Anaconda (Python distribution)
|Developer(s)||Anaconda, Inc. (previously Continuum Analytics)|
|Initial release||0.8.0/17 July 2012|
2019.10 / 16 October 2019
|Operating system||Windows, macOS, Linux|
|Type||Programming language, machine learning, data science|
|License||New BSD License|
Anaconda is a free and open-source distribution of the Python and R programming languages for scientific computing (data science, machine learning applications, large-scale data processing, predictive analytics, etc.), that aims to simplify package management and deployment. Package versions are managed by the package management system conda. The Anaconda distribution includes data-science packages suitable for Windows, Linux, and MacOS.
Anaconda distribution comes with more than 1,500 packages as well as the conda package and virtual environment manager. It also includes a GUI, Anaconda Navigator, as a graphical alternative to the command line interface (CLI).
The big difference between conda and the pip package manager is in how package dependencies are managed, which is a significant challenge for Python data science and the reason conda exists.
When pip installs a package, it automatically installs any dependent Python packages without checking if these conflict with previously installed packages. It will install a package and any of its dependencies regardless of the state of the existing installation. Because of this, a user with a working installation of, for example, Google Tensorflow, can find that it stops working having used pip to install a different package that requires a different version of the dependent numpy library than the one used by Tensorflow. In some cases, the package may appear to work but produce different results in detail.
In contrast, conda analyses the current environment including everything currently installed, and, together with any version limitations specified (e.g. the user may wish to have Tensorflow version 2,0 or higher), works out how to install a compatible set of dependencies, and shows a warning if this cannot be done.
Open source packages can be individually installed from the Anaconda repository, Anaconda Cloud (anaconda.org), or your own private repository or mirror, using the
conda install command. Anaconda Inc compiles and builds all the packages in the Anaconda repository itself, and provides binaries for Windows 32/64 bit, Linux 64 bit and MacOS 64-bit. Anything available on PyPI may be installed into a conda environment using pip, and conda will keep track of what it has installed itself and what pip has installed.
The default installation of Anaconda2 includes Python 2.7 and Anaconda3 includes Python 3.7. However, it is possible to create new environments that include any version of Python packaged with conda.
Anaconda Navigator is a desktop graphical user interface (GUI) included in Anaconda distribution that allows users to launch applications and manage conda packages, environments and channels without using command-line commands. Navigator can search for packages on Anaconda Cloud or in a local Anaconda Repository, install them in an environment, run the packages and update them. It is available for Windows, macOS and Linux.
The following applications are available by default in Navigator:
Conda is an open source, cross-platform, language-agnostic package manager and environment management system that installs, runs, and updates packages and their dependencies. It was created for Python programs, but it can package and distribute software for any language (e.g., R), including multi-language projects. The conda package and environment manager is included in all versions of Anaconda, Miniconda, and Anaconda Repository.
Anaconda Cloud is a package management service by Anaconda where you can find, access, store and share public and private notebooks, environments, and conda and PyPI packages. Cloud hosts useful Python packages, notebooks and environments for a wide variety of applications. You do not need to log in or to have a Cloud account, to search for public packages, download and install them.
You can build new packages using the Anaconda Client command line interface (CLI), then manually or automatically upload the packages to Cloud.
- "What is Anaconda, Inc.?". docs.anaconda.com.
Anaconda is a software development and consulting company of passionate open source advocates based in Austin, Texas, USA. We are committed to the open source community. We created the Anaconda Python distribution and contribute to many other open source-based data analytics tools.
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