Bioconda is a channel for the conda package manager specializing in bioinformatics software. Bioconda consists of:

  • a repository of recipes hosted on GitHub

  • a build system turning these recipes into conda packages

  • a repository of packages containing over 7000 bioinformatics packages ready to use with conda install

  • over 850 contributors and 570 members who add, modify, update and maintain the recipes

The conda package manager makes installing software a vastly more streamlined process. Conda is a combination of other package managers you may have encountered, such as pip, CPAN, CRAN, Bioconductor, apt-get, and homebrew. Conda is both language- and OS-agnostic, and can be used to install C/C++, Fortran, Go, R, Python, Java etc programs on Linux, Mac OSX, and Windows.

Conda allows separation of packages into repositories, or channels. The main defaults channel has a large number of common packages. Users can add additional channels from which to install software packages not available in the defaults channel. Bioconda is one such channel specializing in bioinformatics software.

Browse packages in the Bioconda channel: Package Index

Each package added to Bioconda also has a corresponding Docker BioContainer automatically created and uploaded to Quay.io. A list of these and other containers can be found at the Biocontainers Registry.


Citing Bioconda

When using Bioconda please cite our article:

Grüning, Björn, Ryan Dale, Andreas Sjödin, Brad A. Chapman, Jillian Rowe, Christopher H. Tomkins-Tinch, Renan Valieris, the Bioconda Team, and Johannes Köster. 2018. “Bioconda: Sustainable and Comprehensive Software Distribution for the Life Sciences”. Nature Methods, 2018 doi:10.1038/s41592-018-0046-7.


Bioconda is a derivative mark of Anaconda ®, a trademark of Anaconda, Inc registered in the U.S. and other countries. Anaconda, Inc. grants permission of the derivative use but is not associated with Bioconda.

The Bioconda channel is sponsored by Anaconda, Inc in the form of providing unlimited (in time and space) storage. Bioconda is supported by Circle CI via an open source plan including free Linux and MacOS builds.

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