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SAT Heritage - Docker images of SAT solvers

A community-driven effort for archiving, building and running more than thousand SAT solvers

Solvers count PyPI version Docker Hub Zenodo Gitter


SAT research has a long history of source code and binary releases, thanks to competitions organized every year. However, since every cycle of competitions has its own set of rules and an adhoc way of publishing source code and binaries, compiling or even running any solver may be harder than what it seems. And there has been more than a thousand solvers published so far, some of them released in the early 90's!

This project drives a community-driven effort to archive and to allow easy compilation and running of all SAT solvers that have been released so far.

Thanks to our tool, building (or running) a solver from its source (or from its binary) can be done in one line.



docker run --rm -v $PWD:/data satex/<tool>:<year> <DIMACS> [<PROOF>]

satex Python script


pip install -U satex     # you may have to use pip3

In case satex commands fails with command not found error, try doing export PATH=$HOME/.local/bin:$PATH beforehand. If it works, add this fixture within your ~/.bashrc or ~/.profile file. See

List images

satex list
satex list '*:2018'
satex list 'maple*'

By default, satex considers only solvers which have been validated. Solvers which are not yet validated can be listed with --unstable option; those which are not compiling/working with --fixme; all the referenced solvers are considered with the --all option:

satex list --fixme      # solvers to be fixed
satex list --unstable   # solvers to be tested
satex list --all        # all referenced solvers


Print information related to solvers, including authors, command line, validation status. and possibly comments.

satex info 'glucose*'
satex info '*:2018'

Run images

satex run cadical:2019 dimacs [proof]
satex run '*:2016' dimacs [proof]
satex run '*:2009' dimacs -e MAXNBTHREAD=24

Run images with direct call to solvers

satex run-raw cadical:2019 -h

Open shell

satex shell cadical:2019

Extract solvers binaries

satex extract '*:2019' /tmp/

Repository management


satex build '*:2018'
satex test '*:2018'
satex push '*:2018'

Persistent storage for sources and binaries

Consider using Zenodo for storing your software, as it provides persistent and versioned URLs.


Adding solvers

Solvers are grouped by sets, typically year of competitions. Each set has its own directory and is referenced in index.json. The minimal structure of a <set> directory is the following:

  • <set>/solvers.json: configuration file for running solvers.
  • <set>/setup.json: configuration file for building images


JSON object where keys are the solver identifiers (necessarily in lower case), and values are JSON objects with the following keys:

key type description
name string Name of the solver, without case restriction
call string Name of the executable
path string Directory from which the executable should be called.
Default: name
args string list arguments to the executable for simple solving. See below for allowed keywords.
argsproof string list arguments to the executable for solving with proof output. See below for allowed keywords
gz boolean If true, the solver supports natively gzipped input files. If false, an input file ending with .gz will be first decompressed by the wrapper script.

The following keywords are allowed in args and argsproof:

keyword description
FILECNF  Replaced by the absolute path (within the Docker container) to the input DIMACS file.
Whenever the input file ends with .gz and gz is False, the input file is unzipped as /tmp/gunzipped.cnf
FILEPROOF Replaced by the absolute path (within the Docker container) to the output file for proof 
MAXNBTHREAD Replaced by the MAXNBTHREAD environment variable; 1 by default.
Example: satex run asolver:ayear my.cnf -e MAXNBTHREAD=8
MEMLIMIT Replaced by the MEMLIMIT environment variable; 1024 by default.
RANDOMSEED Replaced by the RANDOMSEED environment variable; 1234567 by default.
TIMEOUT Replaced by the TIMEOUT environment variable; 3600 by default.


    "abcdsat": {
        "name": "abcdSAT_drup",
        "call": "./abcdsat_drup",
        "gz": true,
        "args": [
        "argsproof": [
    "lingeling": {
        "call": "./lingeling",
        "name": "Lingelingbbcmain",
        "gz": true,
        "args": [
        "argsproof": [


JSON object with the following keys, used by default for each solver. A solver can override these by adding a key with its identifier and a value being a JSON object with a subset of the following keys.

key description
base_version Version of the base image for running the solver (base/{base_version})
base_from Image to inherit from for running the solver
builder Path to the Docker recipe for compiling the solver. If it is not starting with generic/, the path is relative to the set directory. The path should contain at least a Dockerfile. The builder recipe should install the solver binaries into /dist.
builder_base Image to inherit from for compiling the solver
image_name Python format string with ENTRY being the set name and SOLVER the solver identifier
Default: "{SOLVER}:{ENTRY}"
dist_version  Version of the recipe for assembling the solver image (generic/dist-{dist_version})
Default: "v1" 
download_url Python format string for downloading the solver source/binary
BUILD_DEPENDS  Additional packages to install for compiling the solver.
Used by generic/v1 builder
RDEPENDS  Additional packages to install for running the executable.
Used by generic/dist-v1 assembler

Python format strings can use the following variables:

  • SOLVER: solver identifier (keys in solvers.json)
  • SOLVER_NAME: solver name (specified in solvers.json)

The images for running and building the solver (base_from and builder_base) are usually Debian distribution of the year of the competition: see debian and debian/eol DockerHub repositories, and timeline and detailed history of Debian releases.


    "base_version": "v1",
    "base_from": "debian:stretch-slim",
    "builder": "generic/v1",
    "builder_base": "debian:stretch-slim",
    "download_url": "{SOLVER_NAME}.zip?download=1",
    "asolver": {
        "builder": "generic/binary-v1",
        "download_url": "{SOLVER_NAME}"


The Docker images are for academic and educational use only.

The satex ( program is distributed under the MIT license. Please see the LICENSE file for more details.