Which should I choose to install CIAO: ciao-install or conda?
In CIAO 4.12 you can install CIAO the "standard" way, that is with ciao-install, or with the conda package manager (which is new this release). There should be no significant difference when using CIAO installed in either manner (the CXC can not guarantee that the results will be exactly the same due to differences in underlying libraries and compilers between the two systems), so why do we have two different installers? The reason is that the conda package manner makes it easier to install Python packages alongside CIAO, so the choice of which installer comes down to several questions:
- If you have used a previous version of CIAO and had no problems
- Are you okay with the risk of installing software using a new system?
If the answer is no then use ciao-install, since the conda version of CIAO should be considered to be a beta release.
- Do you need to use other Python packages (e.g. AstroPy or SciPy) with CIAO?
If you want to install complex Python packages then you should use the conda install.
You can install Python packages into CIAO installed with ciao-install, but it is a more-restrictive environment (e.g. Python 3.5).
- Do you need to use a Python version newer than 3.5
If so, use the conda install, since you can choose from versions 3.7 (the default), 3.6, or 3.5 when using conda. The ciao-install version of CIAO 4.12 is limited to Python 3.5.