Version ranges

Version range expressions are supported, both in conanfile.txt and in requirements.

The syntax is using brackets:

class HelloConan(ConanFile):
   requires = "Pkg/[>1.0,<1.8]@user/stable"

Expressions are those defined and implemented by [python node-semver](, but using a comma instead of spaces. Accepted expressions would be:

>1.1,<2.1    # In such range
2.8          # equivalent to =2.8
~=3.0        # compatible, according to semver
>1.1 || 0.8  # conditions can be OR'ed

Version range expressions are evaluated at the time of building the dependency graph, from downstream to upstream dependencies. No joint-compatibility of the full graph is computed, instead, version ranges are evaluated when dependencies are first retrieved.

This means, that if a package A depends on another package B (A->B), and A has a requirement for C/[>1.2,<1.8], this requirement is evaluated first and it can lead to get the version C/1.7. If package B has the requirement to C/[>1.3,<1.6], this one will be overwritten by the downstream one, it will output a version incompatibility error. But the “joint” compatibility of the graph will not be obtained. Downstream packages or consumer projects can impose their own requirements to comply with upstream constraints, in this case a override dependency to C/[>1.3,<1.6] can be easily defined in the downstream package or project.

The order of search for matching versions is as follows:

  • First, the local conan storage is searched for matching versions, unless the --update flag is provided to conan install
  • If a matching version is found, it is used in the dependency graph as a solution
  • If no matching version is locally found, it starts to search in the remotes, in order. If some remote is specified with -r=remote, then only that remote will be used.
  • If the --update parameter is used, then the existing packages in the local conan cache will not be used, and the same search of the previous steps is carried out in the remotes. If new matching versions are found, they will be retrieved, so subsequent calls to install will find them locally and use them.