Python requires


This is an experimental feature subject to breaking changes in future releases.


This syntax supersedes the legacy python_requires() syntax. The most important changes are:

  • These new python_requires affect the consumers package_id. So different binaries can be managed, and CI systems can re-build affected packages according to package ID modes and versioning policies.

  • The syntax defines a class attribute instead of a module function call, so recipes are cleaner and more aligned with other types of requirements.

  • The new python_requires will play better with lockfiles and deterministic dependency graphs.

  • They are able to extend base classes more naturally without conflicts of ConanFile classes.


The python_requires feature is a very convenient way to share files and code between different recipes. A python requires is similar to any other recipe, it is the way it is required from the consumer what makes the difference.

A very simple recipe that we want to reuse could be:

from conans import ConanFile

myvar = 123

def myfunct():
    return 234

class Pkg(ConanFile):

And then we will make it available to other packages with conan export. Note that we are not calling conan create, because this recipe doesn’t have binaries. It is just the python code that we want to reuse.

$ conan export . pyreq/0.1@user/channel

We can reuse the above recipe functionality with:

from conans import ConanFile

class Pkg(ConanFile):
    python_requires = "pyreq/0.1@user/channel"

    def build(self):
        v = self.python_requires["pyreq"].module.myvar  # v will be 123
        f = self.python_requires["pyreq"].module.myfunct()  # f will be 234"%s,%s" % (v, f))
$ conan create . pkg/0.1@user/channel
pkg/0.1@user/channel: 123, 234

It is also possible to require more than one python-require, and use the package name to address the functionality:

from conans import ConanFile

class Pkg(ConanFile):
    python_requires = "pyreq/0.1@user/channel", "other/1.2@user/channel"

    def build(self):
        v = self.python_requires["pyreq"].module.myvar  # v will be 123
        f = self.python_requires["other"].module.otherfunc("some-args")

Extending base classes

A common use case would be to reuse methods of a base class. So we could write a recipe like:

from conans import ConanFile

class MyBase(object):
    def source(self):"My cool source!")
    def build(self):"My cool build!")
    def package(self):"My cool package!")
    def package_info(self):"My cool package_info!")

class PyReq(ConanFile):
    name = "pyreq"
    version = "0.1"

And make it available for reuse with:

$ conan export . user/channel

Note that there are 2 classes, MyBase is the one intended for inheritance, and do not extend ConanFile. The other PyReq is the one that defines the current package being exported.

Now, other packages, could python_require it, and inherit from MyBase class with:

from conans import ConanFile

class Pkg(ConanFile):
    python_requires = "pyreq/0.1@user/channel"
    python_requires_extend = "pyreq.MyBase"

So creating the package we can see how the methods from the base class are reused:

$ conan create . pkg/0.1@user/channel
pkg/0.1@user/channel: My cool source!
pkg/0.1@user/channel: My cool build!
pkg/0.1@user/channel: My cool package!
pkg/0.1@user/channel: My cool package_info!


There are a few limitations that should be taken into account:

  • name and version fields shouldn’t be inherited. set_name() and set_version() might be used.

  • short_paths cannot be inherited from a python_requires. Make sure to specify it directly in the recipes that need the paths shortened in Windows.

  • exports, exports_sources shouldn’t be inherited from a base class, but explictly defined directly in the recipes. A reusable alternative might be using the SCM component.

  • build_policy shouldn’t be inherited from a base class, but explictly defined directly in the recipes.

Reusing files

It is possible to access the files exported by a recipe that is used with python_requires. We could have this recipe, together with a myfile.txt file containing the “Hello” text.

from conans import ConanFile

class PyReq(ConanFile):
    exports = "*"
$ echo "Hello" > myfile.txt
$ conan export . pyreq/0.1@user/channel

Now the recipe has been exported, we can access its path (the place where myfile.txt is) with the path attribute:

import os
from conans import ConanFile, load

class Pkg(ConanFile):
    python_requires = "pyreq/0.1@user/channel"

    def build(self):
        pyreq_path = self.python_requires["pyreq"].path
        myfile_path = os.path.join(pyreq_path, "myfile.txt")
        content = load(myfile_path)  # content = "Hello"
        # we could also copy the file, instead of reading it

Note that only exports work for this case, but not exports_sources.


The python-requires will affect the package_id of the packages using those dependencies. By default, the policy is minor_mode, which means:

  • Changes to the patch version of a python-require will not affect the package ID. So depending on "pyreq/1.2.3" or "pyreq/1.2.4" will result in identical package ID (both will be mapped to "pyreq/1.2.Z" in the hash computation). Bump the patch version if you want to change your common code, but you don’t want the consumers to be affected or to fire a re-build of the dependants.

  • Changes to the minor or major version will produce a different package ID. So if you depend on "pyreq/1.2.3", and you bump the version to "pyreq/1.3.0", then, you will need to build new binaries that are using that new python-require. Bump the minor or major version if you want to make sure that packages requiring this python-require will be built using these changes in the code.

  • Both changing the minor and major requires a new package ID, and then a build from source. You could use changes in the minor to indicate that it should be source compatible, and consumers wouldn’t need to do changes, and changes in the major for source incompatible changes.

As with the regular requires, this default can be customized. First you can customize it at attribute global level, modifying the conan.conf [general] variable default_python_requires_id_mode, which can take the values unrelated_mode, semver_mode, patch_mode, minor_mode, major_mode, full_version_mode, full_recipe_mode and recipe_revision_mode.

For example, if you want to make the package IDs never be affected by any change in the versions of python-requires, you could do:

conan.conf configuration file

Read more about these modes in Using package_id() for Package Dependencies.

It is also possible to customize the effect of python_requires per package, using the package_id() method:

from conans import ConanFile

class Pkg(ConanFile):
    python_requires ="pyreq/[>=1.0]"
    def package_id(self):

Resolution of python-requires

There are few things that should be taken into account when using python-requires:

  • Python requires recipes are loaded by the interpreter just once, and they are common to all consumers. Do not use any global state in the python-requires recipes.

  • Python requires are private to the consumers. They are not transitive. Different consumers can require different versions of the same python-require.

  • python-requires can use version ranges expressions.

  • python-requires can python-require other recipes too, but this should probably be limited to very few cases, we recommend to use the simplest possible structure.

  • python-requires can conflict if they require other recipes and create conflicts in different versions.

  • python-requires cannot use regular requires or build_requires.

  • It is possible to use python-requires without user and channel.

  • python-requires can use native python import to other python files, as long as these are exported together with the recipe.

  • python-requires should not create packages, but use export only.

  • python-requires can be used as editable packages too.

  • python-requires are locked in lockfiles.