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conda-store was designed with the idea of scalable enterprise management of reproducible Conda environments.

conda-store architecture diagram


Traitlets is used for all configuration of conda-store. In the beginning command line options were used but eventually we learned that there were too many options for the user. Traitlets provides a python configuration file that you can use to configure values of the applications. It is used for both the server and worker. See tests/assets/ for a full example.

Workers and server

conda-store can be broken into two components. The workers which have the following responsibilities:

  • build Conda environments from Conda environment.yaml specifications
  • build Conda pack archives
  • build Conda docker images
  • remove Conda builds
  • modify symlinks to point current environment to given build
  • generally any tasks that can take an unbounded amount of time

All of the worker logic is in conda_store_server/ and conda_store_server/worker/*.py. Celery is used for managing tasks so you will see the celery tasks defined in conda_store_server/worker/ which in turn usually call built in CondaStore functions in conda_store_server/ or conda_store_server/

The web server has several responsibilities:

  • serve a UI for interacting with Conda environments
  • serve a REST API for managing Conda environments
  • serve a programmatic Docker registry for interesting docker-conda abilities

The web server is based on FastAPI. Originally Flask was chosen due to it being battle tested and that conda-store is not doing any special things with the web server. However, over time the ability for robust input and output guarantees from the endpoints along with auto documentation made FastAPI appealing. The backend web app is defined in There are several components to the server:

  • UI :: conda_store_server/server/views/
  • REST API :: conda_store_server/server/views/
  • registry :: conda_store_server/server/views/

Both the worker and server need a connection to a SQLAchemy compatible database, Redis, and S3 compatible object storage. The S3 server is used to store all build artifacts for example logs, docker layers, and the Conda-Pack tarball. The PostgreSQL database is used for storing all states on environments and builds along with powering the conda-store web server UI, REST API, and Docker registry. Redis is used for keeping track of task state and results along with enabling locks and realtime streaming of logs.


conda-store terminology

conda_environment = f(open("environment.yaml"), datatime.utcnow())

  • namespace :: a way of providing scopes between environments. This prevents Joe's environment named data-science from colliding from Alice's environment name data-science.
  • environment :: a pointer to a current build of a given specification
  • specification :: a Conda environment.yaml file
  • build :: a attempt of conda env install -f environment.yaml at a given point in time

In order to understand why we have the complicated terminology for an environment it helps to understand how Conda builds a given environment.