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“stenv” to Supersede Astroconda for STScI Software Distribution

N. Dencheva (dencheva[at]

The Space Telescope Science Institute has released “stenv” to supersede Astroconda for its software distribution. stenv provides a common environment for both the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) and the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) pipelines and includes most of the packages in Astroconda.

While Astroconda has served our community well for many years, more recently the vast number of versions with an ever increasing number of software packages would often result in Astroconda taking a very long time to resolve dependencies. Moreover, some Astroconda dependencies are fundamentally incompatible with Python versions >3.7.

To better support our users, stenv employs pre-determined Conda environments that are verified compatible with Python versions from 3.8 to 3.11. Additionally, while Astroconda primarily uses Conda recipes to build and serve packages, which need to be updated separately from PyPI releases, stenv draws most of its packages directly from PyPI with pip (though it still requires use of a Conda environment for hstcal and fitsverify, which are provided by conda-forge).

Support for Astroconda will end on February 1st, 2023.

Instructions for installing and using stenv can be found at

Questions can be directed to the help desk at