What’s new in Spack?

The IDEAS Productivity project, in partnership with the DOE Computing Facilities of the ALCF, OLCF, and NERSC and the DOE Exascale Computing Project (ECP) has resumed the webinar series on Best Practices for HPC Software Developers, which we began in 2016.

As part of this series, we offer one-hour webinars on topics in scientific software development and high-performance computing, approximately once a month. The July webinar was titled What’s new in Spack?, and was presented by Todd Gamblin (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory). The webinar took place on Wednesday, July 15, 2020 at 1:00 pm ET.


Spack is a package manager for scientific computing, with a rapidly growing open source community. With over 500 contributors from academia, industry, and government laboratories, Spack has a wide range of use cases, from small-scale development on laptops and clusters, to software release management for the U.S. Exascale Computing Project, to user software deployment on 6 of the top 10 supercomputer sites in the world.

Spack isn’t just for facilities, though! As a package manager, Spack is in a powerful position to impact DevOps and daily software development workflows. Spack has virtual environments that enable the “manifest and lock” model popularized by more mainstream dependency management tools. New releases of Spack include direct support for creating containers and GitLab CI pipelines for building environments. This webinar covered new features as well as the near- and long-term roadmap for Spack.