include all default channels. Non-URL channels are interpreted as user or organization names. You can change this by modifying the channel_alias as described in Set a channel alias (channel_alias). The default is just defaults.


  - <anaconda_dot_org_username>
  - http://some.custom/channel
  - file:///some/local/directory
  - defaults

To select channels for a single environment, put a .condarc file in the root directory of that environment (or use the --env option when using conda config).

EXAMPLE: If you have installed Miniconda with Python 3 in your home directory and the environment is named "flowers", the path may be:


Default channels (default_channels)

Normally the defaults channel points to several channels at the repository, but if default_channels is defined, it sets the new list of default channels. This is especially useful for airgapped and enterprise installations:

To ensure that all users only pull packages from an on-premises repository, an administrator can set both channel alias and default_channels.

  - http://some.custom/channel
  - file:///some/local/directory

Update conda automatically (auto_update_conda)

When True, conda updates itself any time a user updates or installs a package in the root environment. When False, conda updates itself only if the user manually issues a conda update command. The default is True.


auto_update_conda: False

Always yes (always_yes)

Choose the yes option whenever asked to proceed, such as when installing. Same as using the --yes flag at the command line. The default is False.


always_yes: True

Show channel URLs (show_channel_urls)

Show channel URLs when displaying what is going to be downloaded and in conda list. The default is False.


show_channel_urls: True

Change command prompt (changeps1)

When using conda activate, change the command prompt from $PS1 to include the activated environment. The default is True.


changeps1: False

Add pip as Python dependency (add_pip_as_python_dependency)

Add pip, wheel, and setuptools as dependencies of Python. This ensures that pip, wheel, and setuptools are always installed any time Python is installed. The default is True.


add_pip_as_python_dependency: False

Use pip (use_pip)

Use pip when listing packages with conda list. This does not affect any conda command or functionality other than the output of the command conda list. The default is True.


use_pip: False

Configure conda for use behind a proxy server (proxy_servers)

By default, proxy settings are pulled from the HTTP_PROXY and HTTPS_PROXY environment variables or the system. Setting them here overrides that default:

    http: http://user:[email protected]:8080
    https: https://user:[email protected]:8080

To give a proxy for a specific scheme and host, use the scheme://hostname form for the key. This matches for any request to the given scheme and exact host name:

  '': ''

If you do not include the username and password or if authentication fails, conda prompts for a username and password.

If your password contains special characters, you need escape them as described in Percent-encoding reserved characters on Wikipedia.

Be careful not to use http when you mean https or https when you mean http.

SSL verification (ssl_verify)

If you are behind a proxy that does SSL inspection such as a Cisco IronPort Web Security Appliance (WSA), you may need to use ssl_verify to override the SSL verification settings.

By default this variable is True, which means that SSL verification is used and conda verifies certificates for SSL connections. Setting this variable to False disables the connection's normal security and is not recommended:

ssl_verify: False

You can also set ssl_verify to a string path to a certificate, which can be used to verify SSL connections:

ssl_verify: corp.crt

Offline mode only (offline)

Filters out all channel URLs that do not use the file:// protocol. The default is False.


offline: True

Advanced configuration

Set a channel alias (channel_alias)

Whenever you use the -c or --channel flag to give conda a channel name that is not a URL, conda prepends the channel_alias to the name that it was given. The default channel_alias is

If channel_alias is set to https://my.anaconda.repo:8080/conda/, then a user who runs the command conda install -c conda-forge some-package will install the package some-package from https://my.anaconda.repo:8080/conda/conda-forge.

For example, the command:

conda install --channel asmeurer <package>

is the same as:

conda install --channel <package>

You can set channel_alias to your own repository.

EXAMPLE: To set channel_alias to your repository at

channel_alias: https://your.repo/

On Windows, you must include a slash ("/") at the end of the URL:

EXAMPLE: https://your.repo/conda/

When channel_alias set to your repository at

conda install --channel jsmith <package>

is the same as:

conda install --channel <package>

Always add packages by default (create_default_packages)

When creating new environments, add the specified packages by default. The default packages are installed in every environment you create. You can override this option at the command prompt with the --no-default-packages flag. The default is to not include any packages.


  - pip
  - ipython
  - scipy=0.15.0

Track features (track_features)

Enable certain features to be tracked by default. The default is to not track any features. This is similar to adding MKL to the create_default_packages list.


  - mkl

Disable updating of dependencies (update_dependencies)

By default, conda install updates the given package to the latest version and installs any dependencies necessary for that package. However, if dependencies that satisfy the package's requirements are already installed, conda will not update those packages to the latest version.

In this case, if you would prefer that conda update all dependencies to the latest version that is compatible with the environment, set update_dependencies to True.

The default is False.


update_dependencies: True


Conda still ensures that dependency specifications are satisfied. Thus, some dependencies may still be updated or, conversely, this may prevent packages given at the command line from being updated to their latest versions. You can always specify versions at the command line to force conda to install a given version, such as conda install numpy=1.9.3.

To avoid updating only specific packages in an environment, a better option may be to pin them. For more information, see Preventing packages from updating (pinning).

Disallow installation of specific packages (disallow)

Disallow the installation of certain packages. The default is to allow installation of all packages.


  - anaconda

Add token to automatically see private packages (add_anaconda_token)

When the channel alias is or an Anaconda Server GUI, you can set the system configuration so that users automatically see private packages. was formerly known as This uses the Anaconda command-line client, which you can install with conda install anaconda-client, to automatically add the token to the channel URLs.

The default is True.


add_anaconda_token: False


Even when set to True, this setting is enabled only if the Anaconda command-line client is installed and you are logged in with the anaconda login command.

Specify environment directories (envs_dirs)

Specify directories in which environments are located. If this key is set, the root prefix envs_dir is not used unless explicitly included. This key also determines where the package caches are located.

For each envs here, envs/pkgs is used as the pkgs cache, except for the standard envs directory in the root directory, for which the normal root_dir/pkgs is used.


  - ~/my-envs
  - /opt/anaconda/envs

The CONDA_ENVS_PATH environment variable overwrites the envs_dirs setting:

  • For macOS and Linux: CONDA_ENVS_PATH=~/my-envs:/opt/anaconda/envs

  • For Windows: set CONDA_ENVS_PATH=C:\Users\joe\envs;C:\Anaconda\envs

Specify package directories (pkgs_dirs)

Specify directories in which packages are located. If this key is set, the root prefix pkgs_dirs is not used unless explicitly included.

If the pkgs_dirs key is not set, then envs/pkgs is used as the pkgs cache, except for the standard envs directory in the root directory, for which the normal root_dir/pkgs is used.


  - /opt/anaconda/pkgs

The CONDA_PKGS_DIRS environment variable overwrites the pkgs_dirs setting:

  • For macOS and Linux: CONDA_PKGS_DIRS=/opt/anaconda/pkgs

  • For Windows: set CONDA_PKGS_DIRS=C:\Anaconda\pkgs

Force conda to download only .tar.bz2 packages (use_only_tar_bz2)

Conda 4.7 introduced a new .conda package file format. .conda is a more compact and faster alternative to .tar.bz2 packages. It's thus the preferred file format to use where available.

Nevertheless, it's possible to force conda to only download .tar.bz2 packages by setting the use_only_tar_bz2 boolean to True.

The default is False.


use_only_tar_bz2: True


This is forced to True if conda-build is installed and older than 3.18.3, because older versions of conda break when conda feeds it the new file format.

Conda-build configuration

Specify conda-build output root directory (root-dir)

Build output root directory. You can also set this with the CONDA_BLD_PATH environment variable. The default is <CONDA_PREFIX>/conda-bld/. If you do not have write permissions to <CONDA_PREFIX>/conda-bld/, the default is ~/conda-bld/.


    root-dir: ~/conda-builds

Specify conda-build build folder (conda-build 3.16.3+) (output_folder)

Folder to dump output package to. Packages are moved here if build or test succeeds. If unset, the output folder corresponds to the same directory as the root build directory (root-dir).

    output_folder: conda-bld

Specify conda-build package version (pkg_version)

Conda package version to create. Use 2 for .conda packages. If not set, conda-build defaults to .tar.bz2.

   pkg_format: 2

Automatically upload conda-build packages to (anaconda_upload)

Automatically upload packages built with conda-build to The default is False.


anaconda_upload: True

Token to be used for uploads (conda-build 3.0+) (anaconda_token)

Tokens are a means of authenticating with without logging in. You can pass your token to conda-build with this condarc setting, or with a CLI argument. This is unset by default. Setting it implicitly enables anaconda_upload.

    anaconda_token: gobbledygook

Limit build output verbosity (conda-build 3.0+) (quiet)

Conda-build's output verbosity can be reduced with the quiet setting. For more verbosity use the CLI flag --debug.

    quiet: true

Disable filename hashing (conda-build 3.0+) (filename_hashing)

Conda-build 3 adds hashes to filenames to allow greater customization of dependency versions. If you find this disruptive, you can disable the hashing with the following config entry:

    filename_hashing: false


Conda-build does not check when clobbering packages. If you utilize conda-build 3's build matrices with a build configuration that is not reflected in the build string, packages will be missing due to clobbering.

Disable recipe and package verification (conda-build 3.0+) (no_verify)

By default, conda-build uses conda-verify to ensure that your recipe and package meet some minimum sanity checks. You can disable these:

    no_verify: true

Disable per-build folder creation (conda-build 3.0+) (set_build_id)

By default, conda-build creates a new folder for each build, named for the package name plus a timestamp. This allows you to do multiple builds at once. If you have issues with long paths, you may need to disable this behavior. You should first try to change the build output root directory with the root-dir setting described above, but fall back to this as necessary:

    set_build_id: false

Skip building packages that already exist (conda-build 3.0+) (skip_existing)

By default, conda-build builds all recipes that you specify. You can instead skip recipes that are already built. A recipe is skipped if and only if all of its outputs are available on your currently configured channels.

    skip_existing: true

Omit recipe from package (conda-build 3.0+) (include_recipe)

By default, conda-build includes the recipe that was used to build the package. If this contains sensitive or proprietary information, you can omit the recipe.

    include_recipe: false


If you do not include the recipe, you cannot use conda-build to test the package after the build completes. This means that you cannot split your build and test steps across two distinct CLI commands (conda build --notest recipe and conda build -t recipe). If you need to omit the recipe and split your steps, your only option is to remove the recipe files from the tarball artifacts after your test step. Conda-build does not provide tools for doing that.

Disable activation of environments during build/test (conda-build 3.0+) (activate)

By default, conda-build activates the build and test environments prior to executing the build or test scripts. This adds necessary PATH entries, and also runs any activate.d scripts you may have. If you disable activation, the PATH will still be modified, but the activate.d scripts will not run. This is not recommended, but some people prefer this.

    activate: false

Disable long prefix during test (conda-build 3.16.3+) (long_test_prefix)

By default, conda-build uses a long prefix for the test prefix. If you have recipes that fail in long prefixes but would still like to test them in short prefixes, you can disable the long test prefix. This is not recommended.

    long_test_prefix: false

The default is true.

PyPI upload settings (conda-build 3.0+) (pypirc)

Unset by default. If you have wheel outputs in your recipe, conda-build will try to upload them to the PyPI repository specified by the pypi_repository setting using credentials from this file path.

    pypirc: ~/.pypirc

PyPI repository to upload to (conda-build 3.0+) (pypi_repository)

Unset by default. If you have wheel outputs in your recipe, conda-build will try to upload them to this PyPI repository using credentials from the file specified by the pypirc setting.

    pypi_repository: pypi

Expansion of environment variables

Conda expands environment variables in a subset of configuration settings. These are:

  • channel

  • channel_alias

  • channels

  • client_cert_key

  • client_cert

  • custom_channels

  • custom_multichannels

  • default_channels

  • envs_dirs

  • envs_path

  • migrated_custom_channels

  • pkgs_dirs

  • proxy_servers

  • verify_ssl

  • allowlist_channels

This allows you to store the credentials of a private repository in an environment variable, like so:

  - https://${USERNAME}:${PASSWORD}

Obtaining information from the .condarc file


It may be necessary to add the "force" option -f to the following commands.

To get all keys and their values:

conda config --get

To get the value of a specific key, such as channels:

conda config --get channels

To add a new value, such as, to a specific key, such as channels:

conda config --add channels

To remove an existing value, such as from a specific key, such as channels:

conda config --remove channels

To remove a key, such as channels, and all of its values:

conda config --remove-key channels

To configure channels and their priority for a single environment, make a .condarc file in the root directory of that environment.

Configuring number of threads

You can use your .condarc file or environment variables to add configuration to control the number of threads. You may want to do this to tweak conda to better utilize your system. If you have a very fast SSD, you might increase the number of threads to shorten the time it takes for conda to create environments and install/remove packages.


  • Default number of threads: None

  • Threads used when downloading, parsing, and creating repodata structures from repodata.json files. Multiple downloads from different channels may occur simultaneously. This speeds up the time it takes to start solving.


  • Default number of threads: 1

  • Threads used when verifying the integrity of packages and files to be installed in your environment. Defaults to 1, as using multiple threads here can run into problems with slower hard drives.


  • Default number of threads: 1

  • Threads used to unlink, remove, link, or copy files into your environment. Defaults to 1, as using multiple threads here can run into problems with slower hard drives.


  • Default number of threads: None

  • When set, this value is used for all of the above thread settings. With its default setting (None), it does not affect the other settings.

Setting any of the above can be done in .condarc or with conda config:

At your terminal:

conda config --set repodata_threads 2

In .condarc:

verify_threads: 4