Spack is a multi-platform package manager that builds and installs multiple versions and configurations of software. It works on Linux, macOS, and many supercomputers. Spack is non-destructive: installing a new version of a package does not break existing installations, so many configurations of the same package can coexist.
Spack offers a simple "spec" syntax that allows users to specify versions and configuration options. Package files are written in pure Python, and specs allow package authors to write a single script for many different builds of the same package. With Spack, you can build your software all the ways you want to.
See the Feature Overview for examples and highlights.
To install spack and your first package, make sure you have Python. Then:
$ git clone -c feature.manyFiles=true https://github.com/spack/spack.git
$ cd spack/bin
$ ./spack install zlib
Full documentation is available, or
spack help or
spack help --all.
For a cheat sheet on Spack syntax, run
spack help --spec.
We maintain a hands-on tutorial. It covers basic to advanced usage, packaging, developer features, and large HPC deployments. You can do all of the exercises on your own laptop using a Docker container.
Feel free to use these materials to teach users at your organization about Spack.
Spack is an open source project. Questions, discussion, and contributions are welcome. Contributions can be anything from new packages to bugfixes, documentation, or even new core features.
- Slack workspace: spackpm.slack.com. To get an invitation, visit slack.spack.io.
- Matrix space: #spack-space:matrix.org: bridged to Slack.
- Github Discussions: for Q&A and discussions. Note the pinned discussions for announcements.
- Twitter: @spackpm. Be sure to
- Mailing list: groups.google.com/d/forum/spack: only for announcements. Please use other venues for discussions.
Your PR must pass Spack's unit tests and documentation tests, and must be PEP 8 compliant. We enforce these guidelines with our CI process. To run these tests locally, and for helpful tips on git, see our Contribution Guide.
develop branch has the latest contributions. Pull requests
develop, and users who want the latest package versions,
features, etc. can use
For multi-user site deployments or other use cases that need very stable software installations, we recommend using Spack's stable releases.
Each Spack release series also has a corresponding branch, e.g.
0.14.x versions of Spack, and
0.13.x versions. We backport important bug fixes to these branches but
we do not advance the package versions or make other changes that would
change the way Spack concretizes dependencies within a release branch.
So, you can base your Spack deployment on a release branch and
to get fixes, without the package churn that comes with
The latest release is always available with the
See the docs on releases for more details.
Code of Conduct
Please note that Spack has a Code of Conduct. By participating in the Spack community, you agree to abide by its rules.
Many thanks go to Spack's contributors.
Spack was created by Todd Gamblin, firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are referencing Spack in a publication, please cite the following paper:
- Todd Gamblin, Matthew P. LeGendre, Michael R. Collette, Gregory L. Lee, Adam Moody, Bronis R. de Supinski, and W. Scott Futral. The Spack Package Manager: Bringing Order to HPC Software Chaos. In Supercomputing 2015 (SC’15), Austin, Texas, November 15-20 2015. LLNL-CONF-669890.
On GitHub, you can copy this citation in APA or BibTeX format via the "Cite this repository"
button. Or, see the comments in
CITATION.cff for the raw BibTeX.
Spack is distributed under the terms of both the MIT license and the Apache License (Version 2.0). Users may choose either license, at their option.
All new contributions must be made under both the MIT and Apache-2.0 licenses.
SPDX-License-Identifier: (Apache-2.0 OR MIT)