Canaries Can Tweet: Preview New Features with Conda Canary


Abstract canary bird

Conda-canary is the pre-defaults-release channel for conda — it has the most recent version of conda. On occasion it will also have the latest pre-defaults-release of conda-build and other conda dependencies such as ruamel.yaml. Normally, a patch release of conda or conda-build will live in the conda-canary channel for one to two days before being promoted to the default channel. A larger minor or major release may live in conda-canary for several weeks. 

The purpose of this release step is to give the latest version of conda a chance to be tested “in the wild” before being pushed to the public. As maintainers, we rely on feedback from conda-canary users to determine the impact a new conda release will have on users. It is crucial for understanding what issues people may have, and gives us time to fix them before releasing conda to the default channel.

You should consider using the conda-canary channel if:

  1. You want the newest features, are comfortable with using a possibly less stable release of conda, and want to be an active participant in the development of conda.
  2. You are affected by issues with the latest conda available in the default channel, and are looking for a newer version of conda that might include a fix.
  3. You use conda as part of your build and deployment process, and want to ensure that conda updates will continue to work on your infrastructure.

Using conda-canary is easy. It can be done either by configuring your .condarc file, or using command line options. Configuring  your .condarc file to use conda-canary means you will always get conda updates from the conda-canary channel. If you add the conda-canary channel to your .condarc file, ensure that it is the first channel listed above any other channel that may provide packages that are also on the conda-canary channel:

  - conda-canary
  - defaults

If you prefer to not manually edit your .condarc file, use the following command:

$ conda config --add channels conda-canary

Then update conda as normal:

$ conda update conda -y

For more information on how you can change conda settings, see our online docs.

If you prefer a one-off install of conda-canary, to try out new features or fixes, update conda from conda-canary using the command line:

$ conda update conda -y -c conda-canary

To stop using canary, simply revert to a stable release:

$ conda update -c defaults conda -y

If you are using the conda-canary channel, thank you! Please log any issues at We appreciate the feedback, and love it when community members help make conda solve real problems for real people.

You May Also Like

Data Science Blog
Why We Removed the “Free” Channel in Conda 4.7
One of the changes we made in Conda 4.7 was the removal of a software collection called “free” from the default channel configuration. The “free” channel is our collec...
Read More
Data Science Blog
Anaconda Debuts Data Science Certification Program
Certification to Standardize Data Science Skill Set among Employers and Professionals AnacondaCON, Austin, TX—April 9, 2018 — Anaconda, the most popular Python data scien...
Read More
Data Science Blog
What is Conda Canary?
With the release of conda 4.2.0, we started a new pre-release program called conda canary. The name, inspired by Chrome Canary, is a “canary in a coal mine” refere...
Read More