Mirrors

Some sites may not have access to the internet for fetching packages. These sites will need a local repository of tarballs from which they can get their files. Spack has support for this with mirrors. A mirror is a URL that points to a directory, either on the local filesystem or on some server, containing tarballs for all of Spack’s packages.

Here’s an example of a mirror’s directory structure:

mirror/
    cmake/
        cmake-2.8.10.2.tar.gz
    dyninst/
        dyninst-8.1.1.tgz
        dyninst-8.1.2.tgz
    libdwarf/
        libdwarf-20130126.tar.gz
        libdwarf-20130207.tar.gz
        libdwarf-20130729.tar.gz
    libelf/
        libelf-0.8.12.tar.gz
        libelf-0.8.13.tar.gz
    libunwind/
        libunwind-1.1.tar.gz
    mpich/
        mpich-3.0.4.tar.gz
    mvapich2/
        mvapich2-1.9.tgz

The structure is very simple. There is a top-level directory. The second level directories are named after packages, and the third level contains tarballs for each package, named after each package.

Note

Archives are not named exactly the way they were in the package’s fetch URL. They have the form <name>-<version>.<extension>, where <name> is Spack’s name for the package, <version> is the version of the tarball, and <extension> is whatever format the package’s fetch URL contains.

In order to make mirror creation reasonably fast, we copy the tarball in its original format to the mirror directory, but we do not standardize on a particular compression algorithm, because this would potentially require expanding and re-compressing each archive.

spack mirror

Mirrors are managed with the spack mirror command. The help for spack mirror looks like this:

$ spack help mirror
usage: spack mirror [-h] [-n] SUBCOMMAND ...

manage mirrors

positional arguments:
  SUBCOMMAND
    create           Create a directory to be used as a spack mirror, and fill
                     it with package archives.
    add              Add a mirror to Spack.
    remove (rm)      Remove a mirror by name.
    list             Print out available mirrors to the console.

optional arguments:
  -h, --help         show this help message and exit
  -n, --no-checksum  do not check fetched packages against checksum

The create command actually builds a mirror by fetching all of its packages from the internet and checksumming them.

The other three commands are for managing mirror configuration. They control the URL(s) from which Spack downloads its packages.

spack mirror create

You can create a mirror using the spack mirror create command, assuming you’re on a machine where you can access the internet.

The command will iterate through all of Spack’s packages and download the safe ones into a directory structure like the one above. Here is what it looks like:

$ spack mirror create libelf libdwarf
==> Created new mirror in spack-mirror-2014-06-24
==> Trying to fetch from http://www.mr511.de/software/libelf-0.8.13.tar.gz
##########################################################                81.6%
==> Checksum passed for libelf@0.8.13
==> Added libelf@0.8.13
==> Trying to fetch from http://www.mr511.de/software/libelf-0.8.12.tar.gz
######################################################################    98.6%
==> Checksum passed for libelf@0.8.12
==> Added libelf@0.8.12
==> Trying to fetch from http://www.prevanders.net/libdwarf-20130207.tar.gz
######################################################################    97.3%
==> Checksum passed for libdwarf@20130207
==> Added libdwarf@20130207
==> Trying to fetch from http://www.prevanders.net/libdwarf-20130126.tar.gz
########################################################                  78.9%
==> Checksum passed for libdwarf@20130126
==> Added libdwarf@20130126
==> Trying to fetch from http://www.prevanders.net/libdwarf-20130729.tar.gz
#############################################################             84.7%
==> Added libdwarf@20130729
==> Added spack-mirror-2014-06-24/libdwarf/libdwarf-20130729.tar.gz to mirror
==> Added python@2.7.8.
==> Successfully updated mirror in spack-mirror-2015-02-24.
  Archive stats:
    0    already present
    5    added
    0    failed to fetch.

Once this is done, you can tar up the spack-mirror-2014-06-24 directory and copy it over to the machine you want it hosted on.

Custom package sets

Normally, spack mirror create downloads all the archives it has checksums for. If you want to only create a mirror for a subset of packages, you can do that by supplying a list of package specs on the command line after spack mirror create. For example, this command:

$ spack mirror create libelf@0.8.12: boost@1.44:

Will create a mirror for libelf versions greater than or equal to 0.8.12 and boost versions greater than or equal to 1.44.

Mirror files

If you have a very large number of packages you want to mirror, you can supply a file with specs in it, one per line:

$ cat specs.txt
libdwarf
libelf@0.8.12:
boost@1.44:
boost@1.39.0
...
$ spack mirror create --file specs.txt
...

This is useful if there is a specific suite of software managed by your site.

spack mirror add

Once you have a mirror, you need to let spack know about it. This is relatively simple. First, figure out the URL for the mirror. If it’s a file, you can use a file URL like this one:

file://~/spack-mirror-2014-06-24

That points to the directory on the local filesystem. If it were on a web server, you could use a URL like this one:

https://example.com/some/web-hosted/directory/spack-mirror-2014-06-24

Spack will use the URL as the root for all of the packages it fetches. You can tell your Spack installation to use that mirror like this:

$ spack mirror add local_filesystem file://~/spack-mirror-2014-06-24

Each mirror has a name so that you can refer to it again later.

spack mirror list

To see all the mirrors Spack knows about, run spack mirror list:

$ spack mirror list
local_filesystem    file://~/spack-mirror-2014-06-24

spack mirror remove

To remove a mirror by name, run:

$ spack mirror remove local_filesystem
$ spack mirror list
==> No mirrors configured.

Mirror precedence

Adding a mirror really adds a line in ~/.spack/mirrors.yaml:

mirrors:
  local_filesystem: file://~/spack-mirror-2014-06-24
  remote_server: https://example.com/some/web-hosted/directory/spack-mirror-2014-06-24

If you want to change the order in which mirrors are searched for packages, you can edit this file and reorder the sections. Spack will search the topmost mirror first and the bottom-most mirror last.

Local Default Cache

Spack caches resources that are downloaded as part of installs. The cache is a valid spack mirror: it uses the same directory structure and naming scheme as other Spack mirrors (so it can be copied anywhere and referenced with a URL like other mirrors). The mirror is maintained locally (within the Spack installation directory) at var/spack/cache/. It is always enabled (and is always searched first when attempting to retrieve files for an installation) but can be cleared with clean; the cache directory can also be deleted manually without issue.

Caching includes retrieved tarball archives and source control repositories, but only resources with an associated digest or commit ID (e.g. a revision number for SVN) will be cached.