My Mac's Miniconda was old (version 4.11.0). There seemed to be a much newer version 22.11.1 available, but when I typed '
conda update -n base conda' in the terminal as instructed, the update didn't take effect (see the output below). It also looked like various issues had accumulated. Upon recollection, I installed Miniconda with Miniforge when the official Conda version for Apple Silicon was still unavailable.
Conda is an open-source package management and environment management system for installing multiple versions of software packages and their dependencies and switching easily between them. It is commonly used for data science, scientific computing, and machine learning. Miniconda is a minimal distribution of Conda. It contains only the conda package manager and Python. By installing Miniconda, you can still use conda to install any other packages you need. Miniconda is a good choice if you want a minimal environment to work with and install only the packages you need.
Miniforge, a fork of Miniconda, aims to provide support for the latest version of Conda on Mac, be it an Intel Mac or an Apple Silicon M1 Mac. It was invaluable when the original Conda was not ready for M1 Mac, but as I realized, it has become way outdated.
$ conda update -n base conda Collecting package metadata (current_repodata.json): done Solving environment: | The environment is inconsistent, please check the package plan carefully The following packages are causing the inconsistency: - conda-forge/noarch::requests==2.27.1=pyhd8ed1ab_0 - conda-forge/noarch::six==1.16.0=pyh6c4a22f_0 - conda-forge/noarch::charset-normalizer==2.0.12=pyhd8ed1ab_0 - conda-forge/osx-arm64::zlib==1.2.12=ha287fd2_2 - conda-forge/noarch::wheel==0.37.1=pyhd8ed1ab_0 - conda-forge/osx-arm64::sqlite==3.37.0=h72a2b83_0 - conda-forge/osx-arm64::readline==8.1=hedafd6a_0 - conda-forge/noarch::urllib3==1.26.8=pyhd8ed1ab_1 - conda-forge/noarch::colorama==0.4.4=pyh9f0ad1d_0 - conda-forge/osx-arm64::cffi==1.15.0=py39h52b1de0_0 - conda-forge/noarch::pyopenssl==22.0.0=pyhd8ed1ab_0 - conda-forge/osx-arm64::pysocks==1.7.1=py39h2804cbe_4 - conda-forge/osx-arm64::conda-package-handling==1.7.3=py39h5161555_1 - conda-forge/osx-arm64::python==3.9.13=h96fcbfb_0_cpython - conda-forge/noarch::idna==3.3=pyhd8ed1ab_0 - conda-forge/osx-arm64::certifi==2021.10.8=py39h2804cbe_1 - conda-forge/noarch::tqdm==4.63.0=pyhd8ed1ab_0 - conda-forge/osx-arm64::conda==4.11.0=py39h2804cbe_2 - conda-forge/osx-arm64::brotlipy==0.7.0=py39h5161555_1003 - conda-forge/osx-arm64::ruamel_yaml==0.15.80=py39h5161555_1006 - conda-forge/osx-arm64::python_abi==3.9=2_cp39 - defaults/osx-arm64::tk==8.6.12=hb8d0fd4_0 - conda-forge/osx-arm64::pycosat==0.6.3=py39h5161555_1009 - conda-forge/osx-arm64::cryptography==36.0.1=py39hfb8cd70_0 - conda-forge/noarch::pip==22.0.4=pyhd8ed1ab_0 - conda-forge/noarch::pycparser==2.21=pyhd8ed1ab_0 - conda-forge/osx-arm64::setuptools==60.9.3=py39h2804cbe_0 done ==> WARNING: A newer version of conda exists. <== current version: 4.11.0 latest version: 22.11.1 Please update conda by running $ conda update -n base conda # All requested packages already installed.
When I visited the Conda website, I found the latest version and successfully installed it on my Mac. I was surprised to see the new Miniconda was much faster at installing packages than my previous version. The virtual environments for Conda’s miniconda sit in ~/miniconda3/envs, while those for the miniforge version in ~/miniforge3/envs. Don't get panicked when you cannot activate an old environment; it's there. You can delete the directory ~/miniconda3 when you find yourself comfortable with the new Miniconda.