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Impact is a Modelica package manager.


The concept was first presented in impact - A Modelica Package Manager

Michael Tiller, Dietmar Winkler (2014). impact - A Modelica Package Manager, Proceedings of the 10th International Modelica Conference, March 10-12, 2014, Lund, Sweden

A follow-up paper Where impact got Going explained the new resolution algorithm used by impact to identify library dependencies.

Michael Tiller, Dietmar Winkler (2015). Where impact got Going, Proceedings of the 11th International Modelica Conference, September 21-23, 2015, Versailles, France

Further motivation for why we need to have package management for mathematical models can be found in Bret Victor's excellent essay What Can a Technologist Do about Climate Change? where he asks the question "What if there were an 'npm' for scientific models?". Of course, our answer would be "there already is". 😃

Search Applications

Not only can impact be used as a package manager, but the indices that it creates can also be used to drive a web application that helps users explore the set of available Modelica libraries. That web application can be found at:

The source code for the web application is also open source and is hosted on GitHub as well.


Impact was initially development in Python which is also the version presented in the Modelica 2014 paper.

Based on user feedback it became apparent that having to rely on a Python run-time environment installed in order to use impact might become an issue.

Therefore it was decided to switch to a Go language implementation in an attempt to create a static executable that is compatible with the impact scheme for Modelica package management without the need for any additional run-time support (e.g., Node.js, Python).

Version history

Available versions can be grouped into:


Self-contained executable binaries are available under the release section for a whole range of operating systems.

Simply download the matching archive and extract its content to a place that suits you best (preferable inside a directory which is part of your executable system $PATH).


Impact follows a "convention over configuration" philosophy. That means that if you follow some reasonable conventions (that generally reflect best practices), the system should work without the need for any manual configuration. Here are the conventions that Impact expects:

  • The name of the repository should match (case included) the name of your library.

  • Semantic Versioning - To identify a library release, simply attach a tag to the release that is a semantic version (an optional "v" at the start of the tag name is allowed).

  • Place the file for your library in one of the following locations within the repository:

    • ./ (i.e., at the root of the repository)

    • ./<LibraryName>/ (i.e., within a directory sharing the name of the library)

    • ./<LibraryName> <Version>/ (i.e., within a directory sharing the name of the library followed by a space followed by the tag name, without any leading v present)


To build this, you need to have Go installed. Go will create the proper build environment for you. All you need to specify is:

$ export GOPATH=/some/path

and then run:

$ go get

which will automatically clone a copy of the git repository and all its dependencies, compile impact and put them in a structure like


To build as static executable again, just run:

$ go install

from inside


This will create a static executable of called impact in $GOPATH/bin.

Cross Compiling

The impact/Makefile includes targets to build cross-compiled executables.

In order to be able to cross-compile you need to have built GO for all the compilation targets.

Under Ubuntu Linux

Those are already available in the repo:

$ sudo apt-get install golang-$GOOS-$GOARCH

The available $GOOS and $GOARCH variants are documented in the Go-lang documentation.

Under OSX

The cross compiling Go compiler can be installed with the command:

  $ brew install go --cross-compile-common


See LICENSE file


The development takes place on

For more information on how to contribute please look at

You may report any issues with using the Issues button.

Contributions in shape of Pull Requests are always welcome.