Universal way of approaching package conflicts

Hey all! I regularly have package conflict issues in my Conda environments. I generally looked for help on stackoverflow or other places or just created a new environment and installed everything from scratch. However, the package conflict issues keep happening and I am a little tired of dealing with these. More importantly, I actually don’t know how to deal with them. The most recent issue was with trying to install the pyarrow library to my conda env and I was stuck at “solving environment” message. Can someone please explain to me a universal way of solving package conflicts? I am probably missing something and this slows me down a lot at work!

Does the silence mean that it is only me having this issue or it is just the nature of Conda to have these conflicts? I am actually a little surprised that no-one from the Conda team said anything about this issue.

Good morning,

I understand that dealing with package conflicts can be frustrating. Let me explain to you how to effectively use Conda environments and address these conflicts.

Firstly, Conda environments allow you to create isolated and independent environments for different projects. This means you can have different versions of packages installed for each environment, minimizing conflicts between them.

To create a new environment, you can use the following command:

conda create --name myenv

Replace “myenv” with the desired name for your environment.

Once you’ve created your environment, you can activate it by using:

conda activate myenv

Now, any packages you install or updates you make will only affect this particular environment.

To install specific packages in your environment, you can use the following command:

conda install package_name

Replace “package_name” with the name of the package you wish to install.

If you encounter conflicts during package installation or updates, Conda will attempt to find a consistent set of packages that satisfy all dependencies. However, sometimes it may not be possible to resolve conflicts automatically.

In such cases, you can try the following steps:

  1. Update Conda: Ensure you have the latest version of Conda by running conda update conda.

  2. Update your environment: Update the packages in your environment by running conda update --all.

  3. Install specific package versions: If you encounter conflicts with a particular package, try installing a specific version. For instance, use conda install package_name=1.2.3 to install version 1.2.3.

  4. Remove conflicting packages: Remove any packages that are causing conflicts with the conda remove package_name command.

By following these steps and leveraging Conda environments, you’ll have a systematic way of managing package conflicts and ensuring smooth workflows.

Take a look at our guide, in the meantime I would suggest you to delete the Anaconda folder and reinstall Anaconda because you probably have a broken environment due to incompatible packages.


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Thanks @Carlos_Valin. I will try updating Conda next time. However, the order you install packages can be the reason of the conflict. For example, I use RDKit library for my projects. Over time, I realized installing RDKit after other packages, such as PyTorch and some other Deep Learning Libraries, Conda does not install RDKit due to conflicts. So, I install RDKit first always. However, because the order matters, I personally prefer having multiple model environments, such as “scikit-learn-models” or “deep-learning-models”, and clone them when I start a project and install additional packages on top.