2020 has started with lots of new features and bugfixes in Conan 1.22.

Also, don’t forget that we are only 6 weeks away from ConanDays. In this event, the community will be involved in defining the future of Conan and the transition from version 1 to Conan 2.0. Please get your tickets as soon as possible, space is limited.

Now, let’s check the most important things in Conan 1.22 release.

New downloads cache

With each new Conan release, we are trying to help to speed-up the CI’s step by step. The last one was in Conan 1.21, where we introduced the parallel uploads that can get and increase in speed for around 400%.

Now we are releasing a new download cache that can be concurrently used by several Conan instances using different CONAN_USER_HOME folders. This cache can be shared between different simultaneous CI jobs, so if the files were previously downloaded, they will be reused from the cache without the need to download them again.

To test this feature you have to set the appropriate configuration in the conan.conf file:

$ conan config set storage.download_cache="/path/to/my/cache"

You could test the performance improvement of the feature by subsequently changing the CONAN_USER_HOME for different Conan calls that install a big package but setting the same download cache for all of them.

$ export CONAN_USER_HOME=/Users/yourusername/conan_home_1/
$ conan config set storage.download_cache="/Users/yourusername/central_cache"
$ time conan install boost/1.72.0@
boost/1.72.0: LIBRARIES: ['boost_wave', 'boost_container', 'boost_contract', ...
boost/1.72.0: Package folder: /Users/yourusername/conan_home_1/.conan/data/boost/1.72.0/_/_/package/69168f775732984eb37d785004b6ef25111fe5f9
conan install boost/1.72.0@  4.70s user 3.87s system 36% cpu 23.428 total
$ export CONAN_USER_HOME=/Users/yourusername/conan_home_2/
$ conan config set storage.download_cache="/Users/yourusername/central_cache"
$ time conan install boost/1.72.0@
boost/1.72.0: LIBRARIES: ['boost_wave', 'boost_container', 'boost_contract', ...
boost/1.72.0: Package folder: /Users/yourusername/conan_home_2/.conan/data/boost/1.72.0/_/_/package/69168f775732984eb37d785004b6ef25111fe5f9
conan install boost/1.72.0@  4.03s user 3.38s system 51% cpu 14.491 total

As you can see in the command line output, the first time, with an empty cache the download takes 23.428 seconds, that is the same time that it would have taken to download if there was no cache. After setting the second CONAN_USER_HOME with the download cache pointing to the same folder the download time is 14.491 seconds which is almost half of the time it would take without the downloads cache.

If you want to deactivate the cache, don’t forget to do:

$ conan config rm storage.download_cache

And then remove the contents of the cache folder or the folder itself. Also, if you changed the CONAN_USER_HOME, restore it to the original value.

Easier credential handling when using SCM

When using scm and auto mode, after calling to conan create the information in the scm dictionary is evaluated and written in the conanfile.py that is stored in the package. That can be problematic when you want to get the credentials from the environment, because the environment variable you are trying to get will be evaluated and stored in the packaged conanfile.py as well. Let’s see an example:

class LibA(ConanFile):
    scm = {"type": "git",
           "url": "auto",
           "revision": "auto",
           # imagine that this environment variable exists 
           # and its value is "this_is_my_secret_password"
           "password": os.environ.get("MYPASS", None),
           # MYUSER is my_user
           "username": os.environ.get("MYUSER", None)} 

Now, if you do a conan create . on this recipe and go to the package folder in the local cache you will see that the conanfile.py stored there looks similar to this:

class LibA(ConanFile):
    scm = {"password": "this_is_my_secret_password",
           "username": "my_user",
           "revision": "3e5f02d6a557253sdas34fdee86b776cf70130c",
           "type": "git",
           "url": "https://github.com/somerepo/libA.git"}

The password and username values are stored in the conanfile.py file packaged.

Now, since Conan 1.22 there’s a way of avoiding this problem using the scm_to_conandata configuration value in the conan.conf file.

conan config set general.scm_to_conandata=True

With scm_to_conandata enabled, after creating the package, if you inspect the local cache export folder you will see that the that the original conanfile.py is not modified and that there’s a conandata.yml next to the conanfile.py file with all the contents of the scm dictionary but the username and password. If you inspect that file, you will see something similar to this:

    revision: 3e5f02d6a557253sdas34fdee86b776cf70130c
    type: git
    url: https://github.com/somerepo/libA.git

If you have a conandata.yml for your recipe, these fields are added to your file when packaged.

As you can see, now the scm dictionary is evaluated and stored in the conandata.yml file except for username and password fields so that you can inject the credentials from the environment but without storing those credentials in the package.

Using symbolic names with imports

Now imports can use symbolic names that are preceded with @, like @bindirs, @libdirs, etc. This is useful if you have variable package layouts. For example, if you define a custom layout in package_info():

    def package_info(self):

The files in that folder can be imported from a consumer package using the symbolic name @bindirs:

def imports(self):
    self.copy("*", src="@bindirs", dst="bin")

This feature can also be used if you are using the package in editable mode and [bindirs] was defined.

Add extra user-defined properties using MSBuild build helper

Using the new user_property_file_name parameter you can pass a list of filenames with user properties to the build method that will have priority over the conan_build.props file (values from these user defined properties files can override the values in conan_build.props).

Python 2 deprecation and support for Python 3.8

On January 1st, Python 2 was deprecated by the Python maintainers so Conan will not support Python 2 anymore starting from the 1.22 version.

If you are still using Python 2, please update as soon as possible.

It is also important to mention that starting from Conan 1.22, Python 3.8 is supported.

Have a look at the full list of features and fixes in the changelog.

Please, report any bug or share your feedback opening a new issue in our issue tracker and don’t forget to update.