Conda is a complex system of many components and can be hard to understand for users and developers alike. The following C4 model based architecture diagrams should help in that regard. As a refresher, the C4 model tries to visualize complex software systems at different levels of detail, and explaining the functionality to different types of audience.
These diagrams represent the state of conda at the time when the documentation was automatically build as part of the development process for conda 23.1.0.post13+f9c3afeaf (Jan 27, 2023).
C4 stands for the for levels:
Level 1: Context
This is the overview, 30,000 feet view on conda, to better understand how conda in the center of the diagram interacts with other systems and how users relate to it.
Level 2: Container
This level is zooming in to conda on a system level, which was in the center of the Level 1 diagram, to show the high-level shape of the software architecture of and the various responsibilities in conda, including major technology choices and communication patterns between the various containers.
The following diagram focuses on the channels container from the level 1 diagram.
The following diagram focuses on the conda container from the level 1 diagram.
Level 3: Component
Yet another zoom-in, in which individual containers from Level 2 are decomposed to show major building blocks in conda and their interactions. Those building blocks are called components in the sense that they each have a higher function and relate to an identifiable responsibility and implementation details.
Level 4: Code
This part is auto-generated based on the current code and shows how the code is structured and how it interacts. For brevity this ignores a number of subsystems like the public API and exports modules, utility and vendor packages.