Installation instructions

By now you should know that Bob is made of several Packages. There is no single package that installs all Bob packages because that would just take too much space. Follow the instruction below to install any Bob package.

We offer pre-compiled binary installations of Bob using conda for Linux and MacOS 64-bit operating systems. Follow the guide below to learn to install any Bob package. Bob does not work on Windows.

  1. Install conda (miniconda is preferred) and get familiar with it.

  2. Make sure you have an up-to-date conda installation (conda 4.4 and above is needed) with the correct configuration by running the commands below:

    $ conda update -n base -c defaults conda
    $ conda config --set show_channel_urls True
  3. Create an environment with the specific Bob packages that you need. For example if you want to install and

    $ conda create --name bob_env1 --override-channels \
      -c -c defaults \
  4. Then activate the environment and configure its channels to make sure the channel list is correct in the future as well:

    $ conda activate bob_env1
    $ conda config --env --add channels defaults
    $ conda config --env --add channels
  5. If you decide to install more packages in the future, just conda install them:

    $ conda activate bob_env1
    $ conda install ...

For a comprehensive list of packages that are either part of Bob or use Bob, please visit Packages.


Be aware that if you use packages from our channel and other user/community channels (especially conda-forge) in one environment, you may end up with a broken envrionment. We can only guarantee that the packages in our channel are compatible with the defaults channel.


Bob does not work on Windows and hence no conda packages are available for it. It will not work even if you install it from source. If you are an experienced user and manage to make Bob work on Windows, please let us know through our mailing list.


Bob has been reported to run on arm processors (e.g. Raspberry Pi) but is not installable with conda. Please see for installations on how to install Bob from source.

Developing Bob packages

Use bob.devtools if you want to develop Bob packages or create a new package. DO NOT modify (including adding extra files) the source code of Bob packages in your Conda environments. Typically, Bob packages can be extended without modifying the original package. So you may want to put your new code in a new package instead of modifying the original package.


Conda uses hard links to create new environments from a cache folder. Editing a file in one of the environments will edit that file in ALL of your environments. The only safe way to recover from this is to delete your Conda installation completely and installing everything again from scratch.

Installing older versions of Bob

Since Bob 4, you can easily select the Bob version that you want to install using conda. For example:

$ conda install \
-c \
-c defaults \
-c \

will install the version of that was associated with the Bob 4.0.0 release.


If you install the bob conda package, you may need to change your channel list to:

$ conda activate <bob-env-name>
$ conda config --env --add channels
$ conda config --env --add channels defaults
$ conda config --env --add channels

Bob packages that were released before Bob 4 are not easily installable. Here, we provide conda environment files (Linux 64-bit only) that will install all Bob packages associated with an older release of Bob:

Bob Version

Environment Files


envs/v262py27.yaml, envs/v262py35.yaml


envs/v270py27.yaml, envs/v270py35.yaml


envs/v300py27.yaml, envs/v300py36.yaml

To install them, download one of the files above and run:

$ conda env create --file v300py36.yaml

Details (advanced users)

Since Bob 4, the bob conda package is just a meta package that pins all packages to a specific version. Installing bob will not install anything; it will just impose pinnings in your environment. Normally, installations of Bob packages should work without installing bob itself. For example, running:

$ conda create --name env_name --override-channels \
  -c -c defaults \

should always create a working environment. If it doesn’t, please let us know.