Inconsistent environment even after fresh install

After struggling with seemingly unresolvable package inconsistency issues and the apparent inability of conda update to ever do anything but just spin endlessly and/or complain about a countless number of conflicts, I decided to wipe the slate clean and do a fresh anaconda install into a new directory, of anaconda. And I verified that the new executables are being used:

Yet the problems persist: conda update conda gives the following

UnsatisfiableError: The following specifications were found
to be incompatible with the existing python installation in your environment:


  - conda-env -> python[version='2.7.*|3.4.*|3.5.*']

Your python: python=3.9

If python is on the left-most side of the chain, that's the version you've asked for.
When python appears to the right, that indicates that the thing on the left is somehow
not available for the python version you are constrained to. Note that conda will not
change your python version to a different minor version unless you explicitly specify

The following specifications were found to be incompatible with a past
explicit spec that is not an explicit spec in this operation (conda):

  - conda -> conda-env[version='>=2.5|>=2.6']

followed by a very long list of specific incompatibilities.

Why are my problems carrying over to the new installation, and what do I have to do to guarantee a completely clean, self-consistent base environment? I don’t see others having this problem, so there must be something strange about my own setup.

This is under Ubuntu 18.04 on an x86 machine.


Welcome to the Anaconda Community!

Can you run the command ‘conda list’ in your ‘base’ environment and attach the output here?

And please attach it as a file, since you probably have a lot of packages installed in the ‘base’ environment.