Known Issues

This is a list of known bugs in Spack. It provides ways of getting around these problems if you encounter them.

Variants are not properly forwarded to dependencies

Status: Expected to be fixed in the next release

Sometimes, a variant of a package can also affect how its dependencies are built. For example, in order to build MPI support for a package, it may require that its dependencies are also built with MPI support. In the package.py, this looks like:

depends_on('hdf5~mpi', when='~mpi')
depends_on('hdf5+mpi', when='+mpi')

Spack handles this situation properly for immediate dependencies, and builds hdf5 with the same variant you used for the package that depends on it. However, for indirect dependencies (dependencies of dependencies), Spack does not backtrack up the DAG far enough to handle this. Users commonly run into this situation when trying to build R with X11 support:

$ spack install r+X
...
==> Error: Invalid spec: 'cairo@1.14.8%gcc@6.2.1+X arch=linux-fedora25-x86_64 ^bzip2@1.0.6%gcc@6.2.1+shared arch=linux-fedora25-x86_64 ^font-util@1.3.1%gcc@6.2.1 arch=linux-fedora25-x86_64 ^fontconfig@2.12.1%gcc@6.2.1 arch=linux-fedora25-x86_64 ^freetype@2.7.1%gcc@6.2.1 arch=linux-fedora25-x86_64 ^gettext@0.19.8.1%gcc@6.2.1+bzip2+curses+git~libunistring+libxml2+tar+xz arch=linux-fedora25-x86_64 ^glib@2.53.1%gcc@6.2.1~libmount arch=linux-fedora25-x86_64 ^inputproto@2.3.2%gcc@6.2.1 arch=linux-fedora25-x86_64 ^kbproto@1.0.7%gcc@6.2.1 arch=linux-fedora25-x86_64 ^libffi@3.2.1%gcc@6.2.1 arch=linux-fedora25-x86_64 ^libpng@1.6.29%gcc@6.2.1 arch=linux-fedora25-x86_64 ^libpthread-stubs@0.4%gcc@6.2.1 arch=linux-fedora25-x86_64 ^libx11@1.6.5%gcc@6.2.1 arch=linux-fedora25-x86_64 ^libxau@1.0.8%gcc@6.2.1 arch=linux-fedora25-x86_64 ^libxcb@1.12%gcc@6.2.1 arch=linux-fedora25-x86_64 ^libxdmcp@1.1.2%gcc@6.2.1 arch=linux-fedora25-x86_64 ^libxext@1.3.3%gcc@6.2.1 arch=linux-fedora25-x86_64 ^libxml2@2.9.4%gcc@6.2.1~python arch=linux-fedora25-x86_64 ^libxrender@0.9.10%gcc@6.2.1 arch=linux-fedora25-x86_64 ^ncurses@6.0%gcc@6.2.1~symlinks arch=linux-fedora25-x86_64 ^openssl@1.0.2k%gcc@6.2.1 arch=linux-fedora25-x86_64 ^pcre@8.40%gcc@6.2.1+utf arch=linux-fedora25-x86_64 ^pixman@0.34.0%gcc@6.2.1 arch=linux-fedora25-x86_64 ^pkg-config@0.29.2%gcc@6.2.1+internal_glib arch=linux-fedora25-x86_64 ^python@2.7.13%gcc@6.2.1+shared~tk~ucs4 arch=linux-fedora25-x86_64 ^readline@7.0%gcc@6.2.1 arch=linux-fedora25-x86_64 ^renderproto@0.11.1%gcc@6.2.1 arch=linux-fedora25-x86_64 ^sqlite@3.18.0%gcc@6.2.1 arch=linux-fedora25-x86_64 ^tar^util-macros@1.19.1%gcc@6.2.1 arch=linux-fedora25-x86_64 ^xcb-proto@1.12%gcc@6.2.1 arch=linux-fedora25-x86_64 ^xextproto@7.3.0%gcc@6.2.1 arch=linux-fedora25-x86_64 ^xproto@7.0.31%gcc@6.2.1 arch=linux-fedora25-x86_64 ^xtrans@1.3.5%gcc@6.2.1 arch=linux-fedora25-x86_64 ^xz@5.2.3%gcc@6.2.1 arch=linux-fedora25-x86_64 ^zlib@1.2.11%gcc@6.2.1+pic+shared arch=linux-fedora25-x86_64'.
Package cairo requires variant ~X, but spec asked for +X

A workaround is to explicitly activate the variants of dependencies as well:

$ spack install r+X ^cairo+X ^pango+X

See https://github.com/spack/spack/issues/267 and https://github.com/spack/spack/issues/2546 for further details.

spack setup doesn’t work

Status: Work in progress

Spack provides a setup command that is useful for the development of software outside of Spack. Unfortunately, this command no longer works. See https://github.com/spack/spack/issues/2597 and https://github.com/spack/spack/issues/2662 for details. This is expected to be fixed by https://github.com/spack/spack/pull/2664.