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Language and Hardware Independent Quantum Programming Framework

XACC is an extensible compilation framework for hybrid quantum-classical computing architectures. It provides extensible language frontend and hardware backend compilation components glued together via a novel quantum intermediate representation. XACC currently supports quantum-classical programming and enables the execution of quantum kernels on IBM, Rigetti, and D-Wave QPUs, as well as a number of quantum computer simulators.


Quick Start

Click Gitpod Ready-to-Code to open up a pre-configured Eclipse Theia IDE. You should immediately be able to run any of the C++ or Python examples from the included terminal:

[example C++ executables are in build/quantum/examples/*]
$ build/quantum/examples/qasm/deuteron_from_qasm

[example Python scripts are in python/examples/*]
$ python3 python/examples/

[run some XACC benchmarks]
$ python3 -m xacc --benchmark python/benchmark/chemistry/benchmarks/nah_ucc1.ini 

All code is here and you can quickly start developing. We recommend turning on file auto-save by clicking File > Auto Save . Note the Gitpod free account provides 100 hours of use for the month, so if you foresee needing more time, we recommend our nightly docker images.

The XACC nightly docker images also serve an Eclipse Theia IDE on port 3000. To get started, run

$ docker run --security-opt seccomp=unconfined --init -it -p 3000:3000

Navigate to https://localhost:3000 in your browser to open the IDE and get started with XACC.

Build from Source

Full installation details can be followed here.

Ensure that you have installed CMake 3.12+, a C++17 compliant compiler (GCC 8+, Clang 5+), and CURL development headers and libraries with OpenSSL support (see prerequisites).

It is also recommended (though optional) that you install BLAS and LAPACK development libraries (for various simulators), Python 3 development headers (for the Python API), and Libunwind (for stack trace printing).

To enable XACC Python support, ensure that python3 is set to your desired version of Python 3. CMake will find the corresponding development headers. Ensure that when you try to run XACC-enabled Python scripts you are using the same python3 executable that was set during your build.

Clone the repository recursively, configure with cmake and build with make

$ git clone
$ cd xacc && mkdir build && cd build
[default cmake call]
$ cmake ..
[with tests and examples]
[now build xacc]
$ make install
[for a speedier build on linux]
$ make -j$(nproc --all) install
[and on mac os x]
$ make -j$(sysctl -n hw.physicalcpu) install
[if built with tests, run them]
$ ctest --output-on-failure

CMake options:

  • XACC_DEPS_EXTERNAL: [Optional, default = OFF] XACC to search externally for its third-party dependencies. When turning on, XACC will try to use find_package to locate its required dependencies before falling back to using the builtin submodules in tpls.

    Note: when turning on this flag, it is your responsibility to manage the compatibility of those tpls. For example, XACC compilation may fail if the externally-installed library version is incompatible with the builtin one.

See full documentation for all CMake optional arguments.

Your installation will be in $HOME/.xacc. If you built with the Python API, be sure to update your PYTHONPATH environment variable to point to the installation:


You will probably want the XACC default simulator, TNQVM. To install, run the following:

$ git clone
$ cd tnqvm && mkdir build && cd build
$ cmake .. -DXACC_DIR=~/.xacc
$ make install

Questions, Bug Reporting, and Issue Tracking

Questions, bug reporting and issue tracking are provided by GitHub. Please report all bugs by creating a new issue with the bug tag. You can ask questions by creating a new issue with the question tag.


XACC is dual licensed - Eclipse Public License and Eclipse Distribution License.


If you use XACC in your research, please use the following citation

	doi = {10.1088/2058-9565/ab6bf6},
	url = {},
	year = 2020,
	month = {feb},
	publisher = {{IOP} Publishing},
	volume = {5},
	number = {2},
	pages = {024002},
	author = {Alexander J McCaskey and Dmitry I Lyakh and Eugene F Dumitrescu and Sarah S Powers and Travis S Humble},
	title = {{XACC}: a system-level software infrastructure for heterogeneous quantum{\textendash}classical computing},
	journal = {Quantum Science and Technology}


XACC - eXtreme-scale Accelerator programming framework



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