Basic Usage

The spack command has many subcommands. You’ll only need a small subset of them for typical usage.

Note that Spack colorizes output. less -R should be used with Spack to maintain this colorization. E.g.:

$ spack find | less -R

It is recommended that the following be put in your .bashrc file:

alias less='less -R'

Listing available packages

To install software with Spack, you need to know what software is available. You can see a list of available package names at the Package List webpage, or using the spack list command.

spack list

The spack list command prints out a list of all of the packages Spack can install:

$ spack list
abinit                           libxxf86misc                           py-webkit-server
abyss                            libxxf86vm                             py-werkzeug
ack                              libzip                                 py-wheel
activeharmony                    likwid                                 py-widgetsnbextension
adept-utils                      linux-headers                          py-wrapt
adios                            listres                                py-xarray
adlbx                            llvm                                   py-xlrd
adol-c                           llvm-lld                               py-xmlrunner
albert                           llvm-openmp-ompt                       py-xopen
allinea-forge                    lmdb                                   py-xpyb
allinea-reports                  lmod                                   py-xvfbwrapper
allpaths-lg                      lndir                                  py-yapf
alquimia                         log4cxx                                py-yt
ampliconnoise                    lrslib                                 py-zmq
amr-exp-parabolic                lrzip                                  python
amrex                            lua                                    qbank
andi                             lua-jit                                qhull
angsd                            lua-luafilesystem                      qrupdate
ant                              lua-luaposix                           qt
antlr                            luit                                   qt-creator
ape                              lulesh                                 qthreads
apex                             lwgrp                                  quinoa
applewmproto                     lwm2                                   r
appres                           lz4                                    r-abind
apr                              lzma                                   r-ada
apr-util                         lzo                                    r-adabag
archer                           m4                                     r-ade4
argtable                         mad-numdiff                            r-adegenet
armadillo                        mafft                                  r-ape
arpack                           magics                                 r-assertthat
arpack-ng                        magma                                  r-base64enc
asciidoc                         makedepend                             r-bh
aspa                             mallocmc                               r-biocgenerics
astra                            mariadb                                r-biocinstaller
astyle                           matio                                  r-bitops
atk                              matlab                                 r-boot
atlas                            maven                                  r-brew
atompaw                          maverick                               r-c50
atop                             mawk                                   r-car
augustus                         mbedtls                                r-caret
autoconf                         mcl                                    r-catools
autogen                          mdtest                                 r-checkpoint
automaded                        meep                                   r-chron
automake                         memaxes                                r-class
bamtools                         meme                                   r-cluster
bamutil                          mercurial                              r-coda
bash                             mesa                                   r-codetools
bash-completion                  mesa-glu                               r-coin
bats                             meshkit                                r-colorspace
bazel                            mesquite                               r-corrplot
bbcp                             metis                                  r-crayon
bcftools                         mfem                                   r-cubature
bcl2fastq2                       miniaero                               r-cubist
bdftopcf                         miniamr                                r-curl
bdw-gc                           miniconda2                             r-data-table
bear                             miniconda3                             r-dbi
beast2                           minife                                 r-deldir
bedtools2                        minighost                              r-dendextend
beforelight                      minimd                                 r-deoptim
benchmark                        minismac2d                             r-deoptimr
bertini                          minixyce                               r-devtools
bib2xhtml                        mitofates                              r-diagrammer
bigreqsproto                     mitos                                  r-dichromat
binutils                         mkfontdir                              r-digest
bison                            mkfontscale                            r-diptest
bitmap                           moab                                   r-domc
blast-plus                       mono                                   r-doparallel
blat                             mosh                                   r-dplyr
blaze                            mozjs                                  r-dt
bliss                            mpc                                    r-dygraphs
blitz                            mpe2                                   r-e1071
bml                              mpfr                                   r-ellipse
boost                            mpibash                                r-ergm
boostmplcartesianproduct         mpich                                  r-evaluate
bowtie                           mpifileutils                           r-expm
bowtie2                          mpileaks                               r-factoextra
boxlib                           mpip                                   r-factominer
bpp-core                         mpir                                   r-filehash
bpp-phyl                         mpix-launch-swift                      r-flashclust
bpp-seq                          mrbayes                                r-flexmix
bpp-suite                        mrnet                                  r-foreach
brigand                          msgpack-c                              r-foreign
bsseeker2                        multiverso                             r-formatr
bucky                            mummer                                 r-formula
busco                            mumps                                  r-fpc
butter                           munge                                  r-gdata
bwa                              muparser                               r-geosphere
bzip2                            muscle                                 r-ggmap
c-blosc                          muse                                   r-ggplot2
caffe                            muster                                 r-ggpubr
cairo                            mvapich2                               r-ggrepel
caliper                          mxml                                   r-ggsci
callpath                         nag                                    r-ggvis
cantera                          nalu                                   r-gistr
cap3                             namd                                   r-git2r
cask                             nano                                   r-glmnet
catch                            nasm                                   r-gmodels
cbench                           nauty                                  r-gmp
cblas                            nccl                                   r-googlevis
cbtf                             nccmp                                  r-gridbase
cbtf-argonavis                   ncdu                                   r-gridextra
cbtf-krell                       ncftp                                  r-gtable
cbtf-lanl                        ncl                                    r-gtools
ccache                           nco                                    r-hexbin
cctools                          ncurses                                r-highr
cdbfasta                         ncview                                 r-htmltools
cdd                              ndiff                                  r-htmlwidgets
cddlib                           nekbone                                r-httpuv
cdo                              netcdf                                 r-httr
cereal                           netcdf-cxx                             r-igraph
cfitsio                          netcdf-cxx4                            r-influencer
cgal                             netcdf-fortran                         r-inline
cgm                              netgauge                               r-ipred
cgns                             netgen                                 r-irdisplay
charm                            netlib-lapack                          r-irkernel
chombo                           netlib-scalapack                       r-irlba
cityhash                         nettle                                 r-iterators
clamr                            nextflow                               r-jpeg
cleverleaf                       nfft                                   r-jsonlite
clfft                            nginx                                  r-kernlab
clhep                            ngmlr                                  r-kernsmooth
cloog                            ninja                                  r-kknn
cloverleaf                       ninja-fortran                          r-knitr
cloverleaf3d                     nmap                                   r-labeling
clustalo                         node-js                                r-laplacesdemon
clustalw                         notmuch                                r-lattice
cmake                            npb                                    r-lava
cmocka                           npm                                    r-lazyeval
cmor                             npth                                   r-leaflet
cnmem                            nspr                                   r-leaps
cns-nospec                       numdiff                                r-learnbayes
cntk                             nut                                    r-lme4
cntk1bitsgd                      nwchem                                 r-lmtest
codar-cheetah                    ocaml                                  r-lpsolve
cohmm                            oce                                    r-lubridate
coinhsl                          oclock                                 r-magic
comd                             octave                                 r-magrittr
compiz                           octave-splines                         r-mapproj
compositeproto                   octopus                                r-maps
conduit                          of-adios-write                         r-maptools
constype                         ompss                                  r-markdown
converge                         ompt-openmp                            r-mass
coreutils                        oniguruma                              r-matrix
cosmomc                          ont-albacore                           r-matrixmodels
cosp2                            opari2                                 r-mclust
cp2k                             openbabel                              r-mda
cppad                            openblas                               r-memoise
cppcheck                         opencoarrays                           r-mgcv
cpprestsdk                       opencv                                 r-mime
cppunit                          openexr                                r-minqa
cram                             openfoam-com                           r-mlbench
cryptopp                         openfoam-org                           r-modelmetrics
cscope                           openfst                                r-modeltools
csdp                             openjpeg                               r-multcomp
cub                              openmc                                 r-munsell
cube                             openmpi                                r-mvtnorm
cuda                             openscenegraph                         r-ncdf4
cuda-memtest                     openspeedshop                          r-network
cudnn                            openssh                                r-networkd3
curl                             openssl                                r-nlme
cvs                              opium                                  r-nloptr
czmq                             opus                                   r-nmf
dakota                           orfm                                   r-nnet
daligner                         osu-micro-benchmarks                   r-np
damageproto                      otf                                    r-numderiv
damselfly                        otf2                                   r-openssl
darshan-runtime                  p4est                                  r-packrat
darshan-util                     pagmo                                  r-pacman
dash                             panda                                  r-party
datamash                         pango                                  r-partykit
dataspaces                       papi                                   r-pbdzmq
dbus                             paradiseo                              r-pbkrtest
dealii                           parallel                               r-permute
dejagnu                          parallel-netcdf                        r-pkgmaker
dia                              paraver                                r-plotrix
direnv                           paraview                               r-pls
dmxproto                         parmetis                               r-plyr
docbook-xml                      parmgridgen                            r-png
docbook-xsl                      parpack                                r-prabclus
dos2unix                         partitionfinder                        r-praise
double-conversion                patch                                  r-prodlim
doxygen                          patchelf                               r-proto
dri2proto                        pathfinder                             r-pryr
dri3proto                        pax-utils                              r-quadprog
dtcmp                            pcma                                   r-quantmod
dyninst                          pcre                                   r-quantreg
ea-utils                         pcre2                                  r-r6
easybuild                        pdsh                                   r-randomforest
ebms                             pdt                                    r-raster
eccodes                          pegtl                                  r-rbokeh
editres                          pennant                                r-rcolorbrewer
eigen                            perl                                   r-rcpp
elemental                        perl-dbfile                            r-rcppeigen
elfutils                         perl-dbi                               r-registry
elk                              perl-extutils-makemaker                r-repr
elpa                             perl-intervaltree                      r-reshape2
emacs                            perl-module-build                      r-rgl
emboss                           perl-star-fusion                       r-rgooglemaps
encodings                        perl-term-readkey                      r-rinside
environment-modules              perl-uri-escape                        r-rjava
es                               perl-xml-parser                        r-rjson
esmf                             petsc                                  r-rjsonio
espresso                         pexsi                                  r-rmarkdown
espressopp                       pfft                                   r-rminer
etsf-io                          pflotran                               r-rmpfr
everytrace                       pgi                                    r-rmpi
everytrace-example               phasta                                 r-rmysql
evieext                          picard                                 r-rngtools
exabayes                         pidx                                   r-robustbase
exmcutils                        pigz                                   r-rodbc
exodusii                         piranha                                r-roxygen2
exonerate                        pixman                                 r-rpart
expat                            pkg-config                             r-rpart-plot
expect                           planck-likelihood                      r-rpostgresql
extrae                           plumed                                 r-rsnns
exuberant-ctags                  pmgr-collective                        r-rsqlite
f90cache                         pnfft                                  r-rstan
farmhash                         pngwriter                              r-rstudioapi
fastmath                         poamsa                                 r-rzmq
fastqc                           pocl                                   r-sandwich
fastx-toolkit                    polymake                               r-scales
fenics                           porta                                  r-scatterplot3d
ferret                           portage                                r-segmented
ffmpeg                           postgresql                             r-seqinr
fftw                             ppl                                    r-shiny
findutils                        prank                                  r-snow
fio                              presentproto                           r-sp
fish                             price                                  r-sparsem
fixesproto                       primer3                                r-spdep
flac                             printproto                             r-stanheaders
flann                            proj                                   r-statnet-common
flash                            protobuf                               r-stringi
flecsale                         proxymngr                              r-stringr
flecsi                           pruners-ninja                          r-strucchange
flex                             psi4                                   r-survey
flint                            pstreams                               r-survival
fltk                             pugixml                                r-tarifx
flux                             pumi                                   r-testit
foam-extend                      pvm                                    r-testthat
folly                            py-3to2                                r-th-data
font-adobe-100dpi                py-4suite-xml                          r-threejs
font-adobe-75dpi                 py-abipy                               r-tibble
font-adobe-utopia-100dpi         py-alabaster                           r-tidyr
font-adobe-utopia-75dpi          py-apache-libcloud                     r-trimcluster
font-adobe-utopia-type1          py-appdirs                             r-trust
font-alias                       py-appnope                             r-ttr
font-arabic-misc                 py-apscheduler                         r-uuid
font-bh-100dpi                   py-argcomplete                         r-vcd
font-bh-75dpi                    py-argparse                            r-vegan
font-bh-lucidatypewriter-100dpi  py-ase                                 r-viridis
font-bh-lucidatypewriter-75dpi   py-asn1crypto                          r-viridislite
font-bh-ttf                      py-astroid                             r-visnetwork
font-bh-type1                    py-astropy                             r-whisker
font-bitstream-100dpi            py-attrs                               r-withr
font-bitstream-75dpi             py-autopep8                            r-xgboost
font-bitstream-speedo            py-babel                               r-xlconnect
font-bitstream-type1             py-backports-abc                       r-xlconnectjars
font-cronyx-cyrillic             py-backports-shutil-get-terminal-size  r-xlsx
font-cursor-misc                 py-backports-ssl-match-hostname        r-xlsxjars
font-daewoo-misc                 py-basemap                             r-xml
font-dec-misc                    py-beautifulsoup4                      r-xtable
font-ibm-type1                   py-binwalk                             r-xts
font-isas-misc                   py-biopython                           r-yaml
font-jis-misc                    py-bleach                              r-zoo
font-micro-misc                  py-blessings                           raja
font-misc-cyrillic               py-bokeh                               random123
font-misc-ethiopic               py-boltons                             randrproto
font-misc-meltho                 py-bottleneck                          ravel
font-misc-misc                   py-brian                               raxml
font-mutt-misc                   py-brian2                              readline
font-schumacher-misc             py-cclib                               recordproto
font-screen-cyrillic             py-cdat-lite                           relion
font-sony-misc                   py-cdo                                 rempi
font-sun-misc                    py-certifi                             rename
font-util                        py-cffi                                rendercheck
font-winitzki-cyrillic           py-chardet                             renderproto
font-xfree86-type1               py-click                               resourceproto
fontcacheproto                   py-colorama                            rgb
fontconfig                       py-colormath                           rockstar
fontsproto                       py-configparser                        root
fonttosfnt                       py-counter                             rose
freebayes                        py-coverage                            rstart
freetype                         py-cpuinfo                             rsync
fseq                             py-cryptography                        ruby
fslsfonts                        py-csvkit                              rust
fstobdf                          py-current                             rust-bindgen
funhpc                           py-cutadapt                            sabre
gasnet                           py-cycler                              salmon
gawk                             py-cython                              samrai
gbenchmark                       py-dask                                samtools
gcc                              py-dateutil                            sas
gccmakedep                       py-dbf                                 satsuma2
gccxml                           py-decorator                           savanna
gconf                            py-deeptools                           saws
gdal                             py-dev                                 sbt
gdb                              py-dill                                scala
gdbm                             py-docutils                            scalasca
gdk-pixbuf                       py-doxypy                              scons
geant4                           py-doxypypy                            scorec-core
gearshifft                       py-dryscrape                           scorep
gemmlowp                         py-dxchange                            scotch
genometools                      py-dxfile                              scr
geos                             py-easybuild-easyblocks                screen
gettext                          py-easybuild-easyconfigs               scripts
gflags                           py-easybuild-framework                 scrnsaverproto
ghostscript                      py-edffile                             sctk
ghostscript-fonts                py-elasticsearch                       sdl2
giflib                           py-elephant                            sdl2-image
git                              py-emcee                               sed
git-lfs                          py-entrypoints                         seqtk
gl2ps                            py-enum34                              serf
glew                             py-epydoc                              sessreg
glib                             py-et-xmlfile                          setxkbmap
glm                              py-fasteners                           sga
global                           py-fiscalyear                          shared-mime-info
globalarrays                     py-flake8                              shiny-server
globus-toolkit                   py-flask                               showfont
glog                             py-flexx                               silo
glpk                             py-funcsigs                            simplemoc
glproto                          py-functools32                         simul
gmake                            py-future                              simulationio
gmap-gsnap                       py-futures                             slepc
gmime                            py-genders                             smc
gmp                              py-genshi                              smproxy
gmsh                             py-git-review                          snakemake
gnat                             py-git2                                snap
gnu-prolog                       py-gnuplot                             snappy
gnupg                            py-griddataformats                     snbone
gnuplot                          py-guidata                             sniffles
gnutls                           py-guiqwt                              somatic-sniper
go                               py-h5py                                sowing
go-bootstrap                     py-html2text                           sox
gobject-introspection            py-html5lib                            spades
googletest                       py-httpbin                             spark
gource                           py-hypothesis                          sparsehash
gperf                            py-idna                                spdlog
gperftools                       py-imagesize                           spectrum-mpi
grackle                          py-iminuit                             speex
gradle                           py-importlib                           sph2pipe
grandr                           py-ipaddress                           spherepack
graphlib                         py-ipdb                                spindle
graphmap                         py-ipykernel                           spot
graphviz                         py-ipython                             sqlite
grib-api                         py-ipython-genutils                    sst-dumpi
gromacs                          py-ipywidgets                          sst-macro
gsl                              py-itsdangerous                        staden-io-lib
gtkorvo-atl                      py-jdcal                               star
gtkorvo-cercs-env                py-jedi                                star-ccm-plus
gtkorvo-dill                     py-jinja2                              stat
gtkorvo-enet                     py-joblib                              stc
gtkplus                          py-jpype                               stream
gts                              py-jsonschema                          stress
guile                            py-junit-xml                           sublime-text
h5hut                            py-jupyter-client                      subversion
h5part                           py-jupyter-console                     suite-sparse
h5utils                          py-jupyter-core                        sundials
h5z-zfp                          py-jupyter-notebook                    superlu
hadoop                           py-keras                               superlu-dist
harfbuzz                         py-latexcodec                          superlu-mt
harminv                          py-lazy                                swiftsim
hdf                              py-lazyarray                           swig
hdf5                             py-libconf                             symengine
hdf5-blosc                       py-lit                                 sympol
help2man                         py-lmfit                               sz
hepmc                            py-lockfile                            szip
heppdt                           py-logilab-common                      talloc
highfive                         py-lxml                                tar
highwayhash                      py-lzstring                            task
hmmer                            py-macholib                            taskd
hoomd-blue                       py-machotools                          tau
hpccg                            py-macs2                               tbb
hpctoolkit                       py-mako                                tcl
hpctoolkit-externals             py-markdown                            tealeaf
hpl                              py-markupsafe                          tetgen
hpx                              py-matplotlib                          tethex
hpx5                             py-mccabe                              texinfo
hsakmt                           py-mdanalysis                          texlive
hstr                             py-meep                                the-platinum-searcher
htop                             py-mistune                             the-silver-searcher
htslib                           py-mock                                thrift
httpie                           py-mongo                               tig
hub                              py-monotonic                           tinyxml
hunspell                         py-monty                               tinyxml2
hwloc                            py-mpi4py                              tk
hybpiper                         py-mpmath                              tmux
hydra                            py-multiprocess                        tmuxinator
hypre                            py-multiqc                             tophat
ibmisc                           py-mx                                  transset
iceauth                          py-myhdl                               trapproto
icet                             py-mysqldb1                            tree
ico                              py-nbconvert                           triangle
icu4c                            py-nbformat                            trilinos
id3lib                           py-neo                                 trimmomatic
idba                             py-nestle                              turbine
ilmbase                          py-netcdf4                             turbomole
image-magick                     py-netifaces                           tut
imake                            py-networkx                            twm
infernal                         py-nose                                uberftp
inputproto                       py-nosexcover                          udunits2
intel                            py-numexpr                             uncrustify
intel-daal                       py-numpy                               unibilium
intel-gpu-tools                  py-numpydoc                            unison
intel-ipp                        py-olefile                             units
intel-mkl                        py-ont-fast5-api                       unixodbc
intel-mpi                        py-openpyxl                            util-linux
intel-parallel-studio            py-ordereddict                         util-macros
intltool                         py-oset                                uuid
ior                              py-packaging                           valgrind
iozone                           py-palettable                          vampirtrace
ipopt                            py-pandas                              vc
isaac                            py-paramiko                            vcftools
isaac-server                     py-pathlib2                            vcsh
isl                              py-pathos                              vdt
itstool                          py-pathspec                            vecgeom
jansson                          py-patsy                               veclibfort
jasper                           py-pbr                                 videoproto
jdk                              py-periodictable                       viewres
jemalloc                         py-petsc4py                            vim
jmol                             py-pexpect                             virtualgl
jpeg                             py-phonopy                             visit
jq                               py-pickleshare                         vizglow
json-c                           py-pil                                 voropp
jsoncpp                          py-pillow                              votca-csg
judy                             py-pip                                 votca-ctp
julia                            py-pkgconfig                           votca-moo
kahip                            py-ply                                 votca-tools
kaldi                            py-pmw                                 votca-xtp
kbproto                          py-pox                                 vpic
kdiff3                           py-ppft                                vtk
kealib                           py-prettytable                         wannier90
kentutils                        py-proj                                wget
kokkos                           py-prompt-toolkit                      windowswmproto
kripke                           py-protobuf                            wt
lammps                           py-psutil                              wx
last                             py-ptyprocess                          wxpropgrid
launchmon                        py-pudb                                x11perf
lbann                            py-py                                  xapian-core
lbxproxy                         py-py2bit                              xauth
lcms                             py-py2cairo                            xbacklight
legion                           py-py2neo                              xbiff
leveldb                          py-py4j                                xbitmaps
lftp                             py-pyasn1                              xcalc
libaio                           py-pybigwig                            xcb-demo
libapplewm                       py-pybtex                              xcb-proto
libarchive                       py-pybtex-docutils                     xcb-util
libassuan                        py-pychecker                           xcb-util-cursor
libatomic-ops                    py-pycodestyle                         xcb-util-errors
libbeagle                        py-pycparser                           xcb-util-image
libbson                          py-pycrypto                            xcb-util-keysyms
libcanberra                      py-pycurl                              xcb-util-renderutil
libcap                           py-pydatalog                           xcb-util-wm
libcerf                          py-pydispatcher                        xclipboard
libcircle                        py-pydot                               xclock
libconfig                        py-pyelftools                          xcmiscproto
libctl                           py-pyfftw                              xcmsdb
libdivsufsort                    py-pyflakes                            xcompmgr
libdmx                           py-pygments                            xconsole
libdrm                           py-pygobject                           xcursor-themes
libdwarf                         py-pygtk                               xcursorgen
libedit                          py-pylint                              xdbedizzy
libelf                           py-pymatgen                            xditview
libemos                          py-pyminifier                          xdm
libepoxy                         py-pympler                             xdpyinfo
libevent                         py-pynn                                xdriinfo
libevpath                        py-pypar                               xedit
libffi                           py-pyparsing                           xerces-c
libffs                           py-pyprof2html                         xev
libfontenc                       py-pyqt                                xextproto
libfs                            py-pysam                               xeyes
libgcrypt                        py-pyserial                            xf86bigfontproto
libgd                            py-pyside                              xf86dga
libgit2                          py-pysocks                             xf86dgaproto
libgpg-error                     py-pytables                            xf86driproto
libgpuarray                      py-pytest                              xf86miscproto
libgtextutils                    py-pytest-cov                          xf86rushproto
libharu                          py-pytest-flake8                       xf86vidmodeproto
libhio                           py-pytest-httpbin                      xfd
libice                           py-pytest-mock                         xfindproxy
libiconv                         py-pytest-runner                       xfontsel
libint                           py-python-daemon                       xfs
libjpeg-turbo                    py-python-gitlab                       xfsinfo
libksba                          py-pythonqwt                           xfwp
liblbxutil                       py-pytz                                xgamma
libmatheval                      py-pywavelets                          xgc
libmesh                          py-pyyaml                              xhost
libmng                           py-qtawesome                           xineramaproto
libmongoc                        py-qtconsole                           xinit
libmonitor                       py-qtpy                                xinput
libnbc                           py-quantities                          xkbcomp
libogg                           py-radical-utils                       xkbdata
liboldx                          py-ranger                              xkbevd
libpciaccess                     py-readme-renderer                     xkbprint
libpfm4                          py-regex                               xkbutils
libpng                           py-requests                            xkeyboard-config
libpsl                           py-restview                            xkill
libpthread-stubs                 py-rope                                xload
libquo                           py-rpy2                                xlogo
libsigsegv                       py-rsa                                 xlsatoms
libsm                            py-rtree                               xlsclients
libsodium                        py-saga-python                         xlsfonts
libspatialindex                  py-scientificpython                    xmag
libsplash                        py-scikit-image                        xman
libssh2                          py-scikit-learn                        xmessage
libsvm                           py-scipy                               xmh
libtermkey                       py-seaborn                             xmlto
libtiff                          py-setuptools                          xmodmap
libtool                          py-sh                                  xmore
libunistring                     py-shiboken                            xorg-cf-files
libunwind                        py-simplegeneric                       xorg-docs
libuuid                          py-simplejson                          xorg-gtest
libuv                            py-singledispatch                      xorg-server
libvorbis                        py-sip                                 xorg-sgml-doctools
libvterm                         py-six                                 xphelloworld
libwebsockets                    py-slepc4py                            xplsprinters
libwindowswm                     py-sncosmo                             xpr
libx11                           py-snowballstemmer                     xprehashprinterlist
libxau                           py-spectra                             xprop
libxaw                           py-spefile                             xproto
libxaw3d                         py-spglib                              xproxymanagementprotocol
libxc                            py-sphinx                              xqilla
libxcb                           py-sphinx-bootstrap-theme              xrandr
libxcomposite                    py-sphinx-rtd-theme                    xrdb
libxcursor                       py-sphinxcontrib-bibtex                xrefresh
libxdamage                       py-sphinxcontrib-programoutput         xrootd
libxdmcp                         py-sphinxcontrib-websupport            xrx
libxevie                         py-spyder                              xsbench
libxext                          py-spykeutils                          xscope
libxfixes                        py-sqlalchemy                          xsdk
libxfont                         py-statsmodels                         xsdktrilinos
libxfont2                        py-storm                               xset
libxfontcache                    py-subprocess32                        xsetmode
libxft                           py-symengine                           xsetpointer
libxi                            py-symfit                              xsetroot
libxinerama                      py-sympy                               xsm
libxkbfile                       py-tabulate                            xstdcmap
libxkbui                         py-tappy                               xterm
libxml2                          py-terminado                           xtrans
libxmu                           py-theano                              xtrap
libxp                            py-tifffile                            xts
libxpm                           py-tomopy                              xvidtune
libxpresent                      py-tornado                             xvinfo
libxprintapputil                 py-tqdm                                xwd
libxprintutil                    py-traitlets                           xwininfo
libxrandr                        py-tuiview                             xwud
libxrender                       py-twisted                             xz
libxres                          py-typing                              yaml-cpp
libxscrnsaver                    py-tzlocal                             yasm
libxshmfence                     py-unittest2                           yorick
libxslt                          py-unittest2py3k                       z3
libxsmm                          py-urllib3                             zeromq
libxstream                       py-urwid                               zfp
libxt                            py-vcversioner                         zip
libxtrap                         py-virtualenv                          zlib
libxtst                          py-vsc-base                            zoltan
libxv                            py-vsc-install                         zsh
libxvmc                          py-wcsaxes                             zstd
libxxf86dga                      py-wcwidth

The packages are listed by name in alphabetical order. A pattern to match with no wildcards, * or ?, will be treated as though it started and ended with *, so util is equivalent to *util*. All patterns will be treated as case-insensitive. You can also add the -d to search the description of the package in addition to the name. Some examples:

All packages whose names contain “sql”:

$ spack list sql
postgresql  py-mysqldb1  py-sqlalchemy  r-rmysql  r-rpostgresql  r-rsqlite  sqlite

All packages whose names or descriptions contain documentation:

$ spack list --search-description documentation
compositeproto     gflags       py-alabaster  py-sphinx                    r-rcpp         sowing
damageproto        libxfixes    py-docutils   py-sphinxcontrib-websupport  r-rinside      texinfo
double-conversion  libxpresent  py-epydoc     r-ggplot2                    r-roxygen2     xorg-docs
doxygen            perl-dbfile  py-markdown   r-quadprog                   r-stanheaders  xorg-sgml-doctools

spack info

To get more information on a particular package from spack list, use spack info. Just supply the name of a package:

$ spack info mpich
AutotoolsPackage:    mpich

Description:
    MPICH is a high performance and widely portable implementation of the
    Message Passing Interface (MPI) standard.

Homepage:            http://www.mpich.org

Safe versions:  
    3.2      http://www.mpich.org/static/downloads/3.2/mpich-3.2.tar.gz
    3.1.4    http://www.mpich.org/static/downloads/3.1.4/mpich-3.1.4.tar.gz
    3.1.3    http://www.mpich.org/static/downloads/3.1.3/mpich-3.1.3.tar.gz
    3.1.2    http://www.mpich.org/static/downloads/3.1.2/mpich-3.1.2.tar.gz
    3.1.1    http://www.mpich.org/static/downloads/3.1.1/mpich-3.1.1.tar.gz
    3.1      http://www.mpich.org/static/downloads/3.1/mpich-3.1.tar.gz
    3.0.4    http://www.mpich.org/static/downloads/3.0.4/mpich-3.0.4.tar.gz

Variants:
    Name [Default]    Allowed values    Description


    hydra [on]        True, False       Build the hydra process manager

    pmi [on]          True, False       Build with PMI support

    romio [on]        True, False       Enable ROMIO MPI I/O implementation

    verbs [off]       True, False       Build support for OpenFabrics
                                        verbs.


Installation Phases:
    autoreconf    configure    build    install

Build Dependencies:
    None

Link Dependencies:
    None

Run Dependencies:
    None

Virtual Packages: 
    mpich@3: provides mpi@:3.0
    mpich@1: provides mpi@:1.3
    mpich provides mpi

Most of the information is self-explanatory. The safe versions are versions that Spack knows the checksum for, and it will use the checksum to verify that these versions download without errors or viruses.

Dependencies and virtual dependencies are described in more detail later.

spack versions

To see more available versions of a package, run spack versions. For example:

$ spack versions libelf
==> Safe versions (already checksummed):
  0.8.13  0.8.12
==> Remote versions (not yet checksummed):
  0.8.11  0.8.10  0.8.9  0.8.8  0.8.7  0.8.6  0.8.5  0.8.4  0.8.3  0.8.2  0.8.0  0.7.0  0.6.4  0.5.2

There are two sections in the output. Safe versions are versions for which Spack has a checksum on file. It can verify that these versions are downloaded correctly.

In many cases, Spack can also show you what versions are available out on the web—these are remote versions. Spack gets this information by scraping it directly from package web pages. Depending on the package and how its releases are organized, Spack may or may not be able to find remote versions.

Installing and uninstalling

spack install

spack install will install any package shown by spack list. For example, To install the latest version of the mpileaks package, you might type this:

$ spack install mpileaks

If mpileaks depends on other packages, Spack will install the dependencies first. It then fetches the mpileaks tarball, expands it, verifies that it was downloaded without errors, builds it, and installs it in its own directory under $SPACK_ROOT/opt. You’ll see a number of messages from spack, a lot of build output, and a message that the packages is installed:

$ spack install mpileaks
==> Installing mpileaks
==> mpich is already installed in ~/spack/opt/linux-debian7-x86_64/gcc@4.4.7/mpich@3.0.4.
==> callpath is already installed in ~/spack/opt/linux-debian7-x86_64/gcc@4.4.7/callpath@1.0.2-5dce4318.
==> adept-utils is already installed in ~/spack/opt/linux-debian7-x86_64/gcc@4.4.7/adept-utils@1.0-5adef8da.
==> Trying to fetch from https://github.com/hpc/mpileaks/releases/download/v1.0/mpileaks-1.0.tar.gz
######################################################################## 100.0%
==> Staging archive: ~/spack/var/spack/stage/mpileaks@1.0%gcc@4.4.7 arch=linux-debian7-x86_64-59f6ad23/mpileaks-1.0.tar.gz
==> Created stage in ~/spack/var/spack/stage/mpileaks@1.0%gcc@4.4.7 arch=linux-debian7-x86_64-59f6ad23.
==> No patches needed for mpileaks.
==> Building mpileaks.

... build output ...

==> Successfully installed mpileaks.
  Fetch: 2.16s.  Build: 9.82s.  Total: 11.98s.
[+] ~/spack/opt/linux-debian7-x86_64/gcc@4.4.7/mpileaks@1.0-59f6ad23

The last line, with the [+], indicates where the package is installed.

Building a specific version

Spack can also build specific versions of a package. To do this, just add @ after the package name, followed by a version:

$ spack install mpich@3.0.4

Any number of versions of the same package can be installed at once without interfering with each other. This is good for multi-user sites, as installing a version that one user needs will not disrupt existing installations for other users.

In addition to different versions, Spack can customize the compiler, compile-time options (variants), compiler flags, and platform (for cross compiles) of an installation. Spack is unique in that it can also configure the dependencies a package is built with. For example, two configurations of the same version of a package, one built with boost 1.39.0, and the other version built with version 1.43.0, can coexist.

This can all be done on the command line using the spec syntax. Spack calls the descriptor used to refer to a particular package configuration a spec. In the commands above, mpileaks and mpileaks@3.0.4 are both valid specs. We’ll talk more about how you can use them to customize an installation in Specs & dependencies.

spack uninstall

To uninstall a package, type spack uninstall <package>. This will ask the user for confirmation before completely removing the directory in which the package was installed.

$ spack uninstall mpich

If there are still installed packages that depend on the package to be uninstalled, spack will refuse to uninstall it.

To uninstall a package and every package that depends on it, you may give the --dependents option.

$ spack uninstall --dependents mpich

will display a list of all the packages that depend on mpich and, upon confirmation, will uninstall them in the right order.

A command like

$ spack uninstall mpich

may be ambiguous if multiple mpich configurations are installed. For example, if both mpich@3.0.2 and mpich@3.1 are installed, mpich could refer to either one. Because it cannot determine which one to uninstall, Spack will ask you either to provide a version number to remove the ambiguity or use the --all option to uninstall all of the matching packages.

You may force uninstall a package with the --force option

$ spack uninstall --force mpich

but you risk breaking other installed packages. In general, it is safer to remove dependent packages before removing their dependencies or use the --dependents option.

Non-Downloadable Tarballs

The tarballs for some packages cannot be automatically downloaded by Spack. This could be for a number of reasons:

  1. The author requires users to manually accept a license agreement before downloading (jdk and galahad).
  2. The software is proprietary and cannot be downloaded on the open Internet.

To install these packages, one must create a mirror and manually add the tarballs in question to it (see Mirrors):

  1. Create a directory for the mirror. You can create this directory anywhere you like, it does not have to be inside ~/.spack:

    $ mkdir ~/.spack/manual_mirror
    
  2. Register the mirror with Spack by creating ~/.spack/mirrors.yaml:

    mirrors:
      manual: file://~/.spack/manual_mirror
    
  3. Put your tarballs in it. Tarballs should be named <package>/<package>-<version>.tar.gz. For example:

    $ ls -l manual_mirror/galahad
    
    -rw-------. 1 me me 11657206 Jun 21 19:25 galahad-2.60003.tar.gz
    
  4. Install as usual:

    $ spack install galahad
    

Seeing installed packages

We know that spack list shows you the names of available packages, but how do you figure out which are already installed?

spack find

spack find shows the specs of installed packages. A spec is like a name, but it has a version, compiler, architecture, and build options associated with it. In spack, you can have many installations of the same package with different specs.

Running spack find with no arguments lists installed packages:

$ spack find
==> 74 installed packages.
-- linux-debian7-x86_64 / gcc@4.4.7 --------------------------------
ImageMagick@6.8.9-10  libdwarf@20130729  py-dateutil@2.4.0
adept-utils@1.0       libdwarf@20130729  py-ipython@2.3.1
atk@2.14.0            libelf@0.8.12      py-matplotlib@1.4.2
boost@1.55.0          libelf@0.8.13      py-nose@1.3.4
bzip2@1.0.6           libffi@3.1         py-numpy@1.9.1
cairo@1.14.0          libmng@2.0.2       py-pygments@2.0.1
callpath@1.0.2        libpng@1.6.16      py-pyparsing@2.0.3
cmake@3.0.2           libtiff@4.0.3      py-pyside@1.2.2
dbus@1.8.6            libtool@2.4.2      py-pytz@2014.10
dbus@1.9.0            libxcb@1.11        py-setuptools@11.3.1
dyninst@8.1.2         libxml2@2.9.2      py-six@1.9.0
fontconfig@2.11.1     libxml2@2.9.2      python@2.7.8
freetype@2.5.3        llvm@3.0           qhull@1.0
gdk-pixbuf@2.31.2     memaxes@0.5        qt@4.8.6
glib@2.42.1           mesa@8.0.5         qt@5.4.0
graphlib@2.0.0        mpich@3.0.4        readline@6.3
gtkplus@2.24.25       mpileaks@1.0       sqlite@3.8.5
harfbuzz@0.9.37       mrnet@4.1.0        stat@2.1.0
hdf5@1.8.13           ncurses@5.9        tcl@8.6.3
icu@54.1              netcdf@4.3.3       tk@src
jpeg@9a               openssl@1.0.1h     vtk@6.1.0
launchmon@1.0.1       pango@1.36.8       xcb-proto@1.11
lcms@2.6              pixman@0.32.6      xz@5.2.0
libdrm@2.4.33         py-dateutil@2.4.0  zlib@1.2.8

-- linux-debian7-x86_64 / gcc@4.9.2 --------------------------------
libelf@0.8.10  mpich@3.0.4

Packages are divided into groups according to their architecture and compiler. Within each group, Spack tries to keep the view simple, and only shows the version of installed packages.

spack find can filter the package list based on the package name, spec, or a number of properties of their installation status. For example, missing dependencies of a spec can be shown with --missing, packages which were explicitly installed with spack install <package> can be singled out with --explicit and those which have been pulled in only as dependencies with --implicit.

In some cases, there may be different configurations of the same version of a package installed. For example, there are two installations of libdwarf@20130729 above. We can look at them in more detail using spack find --deps, and by asking only to show libdwarf packages:

$ spack find --deps libdwarf
==> 2 installed packages.
-- linux-debian7-x86_64 / gcc@4.4.7 --------------------------------
    libdwarf@20130729-d9b90962
        ^libelf@0.8.12
    libdwarf@20130729-b52fac98
        ^libelf@0.8.13

Now we see that the two instances of libdwarf depend on different versions of libelf: 0.8.12 and 0.8.13. This view can become complicated for packages with many dependencies. If you just want to know whether two packages’ dependencies differ, you can use spack find --long:

$ spack find --long libdwarf
==> 2 installed packages.
-- linux-debian7-x86_64 / gcc@4.4.7 --------------------------------
libdwarf@20130729-d9b90962  libdwarf@20130729-b52fac98

Now the libdwarf installs have hashes after their names. These are hashes over all of the dependencies of each package. If the hashes are the same, then the packages have the same dependency configuration.

If you want to know the path where each package is installed, you can use spack find --paths:

$ spack find --paths
==> 74 installed packages.
-- linux-debian7-x86_64 / gcc@4.4.7 --------------------------------
    ImageMagick@6.8.9-10  ~/spack/opt/linux-debian7-x86_64/gcc@4.4.7/ImageMagick@6.8.9-10-4df950dd
    adept-utils@1.0       ~/spack/opt/linux-debian7-x86_64/gcc@4.4.7/adept-utils@1.0-5adef8da
    atk@2.14.0            ~/spack/opt/linux-debian7-x86_64/gcc@4.4.7/atk@2.14.0-3d09ac09
    boost@1.55.0          ~/spack/opt/linux-debian7-x86_64/gcc@4.4.7/boost@1.55.0
    bzip2@1.0.6           ~/spack/opt/linux-debian7-x86_64/gcc@4.4.7/bzip2@1.0.6
    cairo@1.14.0          ~/spack/opt/linux-debian7-x86_64/gcc@4.4.7/cairo@1.14.0-fcc2ab44
    callpath@1.0.2        ~/spack/opt/linux-debian7-x86_64/gcc@4.4.7/callpath@1.0.2-5dce4318
...

And, finally, you can restrict your search to a particular package by supplying its name:

$ spack find --paths libelf
-- linux-debian7-x86_64 / gcc@4.4.7 --------------------------------
    libelf@0.8.11  ~/spack/opt/linux-debian7-x86_64/gcc@4.4.7/libelf@0.8.11
    libelf@0.8.12  ~/spack/opt/linux-debian7-x86_64/gcc@4.4.7/libelf@0.8.12
    libelf@0.8.13  ~/spack/opt/linux-debian7-x86_64/gcc@4.4.7/libelf@0.8.13

spack find actually does a lot more than this. You can use specs to query for specific configurations and builds of each package. If you want to find only libelf versions greater than version 0.8.12, you could say:

$ spack find libelf@0.8.12:
-- linux-debian7-x86_64 / gcc@4.4.7 --------------------------------
    libelf@0.8.12  libelf@0.8.13

Finding just the versions of libdwarf built with a particular version of libelf would look like this:

$ spack find --long libdwarf ^libelf@0.8.12
==> 1 installed packages.
-- linux-debian7-x86_64 / gcc@4.4.7 --------------------------------
libdwarf@20130729-d9b90962

We can also search for packages that have a certain attribute. For example, spack find libdwarf +debug will show only installations of libdwarf with the ‘debug’ compile-time option enabled.

The full spec syntax is discussed in detail in Specs & dependencies.

Specs & dependencies

We know that spack install, spack uninstall, and other commands take a package name with an optional version specifier. In Spack, that descriptor is called a spec. Spack uses specs to refer to a particular build configuration (or configurations) of a package. Specs are more than a package name and a version; you can use them to specify the compiler, compiler version, architecture, compile options, and dependency options for a build. In this section, we’ll go over the full syntax of specs.

Here is an example of a much longer spec than we’ve seen thus far:

mpileaks @1.2:1.4 %gcc@4.7.5 +debug -qt arch=bgq_os ^callpath @1.1 %gcc@4.7.2

If provided to spack install, this will install the mpileaks library at some version between 1.2 and 1.4 (inclusive), built using gcc at version 4.7.5 for the Blue Gene/Q architecture, with debug options enabled, and without Qt support. Additionally, it says to link it with the callpath library (which it depends on), and to build callpath with gcc 4.7.2. Most specs will not be as complicated as this one, but this is a good example of what is possible with specs.

More formally, a spec consists of the following pieces:

  • Package name identifier (mpileaks above)
  • @ Optional version specifier (@1.2:1.4)
  • % Optional compiler specifier, with an optional compiler version (gcc or gcc@4.7.3)
  • + or - or ~ Optional variant specifiers (+debug, -qt, or ~qt) for boolean variants
  • name=<value> Optional variant specifiers that are not restricted to boolean variants
  • name=<value> Optional compiler flag specifiers. Valid flag names are cflags, cxxflags, fflags, cppflags, ldflags, and ldlibs.
  • target=<value> os=<value> Optional architecture specifier (target=haswell os=CNL10)
  • ^ Dependency specs (^callpath@1.1)

There are two things to notice here. The first is that specs are recursively defined. That is, each dependency after ^ is a spec itself. The second is that everything is optional except for the initial package name identifier. Users can be as vague or as specific as they want about the details of building packages, and this makes spack good for beginners and experts alike.

To really understand what’s going on above, we need to think about how software is structured. An executable or a library (these are generally the artifacts produced by building software) depends on other libraries in order to run. We can represent the relationship between a package and its dependencies as a graph. Here is the full dependency graph for mpileaks:

digraph { mpileaks -> mpich mpileaks -> callpath -> mpich callpath -> dyninst dyninst -> libdwarf -> libelf dyninst -> libelf }

Each box above is a package and each arrow represents a dependency on some other package. For example, we say that the package mpileaks depends on callpath and mpich. mpileaks also depends indirectly on dyninst, libdwarf, and libelf, in that these libraries are dependencies of callpath. To install mpileaks, Spack has to build all of these packages. Dependency graphs in Spack have to be acyclic, and the depends on relationship is directional, so this is a directed, acyclic graph or DAG.

The package name identifier in the spec is the root of some dependency DAG, and the DAG itself is implicit. Spack knows the precise dependencies among packages, but users do not need to know the full DAG structure. Each ^ in the full spec refers to some dependency of the root package. Spack will raise an error if you supply a name after ^ that the root does not actually depend on (e.g. mpileaks ^emacs@23.3).

Spack further simplifies things by only allowing one configuration of each package within any single build. Above, both mpileaks and callpath depend on mpich, but mpich appears only once in the DAG. You cannot build an mpileaks version that depends on one version of mpich and on a callpath version that depends on some other version of mpich. In general, such a configuration would likely behave unexpectedly at runtime, and Spack enforces this to ensure a consistent runtime environment.

The point of specs is to abstract this full DAG from Spack users. If a user does not care about the DAG at all, she can refer to mpileaks by simply writing mpileaks. If she knows that mpileaks indirectly uses dyninst and she wants a particular version of dyninst, then she can refer to mpileaks ^dyninst@8.1. Spack will fill in the rest when it parses the spec; the user only needs to know package names and minimal details about their relationship.

When spack prints out specs, it sorts package names alphabetically to normalize the way they are displayed, but users do not need to worry about this when they write specs. The only restriction on the order of dependencies within a spec is that they appear after the root package. For example, these two specs represent exactly the same configuration:

mpileaks ^callpath@1.0 ^libelf@0.8.3
mpileaks ^libelf@0.8.3 ^callpath@1.0

You can put all the same modifiers on dependency specs that you would put on the root spec. That is, you can specify their versions, compilers, variants, and architectures just like any other spec. Specifiers are associated with the nearest package name to their left. For example, above, @1.1 and %gcc@4.7.2 associates with the callpath package, while @1.2:1.4, %gcc@4.7.5, +debug, -qt, and target=haswell os=CNL10 all associate with the mpileaks package.

In the diagram above, mpileaks depends on mpich with an unspecified version, but packages can depend on other packages with constraints by adding more specifiers. For example, mpileaks could depend on mpich@1.2: if it can only build with version 1.2 or higher of mpich.

Below are more details about the specifiers that you can add to specs.

Version specifier

A version specifier comes somewhere after a package name and starts with @. It can be a single version, e.g. @1.0, @3, or @1.2a7. Or, it can be a range of versions, such as @1.0:1.5 (all versions between 1.0 and 1.5, inclusive). Version ranges can be open, e.g. :3 means any version up to and including 3. This would include 3.4 and 3.4.2. 4.2: means any version above and including 4.2. Finally, a version specifier can be a set of arbitrary versions, such as @1.0,1.5,1.7 (1.0, 1.5, or 1.7). When you supply such a specifier to spack install, it constrains the set of versions that Spack will install.

If the version spec is not provided, then Spack will choose one according to policies set for the particular spack installation. If the spec is ambiguous, i.e. it could match multiple versions, Spack will choose a version within the spec’s constraints according to policies set for the particular Spack installation.

Details about how versions are compared and how Spack determines if one version is less than another are discussed in the developer guide.

Compiler specifier

A compiler specifier comes somewhere after a package name and starts with %. It tells Spack what compiler(s) a particular package should be built with. After the % should come the name of some registered Spack compiler. This might include gcc, or intel, but the specific compilers available depend on the site. You can run spack compilers to get a list; more on this below.

The compiler spec can be followed by an optional compiler version. A compiler version specifier looks exactly like a package version specifier. Version specifiers will associate with the nearest package name or compiler specifier to their left in the spec.

If the compiler spec is omitted, Spack will choose a default compiler based on site policies.

Variants

Variants are named options associated with a particular package. They are optional, as each package must provide default values for each variant it makes available. Variants can be specified using a flexible parameter syntax name=<value>. For example, spack install libelf debug=True will install libelf build with debug flags. The names of particular variants available for a package depend on what was provided by the package author. spack info <package> will provide information on what build variants are available.

For compatibility with earlier versions, variants which happen to be boolean in nature can be specified by a syntax that represents turning options on and off. For example, in the previous spec we could have supplied libelf +debug with the same effect of enabling the debug compile time option for the libelf package.

Depending on the package a variant may have any default value. For libelf here, debug is False by default, and we turned it on with debug=True or +debug. If a variant is True by default you can turn it off by either adding -name or ~name to the spec.

There are two syntaxes here because, depending on context, ~ and - may mean different things. In most shells, the following will result in the shell performing home directory substitution:

mpileaks ~debug   # shell may try to substitute this!
mpileaks~debug    # use this instead

If there is a user called debug, the ~ will be incorrectly expanded. In this situation, you would want to write libelf -debug. However, - can be ambiguous when included after a package name without spaces:

mpileaks-debug     # wrong!
mpileaks -debug    # right

Spack allows the - character to be part of package names, so the above will be interpreted as a request for the mpileaks-debug package, not a request for mpileaks built without debug options. In this scenario, you should write mpileaks~debug to avoid ambiguity.

When spack normalizes specs, it prints them out with no spaces boolean variants using the backwards compatibility syntax and uses only ~ for disabled boolean variants. The - and spaces on the command line are provided for convenience and legibility.

Compiler Flags

Compiler flags are specified using the same syntax as non-boolean variants, but fulfill a different purpose. While the function of a variant is set by the package, compiler flags are used by the compiler wrappers to inject flags into the compile line of the build. Additionally, compiler flags are inherited by dependencies. spack install libdwarf cppflags="-g" will install both libdwarf and libelf with the -g flag injected into their compile line.

Notice that the value of the compiler flags must be quoted if it contains any spaces. Any of cppflags=-O3, cppflags="-O3", cppflags='-O3', and cppflags="-O3 -fPIC" are acceptable, but cppflags=-O3 -fPIC is not. Additionally, if they value of the compiler flags is not the last thing on the line, it must be followed by a space. The commmand spack install libelf cppflags="-O3"%intel will be interpreted as an attempt to set cppflags=”-O3%intel”`.

The six compiler flags are injected in the order of implicit make commands in GNU Autotools. If all flags are set, the order is $cppflags $cflags|$cxxflags $ldflags <command> $ldlibs for C and C++ and $fflags $cppflags $ldflags <command> $ldlibs for Fortran.

Compiler environment variables and additional RPATHs

In the exceptional case a compiler requires setting special environment variables, like an explicit library load path. These can bet set in an extra section in the compiler configuration. The user can also specify additional RPATHs that the compiler will add to all executables generated by that compiler. This is useful for forcing certain compilers to RPATH their own runtime libraries, so that executables will run without the need to set LD_LIBRARY_PATH.

compilers:
  - compiler:
      spec: gcc@4.9.3
      paths:
        cc: /opt/gcc/bin/gcc
        c++: /opt/gcc/bin/g++
        f77: /opt/gcc/bin/gfortran
        fc: /opt/gcc/bin/gfortran
      environment:
        set:
          LD_LIBRARY_PATH : /opt/gcc/lib
      extra_rpaths:
      - /path/to/some/compiler/runtime/directory
      - /path/to/some/other/compiler/runtime/directory

Architecture specifiers

The architecture can be specified by using the reserved words target and/or os (target=x86-64 os=debian7). You can also use the triplet form of platform, operating system and processor.

$ spack install libelf arch=cray-CNL10-haswell

Users on non-Cray systems won’t have to worry about specifying the architecture. Spack will autodetect what kind of operating system is on your machine as well as the processor. For more information on how the architecture can be used on Cray machines, see Spack on Cray

Virtual dependencies

The dependence graph for mpileaks we saw above wasn’t quite accurate. mpileaks uses MPI, which is an interface that has many different implementations. Above, we showed mpileaks and callpath depending on mpich, which is one particular implementation of MPI. However, we could build either with another implementation, such as openmpi or mvapich.

Spack represents interfaces like this using virtual dependencies. The real dependency DAG for mpileaks looks like this:

digraph { mpi [color=red] mpileaks -> mpi mpileaks -> callpath -> mpi callpath -> dyninst dyninst -> libdwarf -> libelf dyninst -> libelf }

Notice that mpich has now been replaced with mpi. There is no real MPI package, but some packages provide the MPI interface, and these packages can be substituted in for mpi when mpileaks is built.

You can see what virtual packages a particular package provides by getting info on it:

$ spack info mpich
AutotoolsPackage:    mpich

Description:
    MPICH is a high performance and widely portable implementation of the
    Message Passing Interface (MPI) standard.

Homepage:            http://www.mpich.org

Safe versions:  
    3.2      http://www.mpich.org/static/downloads/3.2/mpich-3.2.tar.gz
    3.1.4    http://www.mpich.org/static/downloads/3.1.4/mpich-3.1.4.tar.gz
    3.1.3    http://www.mpich.org/static/downloads/3.1.3/mpich-3.1.3.tar.gz
    3.1.2    http://www.mpich.org/static/downloads/3.1.2/mpich-3.1.2.tar.gz
    3.1.1    http://www.mpich.org/static/downloads/3.1.1/mpich-3.1.1.tar.gz
    3.1      http://www.mpich.org/static/downloads/3.1/mpich-3.1.tar.gz
    3.0.4    http://www.mpich.org/static/downloads/3.0.4/mpich-3.0.4.tar.gz

Variants:
    Name [Default]    Allowed values    Description


    hydra [on]        True, False       Build the hydra process manager

    pmi [on]          True, False       Build with PMI support

    romio [on]        True, False       Enable ROMIO MPI I/O implementation

    verbs [off]       True, False       Build support for OpenFabrics
                                        verbs.


Installation Phases:
    autoreconf    configure    build    install

Build Dependencies:
    None

Link Dependencies:
    None

Run Dependencies:
    None

Virtual Packages: 
    mpich@3: provides mpi@:3.0
    mpich@1: provides mpi@:1.3
    mpich provides mpi

Spack is unique in that its virtual packages can be versioned, just like regular packages. A particular version of a package may provide a particular version of a virtual package, and we can see above that mpich versions 1 and above provide all mpi interface versions up to 1, and mpich versions 3 and above provide mpi versions up to 3. A package can depend on a particular version of a virtual package, e.g. if an application needs MPI-2 functions, it can depend on mpi@2: to indicate that it needs some implementation that provides MPI-2 functions.

Constraining virtual packages

When installing a package that depends on a virtual package, you can opt to specify the particular provider you want to use, or you can let Spack pick. For example, if you just type this:

$ spack install mpileaks

Then spack will pick a provider for you according to site policies. If you really want a particular version, say mpich, then you could run this instead:

$ spack install mpileaks ^mpich

This forces spack to use some version of mpich for its implementation. As always, you can be even more specific and require a particular mpich version:

$ spack install mpileaks ^mpich@3

The mpileaks package in particular only needs MPI-1 commands, so any MPI implementation will do. If another package depends on mpi@2 and you try to give it an insufficient MPI implementation (e.g., one that provides only mpi@:1), then Spack will raise an error. Likewise, if you try to plug in some package that doesn’t provide MPI, Spack will raise an error.

Specifying Specs by Hash

Complicated specs can become cumbersome to enter on the command line, especially when many of the qualifications are necessary to distinguish between similar installs, for example when using the uninstall command. To avoid this, when referencing an existing spec, Spack allows you to reference specs by their hash. We previously discussed the spec hash that Spack computes. In place of a spec in any command, substitute /<hash> where <hash> is any amount from the beginning of a spec hash. If the given spec hash is sufficient to be unique, Spack will replace the reference with the spec to which it refers. Otherwise, it will prompt for a more qualified hash.

Note that this will not work to reinstall a depencency uninstalled by spack uninstall --force.

spack providers

You can see what packages provide a particular virtual package using spack providers. If you wanted to see what packages provide mpi, you would just run:

$ spack providers mpi
    intel-mpi                                         mpich@1:  mvapich2@1.9   openmpi@1.6.5   spectrum-mpi
    intel-parallel-studio@cluster.0:cluster.9999+mpi  mpich@3:  mvapich2@2.0:  openmpi@1.7.5:
    mpich                                             mvapich2  openmpi        openmpi@2.0.0:

And if you only wanted to see packages that provide MPI-2, you would add a version specifier to the spec:

$ spack providers mpi@2
    intel-mpi                                         mpich@3:      mvapich2@2.0:  openmpi@1.7.5:
    intel-parallel-studio@cluster.0:cluster.9999+mpi  mvapich2      openmpi        openmpi@2.0.0:
    mpich                                             mvapich2@1.9  openmpi@1.6.5  spectrum-mpi

Notice that the package versions that provide insufficient MPI versions are now filtered out.

Extensions & Python support

Spack’s installation model assumes that each package will live in its own install prefix. However, certain packages are typically installed within the directory hierarchy of other packages. For example, modules in interpreted languages like Python are typically installed in the $prefix/lib/python-2.7/site-packages directory.

Spack has support for this type of installation as well. In Spack, a package that can live inside the prefix of another package is called an extension. Suppose you have Python installed like so:

$ spack find python
==> 1 installed packages.
-- linux-debian7-x86_64 / gcc@4.4.7 --------------------------------
python@2.7.8

spack extensions

You can find extensions for your Python installation like this:

$ spack extensions python
==> python@2.7.8%gcc@4.4.7 arch=linux-debian7-x86_64-703c7a96
==> 36 extensions:
geos          py-ipython     py-pexpect    py-pyside            py-sip
py-basemap    py-libxml2     py-pil        py-pytz              py-six
py-biopython  py-mako        py-pmw        py-rpy2              py-sympy
py-cython     py-matplotlib  py-pychecker  py-scientificpython  py-virtualenv
py-dateutil   py-mpi4py      py-pygments   py-scikit-learn
py-epydoc     py-mx          py-pylint     py-scipy
py-gnuplot    py-nose        py-pyparsing  py-setuptools
py-h5py       py-numpy       py-pyqt       py-shiboken

==> 12 installed:
-- linux-debian7-x86_64 / gcc@4.4.7 --------------------------------
py-dateutil@2.4.0    py-nose@1.3.4       py-pyside@1.2.2
py-dateutil@2.4.0    py-numpy@1.9.1      py-pytz@2014.10
py-ipython@2.3.1     py-pygments@2.0.1   py-setuptools@11.3.1
py-matplotlib@1.4.2  py-pyparsing@2.0.3  py-six@1.9.0

==> None activated.

The extensions are a subset of what’s returned by spack list, and they are packages like any other. They are installed into their own prefixes, and you can see this with spack find --paths:

$ spack find --paths py-numpy
==> 1 installed packages.
-- linux-debian7-x86_64 / gcc@4.4.7 --------------------------------
    py-numpy@1.9.1  ~/spack/opt/linux-debian7-x86_64/gcc@4.4.7/py-numpy@1.9.1-66733244

However, even though this package is installed, you cannot use it directly when you run python:

$ spack load python
$ python
Python 2.7.8 (default, Feb 17 2015, 01:35:25)
[GCC 4.4.7 20120313 (Red Hat 4.4.7-11)] on linux2
Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.
>>> import numpy
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<stdin>", line 1, in <module>
ImportError: No module named numpy
>>>

Extensions & Environment Modules

There are two ways to get numpy working in Python. The first is to use Shell support. You can simply use or load the module for the extension, and it will be added to the PYTHONPATH in your current shell.

For tcl modules:

$ spack load python
$ spack load py-numpy

or, for dotkit:

$ spack use python
$ spack use py-numpy

Now import numpy will succeed for as long as you keep your current session open.

Activating Extensions

It is often desirable to have certain packages always available as part of a Python installation. Spack offers a more permanent solution for this case. Instead of requiring users to load particular environment modules, you can activate the package within the Python installation:

spack activate

$ spack activate py-numpy
==> Activated extension py-setuptools@11.3.1%gcc@4.4.7 arch=linux-debian7-x86_64-3c74eb69 for python@2.7.8%gcc@4.4.7.
==> Activated extension py-nose@1.3.4%gcc@4.4.7 arch=linux-debian7-x86_64-5f70f816 for python@2.7.8%gcc@4.4.7.
==> Activated extension py-numpy@1.9.1%gcc@4.4.7 arch=linux-debian7-x86_64-66733244 for python@2.7.8%gcc@4.4.7.

Several things have happened here. The user requested that py-numpy be activated in the python installation it was built with. Spack knows that py-numpy depends on py-nose and py-setuptools, so it activated those packages first. Finally, once all dependencies were activated in the python installation, py-numpy was activated as well.

If we run spack extensions again, we now see the three new packages listed as activated:

$ spack extensions python
==> python@2.7.8%gcc@4.4.7  arch=linux-debian7-x86_64-703c7a96
==> 36 extensions:
geos          py-ipython     py-pexpect    py-pyside            py-sip
py-basemap    py-libxml2     py-pil        py-pytz              py-six
py-biopython  py-mako        py-pmw        py-rpy2              py-sympy
py-cython     py-matplotlib  py-pychecker  py-scientificpython  py-virtualenv
py-dateutil   py-mpi4py      py-pygments   py-scikit-learn
py-epydoc     py-mx          py-pylint     py-scipy
py-gnuplot    py-nose        py-pyparsing  py-setuptools
py-h5py       py-numpy       py-pyqt       py-shiboken

==> 12 installed:
-- linux-debian7-x86_64 / gcc@4.4.7 --------------------------------
py-dateutil@2.4.0    py-nose@1.3.4       py-pyside@1.2.2
py-dateutil@2.4.0    py-numpy@1.9.1      py-pytz@2014.10
py-ipython@2.3.1     py-pygments@2.0.1   py-setuptools@11.3.1
py-matplotlib@1.4.2  py-pyparsing@2.0.3  py-six@1.9.0

==> 3 currently activated:
-- linux-debian7-x86_64 / gcc@4.4.7 --------------------------------
py-nose@1.3.4  py-numpy@1.9.1  py-setuptools@11.3.1

Now, when a user runs python, numpy will be available for import without the user having to explicitly loaded. python@2.7.8 now acts like a system Python installation with numpy installed inside of it.

Spack accomplishes this by symbolically linking the entire prefix of the py-numpy into the prefix of the python package. To the python interpreter, it looks like numpy is installed in the site-packages directory.

The only limitation of activation is that you can only have a single version of an extension activated at a time. This is because multiple versions of the same extension would conflict if symbolically linked into the same prefix. Users who want a different version of a package can still get it by using environment modules, but they will have to explicitly load their preferred version.

spack activate --force

If, for some reason, you want to activate a package without its dependencies, you can use spack activate --force:

$ spack activate --force py-numpy
==> Activated extension py-numpy@1.9.1%gcc@4.4.7 arch=linux-debian7-x86_64-66733244 for python@2.7.8%gcc@4.4.7.

spack deactivate

We’ve seen how activating an extension can be used to set up a default version of a Python module. Obviously, you may want to change that at some point. spack deactivate is the command for this. There are several variants:

  • spack deactivate <extension> will deactivate a single extension. If another activated extension depends on this one, Spack will warn you and exit with an error.

  • spack deactivate --force <extension> deactivates an extension regardless of packages that depend on it.

  • spack deactivate --all <extension> deactivates an extension and all of its dependencies. Use --force to disregard dependents.

  • spack deactivate --all <extendee> deactivates all activated extensions of a package. For example, to deactivate all python extensions, use:

    $ spack deactivate --all python
    

Filesystem requirements

Spack currently needs to be run from a filesystem that supports flock locking semantics. Nearly all local filesystems and recent versions of NFS support this, but parallel filesystems may be mounted without flock support enabled. You can determine how your filesystems are mounted with mount -p. The output for a Lustre filesystem might look like this:

$ mount -l | grep lscratch
pilsner-mds1-lnet0@o2ib100:/lsd on /p/lscratchd type lustre (rw,nosuid,noauto,_netdev,lazystatfs,flock)
porter-mds1-lnet0@o2ib100:/lse on /p/lscratche type lustre (rw,nosuid,noauto,_netdev,lazystatfs,flock)

Note the flock option on both Lustre mounts. If you do not see this or a similar option for your filesystem, you may need ot ask your system administrator to enable flock.

This issue typically manifests with the error below:

$ ./spack find
Traceback (most recent call last):
File "./spack", line 176, in <module>
  main()
File "./spack", line 154,' in main
  return_val = command(parser, args)
File "./spack/lib/spack/spack/cmd/find.py", line 170, in find
  specs = set(spack.installed_db.query(\**q_args))
File "./spack/lib/spack/spack/database.py", line 551, in query
  with self.read_transaction():
File "./spack/lib/spack/spack/database.py", line 598, in __enter__
  if self._enter() and self._acquire_fn:
File "./spack/lib/spack/spack/database.py", line 608, in _enter
  return self._db.lock.acquire_read(self._timeout)
File "./spack/lib/spack/llnl/util/lock.py", line 103, in acquire_read
  self._lock(fcntl.LOCK_SH, timeout)   # can raise LockError.
File "./spack/lib/spack/llnl/util/lock.py", line 64, in _lock
  fcntl.lockf(self._fd, op | fcntl.LOCK_NB)
IOError: [Errno 38] Function not implemented

A nicer error message is TBD in future versions of Spack.

Getting Help

spack help

If you don’t find what you need here, the help subcommand will print out out a list of all of spack’s options and subcommands:

$ spack help
usage: spack [-hkV] <command> [...]

A flexible package manager that supports multiple versions,
configurations, platforms, and compilers.

These are common spack commands:

query packages:
  list            list and search available packages
  info            get detailed information on a particular package
  find            list and search installed packages

build packages:
  install         build and install packages
  uninstall       remove installed packages
  spec            show what would be installed, given a spec

environment:
  load            add package to environment using `module load`
  module          manipulate module files
  unload          remove package from environment using `module unload`
  view            produce a single-rooted directory view of packages

create packages:
  create          create a new package file
  edit            open package files in $EDITOR

system:
  arch            print architecture information about this machine
  compilers       list available compilers

optional arguments:
  -h, --help      show this help message and exit
  -k, --insecure  do not check ssl certificates when downloading
  -V, --version   show version number and exit

more help:
  spack help -a          list all available commands
  spack help <command>   help on a specific command
  spack help --spec      help on the spec syntax
  spack docs             open http://spack.rtfd.io/ in a browser

Adding an argument, e.g. spack help <subcommand>, will print out usage information for a particular subcommand:

$ spack help install
usage: spack install [-h] [--only {package,dependencies}] [-j JOBS]
                     [--keep-prefix] [--keep-stage] [--restage] [-n] [-v]
                     [--fake] [-f] [--clean | --dirty] [--run-tests]
                     [--log-format {junit}] [--log-file LOG_FILE]
                     ...

build and install packages

positional arguments:
  package               spec of the package to install

optional arguments:
  -h, --help            show this help message and exit
  --only {package,dependencies}
                        select the mode of installation. the default is to
                        install the package along with all its dependencies.
                        alternatively one can decide to install only the
                        package or only the dependencies
  -j JOBS, --jobs JOBS  explicitly set number of make jobs. default is #cpus
  --keep-prefix         don't remove the install prefix if installation fails
  --keep-stage          don't remove the build stage if installation succeeds
  --restage             if a partial install is detected, delete prior state
  -n, --no-checksum     do not check packages against checksum
  -v, --verbose         display verbose build output while installing
  --fake                fake install. just remove prefix and create a fake
                        file
  -f, --file            install from file. Read specs to install from .yaml
                        files
  --clean               clean environment before installing package
  --dirty               do NOT clean environment before installing
  --run-tests           run package level tests during installation
  --log-format {junit}  format to be used for log files
  --log-file LOG_FILE   filename for the log file. if not passed a default
                        will be used

Alternately, you can use spack --help in place of spack help, or spack <subcommand> --help to get help on a particular subcommand.