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v0.14.0 (2020-02-23)

v0.14.0 is a major feature release, with 3 highlighted features:

  1. Distributed builds. Multiple Spack instances will now coordinate properly with each other through locks. This works on a single node (where you've called spack several times) or across multiple nodes with a shared filesystem. For example, with SLURM, you could build trilinos and its dependencies on 2 24-core nodes, with 3 Spack instances per node and 8 build jobs per instance, with srun -N 2 -n 6 spack install -j 8 trilinos. This requires a filesystem with locking enabled, but not MPI or any other library for parallelism.

  2. Build pipelines. You can also build in parallel through Gitlab CI. Simply create a Spack environment and push it to Gitlab to build on Gitlab runners. Pipeline support is now integreated into a single spack ci command, so setting it up is easier than ever. See the Pipelines section in the docs.

  3. Container builds. The new spack containerize command allows you to create a Docker or Singularity recipe from any Spack environment. There are options to customize the build if you need them. See the Container Images section in the docs.

In addition, there are several other new commands, many bugfixes and improvements, and spack load no longer requires modules, so you can use it the same way on your laptop or on your supercomputer.

Spack grew by over 300 packages since our last release in November 2019, and the project grew to over 500 contributors. Thanks to all of you for making yet another great release possible. Detailed notes below.

Major new core features

  • Distributed builds: spack instances coordinate and build in parallel (#13100)
  • New spack ci command to manage CI pipelines (#12854)
  • Generate container recipes from environments: spack containerize (#14202)
  • spack load now works without using modules (#14062, #14628)
  • Garbage collect old/unused installations with spack gc (#13534)
  • Configuration files all set environment modifications the same way (#14372, docs)
  • spack commands --format=bash auto-generates completion (#14393, #14607)
  • Packages can specify alternate fetch URLs in case one fails (#13881)


Selected Bugfixes

  • Compilers now require an exact match on version (#8735, #14730, #14752)
  • Bugfix for patches that specified specific versions (#13989)
  • spack find -p now works in environments (#10019, #13972)
  • Dependency queries work correctly in spack find (#14757)
  • Bugfixes for locking upstream Spack instances chains (#13364)
  • Fixes for PowerPC clang optimization flags (#14196)
  • Fix for issue with compilers and specific microarchitectures (#13733, #14798)

New commands and options

  • spack ci (#12854)
  • spack containerize (#14202)
  • spack gc (#13534)
  • spack load accepts --only package, --only dependencies (#14062, #14628)
  • spack commands --format=bash (#14393)
  • spack commands --update-completion (#14607)
  • spack install --with-cache has new option: --no-check-signature (#11107)
  • spack test now has --list, --list-long, and --list-names (#14319)
  • spack install --help-cdash moves CDash help out of the main help (#13704)


  • spack release-jobs has been rolled into spack ci
  • spack bootstrap will be removed in a future version, as it is no longer needed to set up modules (see spack load improvements above)


  • New section on building container images with Spack (see docs)
  • New section on using spack ci command to build pipelines (see docs)
  • Document how to add conditional dependencies (#14694)
  • Document how to use Spack to replace Homebrew/Conda (#13083, see docs)

Important package changes

  • 3,908 total packages (345 added since 0.13.0)
  • Added first cut at a TensorFlow package (#13112)
  • We now build R without "recommended" packages, manage them w/Spack (#12015)
  • Elpa and OpenBLAS now leverage microarchitecture support (#13655, #14380)
  • Fix octave compiler wrapper usage (#14726)
  • Enforce that packages in builtin aren't missing dependencies (#13949)