Intel packages in Spack

This is an earlier version of Intel software development tools and has now been replaced by Intel oneAPI Toolkits.

Spack can install and use several software development products offered by Intel. Some of these are available under no-cost terms, others require a paid license. All share the same basic steps for configuration, installation, and, where applicable, license management. The Spack Python class IntelPackage implements these steps.

Spack interacts with Intel tools in several routes, like it does for any other package:

  1. Accept system-provided tools after you declare them to Spack as external packages.

  1. Install the products for you as internal packages in Spack.

  1. Use the packages, regardless of installation route, to install what we’ll call client packages for you, this being Spack’s primary purpose.

An auxiliary route follows from route 2, as it would for most Spack packages, namely:

  1. Make Spack-installed Intel tools available outside of Spack for ad-hoc use, typically through Spack-managed modulefiles.

This document covers routes 1 through 3.

Packages under no-cost license

Intel’s standalone performance library products, notably MKL and MPI, are available for use under a simplified license since 2017 [fn1]. They are packaged in Spack as:

  • intel-mkl – Math Kernel Library (linear algebra and FFT),

  • intel-mpi – The Intel-MPI implementation (derived from MPICH),

  • intel-ipp – Primitives for image-, signal-, and data-processing,

  • intel-daal – Machine learning and data analytics.

Some earlier versions of these libraries were released under a paid license. For these older versions, the license must be available at installation time of the products and during compilation of client packages.

The library packages work well with the Intel compilers but do not require them – those packages can just as well be used with other compilers. The Intel compiler invocation commands offer custom options to simplify linking Intel libraries (sometimes considerably), but Spack always uses fairly explicit linkage anyway.

Licensed packages

Intel’s core software development products that provide compilers, analyzers, and optimizers do require a paid license. In Spack, they are packaged as:

  • intel-parallel-studio – the entire suite of compilers and libraries,

  • intel – a subset containing just the compilers and the Intel-MPI runtime [fn2].

The license is needed at installation time and to compile client packages, but never to merely run any resulting binaries. The license status for a given Spack package is normally specified in the package code through directives like license_required (see Licensed software). For the Intel packages, however, the class code provides these directives (in exchange of forfeiting a measure of OOP purity) and takes care of idiosyncasies like historic version dependence.

The libraries that are provided in the standalone packages are also included in the all-encompassing intel-parallel-studio. To complicate matters a bit, that package is sold in 3 “editions”, of which only the upper-tier cluster edition supports compiling MPI applications, and hence only that edition can provide the mpi virtual package. (As mentioned [fn2], all editions provide support for running MPI applications.)

The edition forms the leading part of the version number for Spack’s intel* packages discussed here. This differs from the primarily numeric version numbers seen with most other Spack packages. For example, we have:

$ spack info intel-parallel-studio
Preferred version:
    professional.2018.3    http:...

Safe versions:
    professional.2018.3    http:...
    composer.2018.3        http:...
    cluster.2018.3         http:...

The full studio suite, capable of compiling MPI applications, currently requires about 12 GB of disk space when installed (see section Install steps for packages with compilers and libraries for detailed instructions). If you need to save disk space or installation time, you could install the intel compilers-only subset (0.6 GB) and just the library packages you need, for example intel-mpi (0.5 GB) and intel-mkl (2.5 GB).

Unrelated packages

The following packages do not use the Intel installer and are not in class IntelPackage that is discussed here:

  • intel-gpu-tools – Test suite and low-level tools for the Linux Direct Rendering Manager

  • intel-mkl-dnn – Math Kernel Library for Deep Neural Networks (CMakePackage)

  • intel-xed – X86 machine instructions encoder/decoder

  • intel-tbb – Standalone version of Intel Threading Building Blocks. Note that a TBB runtime version is included with intel-mkl, and development versions are provided by the packages intel-parallel-studio (all editions) and its intel subset.

Configuring Spack to use Intel licenses

If you wish to integrate licensed Intel products into Spack as external packages (route 1 above) we assume that their license configuration is in place and is working [fn3]. In this case, skip to section Integration of Intel tools installed external to Spack.

If you plan to have Spack install licensed products for you (route 2 above), the Intel product installer that Spack will run underneath must have access to a license that is either provided by a license server or as a license file. The installer may be able to locate a license that is already configured on your system. If it cannot, you must configure Spack to provide either the server location or the license file.

For authoritative information on Intel licensing, see:

Pointing to an existing license server

Installing and configuring a license server is outside the scope of Spack. We assume that:

  • Your system administrator has a license server running.

  • The license server offers valid licenses for the Intel packages of interest.

  • You can access these licenses under the user id running Spack.

Be aware of the difference between (a) installing and configuring a license server, and (b) configuring client software to use a server’s so-called floating licenses. We are concerned here with (b) only. The process of obtaining a license from a server for temporary use is called “checking out a license”. For that, a client application such as the Intel package installer or a compiler needs to know the host name and port number of one or more license servers that it may query [fn4].

Follow one of three methods to point client software to a floating license server. Ideally, your license administrator will already have implemented one that can be used unchanged in Spack: Look for the environment variable INTEL_LICENSE_FILE or for files /opt/intel/licenses/*.lic that contain:

SERVER  hostname  hostid_or_ANY  portnum

The relevant tokens, among possibly others, are the USE_SERVER line, intended specifically for clients, and one or more SERVER lines above it which give the network address.

If you cannot find pre-existing /opt/intel/licenses/*.lic files and the INTEL_LICENSE_FILE environment variable is not set (even after you loaded any relevant modulefiles), ask your license administrator for the server address(es) and place them in a “global” license file within your Spack directory tree as shown below).

Installing a standalone license file

If you purchased a user-specific license, follow Intel’s instructions to “activate” it for your serial number, then download the resulting license file. If needed, request to have the file re-sent to you.

Intel’s license files are text files that contain tokens in the proprietary “FLEXlm” format and whose name ends in .lic. Intel installers and compilers look for license files in several locations when they run. Place your license by one of the following means, in order of decreasing preference:

  • Default directory

    Install your license file in the directory /opt/intel/licenses/ if you have write permission to it. This directory is inspected by all Intel tools and is therefore preferred, as no further configuration will be needed. Create the directory if it does not yet exist. For the file name, either keep the downloaded name or use another suitably plain yet descriptive name that ends in .lic. Adjust file permissions for access by licensed users.

  • Directory given in environment variable

    If you cannot use the default directory, but your system already has set the environment variable INTEL_LICENSE_FILE independent from Spack [fn5], then, if you have the necessary write permissions, place your license file in one of the directories mentioned in this environment variable. Adjust file permissions to match licensed users.


    If your system has not yet set and used the environment variable INTEL_LICENSE_FILE, you could start using it with the spack install stage of licensed tools and subsequent client packages. You would, however, be in a bind to always set that variable in the same manner, across updates and re-installations, and perhaps accommodate additions to it. As this may be difficult in the long run, we recommend that you do not attempt to start using the variable solely for Spack.

  • Spack-managed file

    The first time Spack encounters an Intel package that requires a license, it will initialize a Spack-global Intel-specific license file for you, as a template with instructional comments, and bring up an editor [fn6]. Spack will do this even if you have a working license elsewhere on the system.

    • To proceed with an externally configured license, leave the newly templated file as is (containing comments only) and close the editor. You do not need to touch the file again.

    • To configure your own standalone license, copy the contents of your downloaded license file into the opened file, save it, and close the editor.

    • To use a license server (i.e., a floating network license) that is not already configured elsewhere on the system, supply your license server address(es) in the form of SERVER and USE_SERVER lines at the beginning of the file [fn7], in the format shown in section Pointing to an existing license server. Save the file and close the editor.

    To revisit and manually edit this file, such as prior to a subsequent installation attempt, find it at $SPACK_ROOT/etc/spack/licenses/intel/intel.lic .

    Spack will place symbolic links to this file in each directory where licensed Intel binaries were installed. If you kept the template unchanged, Intel tools will simply ignore it.

Integration of Intel tools installed external to Spack

This section discusses route 1 from the introduction.

A site that already uses Intel tools, especially licensed ones, will likely have some versions already installed on the system, especially at a time when Spack is just being introduced. It will be useful to make such previously installed tools available for use by Spack as they are. How to do this varies depending on the type of the tools:

Integrating external compilers

For Spack to use external Intel compilers, you must tell it both where to find them and when to use them. The present section documents the “where” aspect, involving compilers.yaml and, in most cases, long absolute paths. The “when” aspect actually relates to route 3 and requires explicitly stating the compiler as a spec component (in the form foo %intel or foo %intel@compilerversion) when installing client packages or altering Spack’s compiler default in packages.yaml. See section Selecting Intel compilers for details.

To integrate a new set of externally installed Intel compilers into Spack follow section Compiler configuration. Briefly, prepare your shell environment like you would if you were to use these compilers normally, i.e., typically by a module load ... or a shell source ... command, then use spack compiler find to make Spack aware of these compilers. This will create a new entry in a suitably scoped and possibly new compilers.yaml file. You could certainly create such a compiler entry manually, but this is error-prone due to the indentation and different data types involved.

The Intel compilers need and use the system’s native GCC compiler (gcc on most systems, clang on macOS) to provide certain functionality, notably to support C++. To provide a different GCC compiler for the Intel tools, or more generally set persistent flags for all invocations of the Intel compilers, locate the compilers.yaml entry that defines your Intel compiler, and, using a text editor, change one or both of the following:

  1. At the modules: tag, add a gcc module to the list.

  2. At the flags: tag, add cflags:, cxxflags:, and fflags: key-value entries.

Consult the examples under Compiler configuration and Vendor-Specific Compiler Configuration in the Spack documentation. When done, validate your compiler definition by running spack compiler info intel@compilerversion (replacing compilerversion by the version that you defined).

Be aware that both the GCC integration and persistent compiler flags can also be affected by an advanced third method:

  1. A modulefile that provides the Intel compilers for you could, for the benefit of users outside of Spack, implicitly integrate a specific gcc version via compiler flag environment variables or (hopefully not) via a sneaky extra PATH addition.

Next, visit section Selecting Intel Compilers to learn how to tell Spack to use the newly configured compilers.

Integrating external libraries

Configure external library-type packages (as opposed to compilers) in the files $SPACK_ROOT/etc/spack/packages.yaml or ~/.spack/packages.yaml, following the Spack documentation under External Packages.

Similar to compilers.yaml, the packages.yaml files define a package external to Spack in terms of a Spack spec and resolve each such spec via either the paths or modules tokens to a specific pre-installed package version on the system. Since Intel tools generally need environment variables to interoperate, which cannot be conveyed in a mere paths specification, the modules token will be more sensible to use. It resolves the Spack-side spec to a modulefile generated and managed outside of Spack’s purview, which Spack will load internally and transiently when the corresponding spec is called upon to compile client packages.

Unlike for compilers, where spack find compilers [spec] generates an entry in an existing or new compilers.yaml file, Spack does not offer a command to generate an entirely new packages.yaml entry. You must create new entries yourself in a text editor, though the command spack config [--scope=...] edit packages can help with selecting the proper file. See section Configuration Scopes for an explanation about the different files and section Build customization for specifics and examples for packages.yaml files.

The following example integrates packages embodied by hypothetical external modulefiles intel-mkl/18/... into Spack as packages intel-mkl@...:

$ spack config edit packages

Make sure the file begins with:


Adapt the following example. Be sure to maintain the indentation:

# other content ...

    - spec: "intel-mkl@2018.2.199  arch=linux-centos6-x86_64"
      -  intel-mkl/18/18.0.2
    - spec: "intel-mkl@2018.3.222  arch=linux-centos6-x86_64"
      -  intel-mkl/18/18.0.3

The version numbers for the intel-mkl specs defined here correspond to file and directory names that Intel uses for its products because they were adopted and declared as such within Spack’s package repository. You can inspect the versions known to your current Spack installation by:

$ spack info intel-mkl

Using the same version numbers for external packages as for packages known internally is useful for clarity, but not strictly necessary. Moreover, with a packages.yaml entry, you can go beyond internally known versions.

Note that the Spack spec in the example does not contain a compiler specification. This is intentional, as the Intel library packages can be used unmodified with different compilers.

A slightly more advanced example illustrates how to provide variants and how to use the buildable: False directive to prevent Spack from installing other versions or variants of the named package through its normal internal mechanism.

    - spec: "intel-parallel-studio@cluster.2018.2.199 +mkl+mpi+ipp+tbb+daal  arch=linux-centos6-x86_64"
      -  intel/18/18.0.2
    - spec: "intel-parallel-studio@cluster.2018.3.222 +mkl+mpi+ipp+tbb+daal  arch=linux-centos6-x86_64"
      -  intel/18/18.0.3
    buildable: False

One additional example illustrates the use of prefix: instead of modules:, useful when external modulefiles are not available or not suitable:

    - spec: "intel-parallel-studio@cluster.2018.2.199 +mkl+mpi+ipp+tbb+daal"
      prefix: /opt/intel
    - spec: "intel-parallel-studio@cluster.2018.3.222 +mkl+mpi+ipp+tbb+daal"
      prefix: /opt/intel
    buildable: False

Note that for the Intel packages discussed here, the directory values in the prefix: entries must be the high-level and typically version-less “installation directory” that has been used by Intel’s product installer. Such a directory will typically accumulate various product versions. Amongst them, Spack will select the correct version-specific product directory based on the @version spec component that each path is being defined for.

For further background and details, see External Packages.

Installing Intel tools within Spack

This section discusses route 2 from the introduction.

When a system does not yet have Intel tools installed already, or the installed versions are undesirable, Spack can install these tools like any regular Spack package for you and, with appropriate pre- and post-install configuration, use its compilers and/or libraries to install client packages.

Install steps for packages with compilers and libraries

The packages intel-parallel-studio and intel (which is a subset of the former) are many-in-one products that contain both compilers and a set of library packages whose scope depends on the edition. Because they are general products geared towards shell environments, it can be somewhat involved to integrate these packages at their full extent into Spack.

Note: To install library-only packages like intel-mkl, intel-mpi, and intel-daal follow the next section instead.

  1. Review the section Configuring spack to use intel licenses.

  1. To install a version of intel-parallel-studio that provides Intel compilers at a version that you have not yet declared in Spack, the following preparatory steps are recommended:

    1. Determine the compiler spec that the new intel-parallel-studio package will provide, as follows: From the package version, combine the last two digits of the version year, a literal “0” (zero), and the version component that immediately follows the year.

      Package version

      Compiler spec provided



      Example: The package intel-parallel-studio@cluster.2018.3 will provide the compiler with spec intel@18.0.3.

    1. Add a new compiler section with the newly anticipated version at the end of a compilers.yaml file in a suitable scope. For example, run:

      $ spack config --scope=user/linux edit compilers

      and append a stub entry:

      - compiler:
          target:     x86_64
          operating_system:   centos6
          modules:    []
          spec:       intel@18.0.3
            cc:       /usr/bin/true
            cxx:      /usr/bin/true
            f77:      /usr/bin/true
            fc:       /usr/bin/true

      Replace 18.0.3 with the version that you determined in the preceding step. The exact contents under paths: do not matter yet, but the paths must exist.

    This temporary stub is required such that the intel-parallel-studio package can be installed for the intel compiler (which the package itself is going to provide after the installation) rather than an arbitrary system compiler. The paths given in cc, cxx, f77, fc must exist, but will never be used to build anything during the installation of intel-parallel-studio.

    The reason for this stub is that intel-parallel-studio also provides the mpi and mkl packages and when concretizing a spec, Spack ensures strong consistency of the used compiler across all dependencies: [fn8]. Installing a package foo +mkl %intel will make Spack look for a package mkl %intel, which can be provided by intel-parallel-studio+mkl %intel, but not by intel-parallel-studio+mkl %gcc.

    Failure to do so may result in additional installations of mkl, intel-mpi or even intel-parallel-studio as dependencies for other packages.

  2. Verify that the compiler version provided by the new studio version would be used as expected if you were to compile a client package:

    $ spack spec zlib %intel

    If the version does not match, explicitly state the anticipated compiler version, e.g.:

    $ spack spec zlib %intel@18.0.3

    if there are problems, review and correct the compiler’s compilers.yaml entry, be it still in stub form or already complete (as it would be for a re-installation).

  3. Install the new studio package using Spack’s regular install command. It may be wise to provide the anticipated compiler (see above) as an explicit concretization element:

    $ spack install intel-parallel-studio@cluster.2018.3  %intel@18.0.3
  4. Follow the same steps as under Integrating external compilers to tell Spack the minutiae for actually using those compilers with client packages. If you placed a stub entry in a compilers.yaml file, now is the time to edit it and fill in the particulars.

    • Under paths:, give the full paths to the actual compiler binaries (icc, ifort, etc.) located within the Spack installation tree, in all their unsightly length [fn9].

      To determine the full path to the C compiler, adapt and run:

      $ find `spack location -i intel-parallel-studio@cluster.2018.3` \
             -name icc -type f -ls

      If you get hits for both intel64 and ia32, you almost certainly will want to use the intel64 variant. The icpc and ifort compilers will be located in the same directory as icc.

    • Make sure to specify modules: ['intel-parallel-studio-cluster2018.3-intel-18.0.3-HASH'] (with HASH being the short hash as displayed when running spack find -l intel-parallel-studio@cluster.2018.3 and the versions adapted accordingly) to ensure that the correct and complete environment for the Intel compilers gets loaded when running them. With modern versions of the Intel compiler you may otherwise see issues about missing libraries. Please also note that module name must exactly match the name as returned by module avail (and shown in the example above).

    • Use the modules: and/or cflags: tokens to further specify a suitable accompanying gcc version to help pacify picky client packages that ask for C++ standards more recent than supported by your system-provided gcc and its

    • If you specified a custom variant (for example +vtune) you may want to add this as your preferred variant in the packages configuration for the intel-parallel-studio package as described in Package Preferences. Otherwise you will have to specify the variant every time intel-parallel-studio is being used as mkl, fftw or mpi implementation to avoid pulling in a different variant.

    • To set the Intel compilers for default use in Spack, instead of the usual %gcc, follow section Selecting Intel compilers.


Compiler packages like intel-parallel-studio can easily be above 10 GB in size, which can tax the disk space available for temporary files on small, busy, or restricted systems (like virtual machines). The Intel installer will stop and report insufficient space as:

==> './' '--silent' 'silent.cfg'
Missing critical prerequisite
-- Not enough disk space

As first remedy, clean Spack’s existing staging area:

$ spack clean --stage

then retry installing the large package. Spack normally cleans staging directories but certain failures may prevent it from doing so.

If the error persists, tell Spack to use an alternative location for temporary files:

  1. Run df -h to identify an alternative location on your system.

  2. Tell Spack to use that location for staging. Do one of the following:

    • Run Spack with the environment variable TMPDIR altered for just a single command. For example, to use your $HOME directory:

      $ TMPDIR="$HOME/spack-stage"  spack install ....

      This example uses Bourne shell syntax. Adapt for other shells as needed.

    • Alternatively, customize Spack’s build_stage configuration setting.

      $ spack config edit config


        - /home/$user/spack-stage

      Do not duplicate the config: line if it already is present. Adapt the location, which here is the same as in the preceding example.

  3. Retry installing the large package.

Install steps for library-only packages

To install library-only packages like intel-mkl, intel-mpi, and intel-daal follow the steps given here. For packages that contain a compiler, follow the previous section instead.

  1. For pre-2017 product releases, review the section Configuring Spack to use Intel licenses.

  2. Inspect the package spec. Specify an explicit compiler if necessary, e.g.:

    $ spack spec intel-mpi@2018.3.199
    $ spack spec intel-mpi@2018.3.199  %intel

    Check that the package will use the compiler flavor and version that you expect.

  3. Install the package normally within Spack. Use the same spec as in the previous command, i.e., as general or as specific as needed:

    $ spack install intel-mpi@2018.3.199
    $ spack install intel-mpi@2018.3.199  %intel@18
  4. To prepare the new packages for use with client packages, follow Selecting libraries to satisfy virtual packages.

Debug notes

  • You can trigger a wall of additional diagnostics using Spack options, e.g.:

    $ spack --debug -v install intel-mpi

    The --debug option can also be useful while installing client packages (see below) to confirm the integration of the Intel tools in Spack, notably MKL and MPI.

  • The .spack/ subdirectory of an installed IntelPackage will contain, besides Spack’s usual archival items, a copy of the silent.cfg file that was passed to the Intel installer:

    $ grep COMPONENTS<hash>/.spack/silent.cfg
  • If an installation error occurs, Spack will normally clean up and remove a partially installed target directory. You can direct Spack to keep it using --keep-prefix, e.g.:

    $ spack install --keep-prefix  intel-mpi

    You must, however, remove such partial installations prior to subsequent installation attempts. Otherwise, the Intel installer will behave incorrectly.

Using Intel tools in Spack to install client packages

Finally, this section pertains to route 3 from the introduction.

Once Intel tools are installed within Spack as external or internal packages they can be used as intended for installing client packages.

Selecting Intel compilers

Select Intel compilers to compile client packages, like any compiler in Spack, by one of the following means:

  • Request the Intel compilers explicitly in the client spec, e.g.:

    $ spack install libxc@3.0.0%intel
  • Alternatively, request Intel compilers implicitly by package preferences. Configure the order of compilers in the appropriate packages.yaml file, under either an all: or client-package-specific entry, in a compiler: list. Consult the Spack documentation for Configuring Package Preferences and Package Preferences.

Example: etc/spack/packages.yaml might simply contain:

    compiler: [ intel, gcc, ]

To be more specific, you can state partial or full compiler version numbers, for example:

    compiler: [ intel@18, intel@17, gcc@4.4.7, gcc@4.9.3, gcc@7.3.0, ]

Selecting libraries to satisfy virtual packages

Intel packages, whether integrated into Spack as external packages or installed within Spack, can be called upon to satisfy the requirement of a client package for a library that is available from different providers. The relevant virtual packages for Intel are blas, lapack, scalapack, and mpi.

In both integration routes, Intel packages can have optional variants which alter the list of virtual packages they can satisfy. For Spack-external packages, the active variants are a combination of the defaults declared in Spack’s package repository and the spec it is declared as in packages.yaml. Needless to say, those should match the components that are actually present in the external product installation. Likewise, for Spack-internal packages, the active variants are determined, persistently at installation time, from the defaults in the repository and the spec selected to be installed.

To have Intel packages satisfy virtual package requests for all or selected client packages, edit the packages.yaml file. Customize, either in the all: or a more specific entry, a providers: dictionary whose keys are the virtual packages and whose values are the Spack specs that satisfy the virtual package, in order of decreasing preference. To learn more about the providers: settings, see the Spack tutorial for Configuring Package Preferences and the section Package Preferences.

Example: The following fairly minimal example for packages.yaml shows how to exclusively use the standalone intel-mkl package for all the linear algebra virtual packages in Spack, and intel-mpi as the preferred MPI implementation. Other providers can still be chosen on a per-package basis.

      mpi:       [intel-mpi]
      blas:      [intel-mkl]
      lapack:    [intel-mkl]
      scalapack: [intel-mkl]

If you have access to the intel-parallel-studio@cluster edition, you can use instead:

    mpi:       [intel-parallel-studio+mpi]
    # Note: +mpi vs. +mkl
    blas:      [intel-parallel-studio+mkl]
    lapack:    [intel-parallel-studio+mkl]
    scalapack: [intel-parallel-studio+mkl]

If you installed intel-parallel-studio within Spack (”route 2”), make sure you followed the special installation step to ensure that its virtual packages match the compilers it provides.

Using Intel tools as explicit dependency

With the proper installation as detailed above, no special steps should be required when a client package specifically (and thus deliberately) requests an Intel package as dependency, this being one of the target use cases for Spack.

Tips for configuring client packages to use MKL

The Math Kernel Library (MKL) is provided by several Intel packages, currently intel-parallel-studio when variant +mkl is active (it is by default) and the standalone intel-mkl. Because of these different provider packages, a virtual mkl package is declared in Spack.

  • To use MKL-specific APIs in a client package:

    Declare a dependency on mkl, rather than a specific provider like intel-mkl. Declare the dependency either absolutely or conditionally based on variants that your package might have declared:

    # Examples for absolute and conditional dependencies:
    depends_on("mkl", when="+mkl")
    depends_on("mkl", when="fftw=mkl")

    The MKLROOT environment variable (part of the documented API) will be set during all stages of client package installation, and is available to both the Spack packaging code and the client code.

  • To use MKL as provider for BLAS, LAPACK, or ScaLAPACK:

    The packages that provide mkl also provide the narrower virtual blas, lapack, and scalapack packages. See the relevant Packaging Guide section for an introduction. To portably use these virtual packages, construct preprocessor and linker option strings in your package configuration code using the package functions .headers and .libs in conjunction with utility functions from the following classes:


    Do not use constructs like .prefix.include or .prefix.lib, with Intel or any other implementation of blas, lapack, and scalapack.

    For example, for an AutotoolsPackage use .libs.ld_flags to transform the library file list into linker options passed to ./configure:

    def configure_args(self):
        args = []
        args.append("--with-blas=%s" % self.spec["blas"].libs.ld_flags)
        args.append("--with-lapack=%s" % self.spec["lapack"].libs.ld_flags)


    Even though .ld_flags will return a string of multiple words, do not use quotes for options like --with-blas=... because Spack passes them to ./configure without invoking a shell.

    Likewise, in a MakefilePackage or similar package that does not use AutoTools you may need to provide include and link options for use on command lines or in environment variables. For example, to generate an option string of the form -I<dir>, use:


    and to generate linker options (-L<dir> -llibname ...), use the same as above,


    See MakefilePackage and more generally the Packaging Guide for background and further examples.



Strictly speaking, versions from 2017.2 onward.

[fn2] (1,2)

The package intel intentionally does not have a +mpi variant since it is meant to be small. The native installer will always add MPI runtime components because it follows defaults defined in the download package, even when intel-parallel-studio ~mpi has been requested.

For intel-parallel-studio +mpi, the class function :py:func:.IntelPackage.pset_components will include "intel-mpi intel-imb" in a list of component patterns passed to the Intel installer. The installer will extend each pattern word with an implied glob-like * to resolve it to package names that are actually present in the product BOM. As a side effect, this pattern approach accommodates occasional package name changes, e.g., capturing both intel-mpirt and intel-mpi-rt .


How could the external installation have succeeded otherwise?


According to Intel’s documentation, there is supposedly a way to install a product using a network license even when a FLEXlm server is not running: Specify the license in the form port@serverhost in the INTEL_LICENSE_FILE environment variable. All other means of specifying a network license require that the license server be up.


Despite the name, INTEL_LICENSE_FILE can hold several and diverse entries. They can be either directories (presumed to contain *.lic files), file names, or network locations in the form port@host (on Linux and Mac), with all items separated by “:” (on Linux and Mac).


Should said editor turn out to be vi, you better be in a position to know how to use it.


Comment lines in FLEXlm files, indicated by # as the first non-whitespace character on the line, are generally allowed anywhere in the file. There have been reports, however, that as of 2018, SERVER and USE_SERVER lines must precede any comment lines.


Spack’s close coupling of installed packages to compilers, which both necessitates the detour for installing intel-parallel-studio, and largely limits any of its provided virtual packages to a single compiler, heavily favors recommending to install Intel Parallel Studio outside of Spack and declare it for Spack in packages.yaml by a compiler-less spec.


With some effort, you can convince Spack to use shorter paths.


Altering the naming scheme means that Spack will lose track of all packages it has installed for you so far. That said, the time is right for this kind of customization when you are defining a new set of compilers.

The relevant tunables are:

  1. Set the install_tree location in config.yaml (see doc).

  2. Set the hash length in install-path-scheme, also in config.yaml (q.v.).

  3. You will want to set the same hash length for module files if you have Spack produce them for you, under projections in modules.yaml.