tool for validating conda recipes and conda packages
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This project is now somewhat deprecated, use conda-verify instead.

anaconda-verify is a tool for (passively) verifying conda recipes and conda packages.

All Anaconda recipes, as well as the Anaconda packages need to pass this tool before they are made publically available.

Using anaconda-verify:

$ conda install anaconda-verify
$ anaconda-verify -h
$ anaconda-verify <path to recipes or packages>

The purpose of this verification process is to ensure that recipes don't contain obvious bugs, and that the conda packages we distribute to millions of users meet our high quality standards.

Historically, the conda packages which represent the Anaconda distribution were not created using conda-build, but an internal build system. In fact, conda-build started as a public fork of this internal system 3 years ago. At that point the Anaconda distribution had already been around for almost a year, and the only way to create conda packages was by using the internal system. While conda-build has made a lot of progress, the internal system basically stayed unchanged, because the needs on a system for building a distribution are quite different, and not driven by the community using conda-build for continuous integration and other language support (e.g. Perl, Lua), etc. . On the other hand, the internal system has been developed to support Anaconda distribution specific needs, such as MKL featured packages, source and license reference meta-data, and interoperability between collections of packages.

In an effort to bridge the gap between our internal system and conda-build, we started using conda-build to create conda packages for the Anaconda distribution itself about one year ago. By now, more than 85% of the conda packages in the Anaconda distribution are created using conda-build. However, because the different requirements mentioned above, we only allow certain features that conda-build offers. This also helps to keep the Anaconda recipes simple and maintainable, and functional with the rest of the internal system which reads meta-data from the recipes. This is why we require conda recipes to be valid according to this tool.


Another aspect of anaconda-verify is the ability to verify conda packages. These are the most important checks anaconda-verify performs on conda packages, and more importantly we explain why these checks are necessary or useful.

  • Ensure the content of info/files corresponds to the actual archived files in the tarball (except the ones in info/, obviously). This is important, because the files listed in info/files determine which files are linked into the conda environment. Any mismatch here would indicate either (i) the tarball contains files which are not getting linked anywhere or (ii) files which do no exist are attempted to get linked (which would result in an error).

  • Check for now allowed archives in the tarball. A conda package should not contain files in the following directories conda-meta/, conda-bld/, pkgs/, pkgs32/ and envs/, because this would (for example) allow a conda package to modify another existing environment.

  • Make sure the name, version and build values exist in info/index.json and that they correspond to the actual filename.

  • Ensure there are no files with both .bat and .exe extension. For example, if you had Scripts/foo.bat and Scripts/foo.exe one would shadow the other, and this would become confusing which one is actually executed when the user types foo. Although this check is always done, it is only relevant on Windows.

  • Ensure no easy-install.pth file exists. These files would cause problems as they would overlap (two or more conda packages would contain a easy-install.pth file, which overwrite each other when installing the package).

  • Ensure no "easy install scripts" exists. These are entry point scripts which setuptools creates which are extremely brittle, and should by replaced (overwritten) by the simple entry points scripts conda-build offers (use build/entry_points in your meta.yaml).

  • Ensure there are no .pyd or .so files have a .py file next to it. This is just confusing, as it is not obvious which one the Python interpreter will import. Under certain circumstances setuptools creates .py next to shared object files for obscure reasons.

  • For packages (other than python), ensure that .pyc are not in Python's standard library directory. This would happen when a .pyc file is missing from the standard library, and then created during the build process of another package.

  • Check for missing .pyc files. Missing .pyc files cause two types of problems: (i) When building new packages, they might get included in the new package. For example, when building scipy and numpy is missing .pyc files, then these (numpy .pyc files) get included in the scipy package (ii) There was a (buggy) Python release which would crash when .pyc files could not written (due to file permissions).

  • Ensure Windows conda packages only contain object files which have the correct architecture. There was a bug in conda-build which would create 64-bit entry point executables when building 32-bit packages on a 64-bit system.

  • Ensure that site-packages does not contain certain directories when building packages. For example, when you build pandas you don't want a numpy, scipy or setuptools directory to be contained in the pandas package. This would happen when the pandas build dependencies have missing .pyc files.

Here is an example of running the tool on conda packages:

$ anaconda-verify bitarray-0.8.1-py35_0.tar.bz2
==> /Users/ilan/aroot/tars64/bitarray-0.8.1-py35_0.tar.bz2 <==

In this case all is fine, and we see that only the bitarray directory is created in site-packages.