Creating Conda Recipes

This document presents conda-forge information about creating recipes overall. Details of modifying files inside of a recipe are present on other pages in this documentation.

Getting Started

There are multiple ways to get started:

  1. Look at the example recipe in the staged-recipes repository and modify it as necessary.
  2. If it is an R package from CRAN, please instead start by using the conda-forge helper script for R recipes. Then if necessary you can make manual edits to the recipe.
  3. If it is a python package you can generate a skeleton as a starting point with conda skeleton pypi your_package_name. You do not have to use the skeleton, and the recipes produced by skeleton will need to be edited. In particular, you’ll at least need to change the build line to use pip, add yourself as a maintainer, and specify a license_file.

Your final recipe should have no comments (unless they’re actually relevant to the recipe, and not generic instruction comments), and follow the order in the example.

If there are details you are not sure about please open a pull request. The conda-forge team will be happy to answer your questions.

In case you are building your first recipe using conda-forge, a step-by-step instruction and checklist that might help you with a successful build is provided in the following.

Step-by-step Instructions

  1. Ensure your source code can be downloaded as a single file. Source code should be downloadable as an archive (.tar.gz, .zip, .tar.bz2, .tar.xz) or tagged on GitHub, to ensure that it can be verified. (For further detail, see Build from Tarballs, Not Repos).
  2. Fork the example recipes repository.
  3. Create a new branch from the staged-recipes master branch.
  4. Within your forked copy, generate a new folder in the recipes subdirectory and copy the meta.yml file from the example directory. Please leave the example directory unchanged!
  5. Edit the copied recipe (meta.yml) as needed. For details, see Writing the “meta.yml”
  6. Generate the SHA256 key for your source code archive, as described in the example recipe using the openssl tool. As an alternative you can also go to the package description on PyPi from which you can directly copy the SHA256.
  7. Be sure to fill in the tests section. The simplest test will simply test that the module can be imported, as described in the example.
  8. Remove all irrelevant comments in the meta.yaml file.


  • Ensure that the license and license family descriptors (optional) have the right case and that the license is correct. Note that case sensitive inputs are required (e.g. Apache 2.0 rather than APACHE 2.0).
  • Ensure that you have included a license file if your license requires one – most do. (see here)
  • In case your project has tests included, you need to decide if these tests should be executed while building the conda-forge feedstock.
  • Make sure that all tests pass sucessfully at least on your development machine.
  • Recommended: run conda-build on your source code to ensure the recipe works locally.

What happens after the PR to staged-recipes is merged

  • After the PR is merged, travis-ci will create a new git repo automatically. For example, the recipe for a package named pydstool will be moved to a new repository
  • CI services (travis-ci, circleci, appveyor) will be enabled automatically and a build will be triggered automatically which will build the conda package and upload to
  • If this is your first contribution, you will be added to the conda-forge team and given access to the CI services so that you can stop and restart builds. You will also be given commit rights to the new git repository.
  • If you want to make a change to the recipe, send a PR to the git repository from a fork. Branches of the main repository are used for maintaining different versions only.

Avoid Dependencies Outside of Conda-Forge

Do all of my package’s dependencies have to be in conda(-forge) already?

Short answer: yes.

Long answer: In principle, as long as your dependencies are in at least one of your user’s conda channels they will be able to install your package. In practice, that is difficult to manage, and we strive to have all dependencies built in conda-forge.

Building all of the dependencies in conda-forge allow us greater assurance of ABI compatibility for the conda-forge packages. Only in extreme cases should you rely on a dependency outside of conda-forge.

If your dependencies do not change with the python version, or with the platform, consider making your build noarch, this will allow the recipe to build faster, and free some CI resources for other projects.

Optional: bld.bat and/or

In many cases, bld.bat and/or files are not required. Pure Python packages almost never need them.

If the build can be executed with one line, you may put this line in the script entry of the build section of the meta.yaml file with: script: "{{ PYTHON }} -m pip install . -vv".

Remember to always add pip to the host requirements.

Maintainer Role

The maintainer’s job is to:

  • Keep the feedstock updated by merging eventual maintenance PRs from conda-forge’s bots.
  • Keep the feedstock on par with new releases of the source package by - Bumping the version number and checksum. - Making sure that feedstock’s install and run requirements stay accurate. - Make sure the test requirements match those of the of the updated package.
  • Answer eventual question about the package on the feedstock issue tracker.

Other Recipes in staged-recipes

When a PR of a recipe to the staged-recipes repo is ready to go, it is merged into master. This will trigger a CI build specially designed to convert the recipe. However, for any number of reasons, the recipe may not be converted right away. In the interim, the recipe will remain in master until they can be converted.

There is no action required on the part of recipe contributors to resolve this. It should have no impact on any other PRs being proposed. If any recipes pending conversion do cause issues for your submission, please ping @conda-forge/core for help.

Activate scripts

Recipes are allowed to have activate scripts, which will be sourcedd or called as appropriate. It is generally recommended to avoid using activate scripts when another option is possible because people don’t always activate environments the expected way and these packages may then misbehave. However when there is no other option, these are a reasonable option to use. When using them in a recipe, feel free to name them activate.bat,, deactivate.bat, and in the recipe. The installed scripts are recommended to be prefixed by the package name and a separating -. Below is some sample code for Unix and Windows that will make this install process easier. Please feel free to lift it.


# Copy the [de]activate scripts to $PREFIX/etc/conda/[de]activate.d.
# This will allow them to be run on environment activation.
for CHANGE in "activate" "deactivate"
    mkdir -p "${PREFIX}/etc/conda/${CHANGE}.d"
    cp "${RECIPE_DIR}/${CHANGE}.sh" "${PREFIX}/etc/conda/${CHANGE}.d/${PKG_NAME}_${CHANGE}.sh"

In build.bat:

setlocal EnableDelayedExpansion

:: Copy the [de]activate scripts to %PREFIX%\etc\conda\[de]activate.d.
:: This will allow them to be run on environment activation.
for %%F in (activate deactivate) DO (
    if not exist %PREFIX%\etc\conda\%%F.d mkdir %PREFIX%\etc\conda\%%F.d
    copy %RECIPE_DIR%\%%F.bat %PREFIX%\etc\conda\%%F.d\%PKG_NAME%_%%F.bat