The US DOE Exascale Computing Project (ECP) Announces the Availability of the Extreme-scale Scientific Software Stack (E4S) v1.2

The Extreme-scale Scientific Software Stack (E4S) has just made the v1.2 release public.

E4S is a community effort to provide open source software packages for developing, deploying and running scientific applications on most high-performance computing (HPC) platforms from laptops to supercomputers.

The E4S v1.2 release is a significant new release that includes the majority of ECP Software Technology (ST) portfolio of software products. This release is intended to demonstrate the target approach for future delivery of the full ECP ST software stack as well as the usability of the current incarnation of the currently over 90 different packages and libraries. Links to product documentation and user forums can be found on the E4S DocPortal.

E4S DocPortal: Single-point access to product documentation

In addition to a refresh of existing packages in E4S v1.1 and new packages not available before in E4S, the ECP also announced the E4S DocPortal.  DocPortal provides a single point of access to documentation for E4S products.  The portal provides a searchable and sortable high-level description of each E4S product, including important information such as license and support for the product, along with a link to the full documentation of the product.  DocPortal content is refreshed daily from the product repositories, so it is always the latest available content.

E4S build cache: 10X reduction in build times

E4S has also established build cache capabilities for from-source Spack builds.  The cache contains tens-of-thousands of already-built binaries from previous Spack builds.  If a future Spack build sees the same signature, it can pull the binary instead of rebuilding.  Users of this cache have observed a 10X build time improvement.

E4S Community Policies: A commitment to quality

The E4S team is also proud to announce Version 1.0 of its E4S Community Policies.  These policies represent the first phase of quality commitment to E4S users.  E4S member packages commit to satisfying the policies, which are designed to better ensure software quality and improved user experience.  E4S is committed to improving product quality through these policies.

Each E4S software distribution is built and tested regularly on a variety of platforms, from Linux clusters to leadership platforms. As this is a demonstration release, not all the packages are fully interoperable.

E4S exists to accelerate the development, deployment and use of tested and verified HPC software. For this reason, E4S uses the Spack meta-build tool to provide containers, turn-key pre-built binaries and from-source build capabilities:

  • Containers:  The current E4S container offerings include Docker, Singularity, CharlieCloud, and OVA images. Various CPUs are supported including X86_64, PPC64LE, and AARCH64. Popular Linux distributions are also supported including Hat RHEL 7, Ubuntu 18.04 (Bionic), and CentOS 7. Minimal Spack images serve as a foundation for lean production runs and to create the fuller, more tailored E4S images containing a comprehensive selection of E4S software. The latter are ideal for trying out the E4S software.
  • Turn-key: The E4S recipes make use of Spack packages available as pre-built binaries in the E4S Build Cache. The cache currently has more than 22k entries.
  • From-source: Recipes for building images from scratch are available on the E4S GitHub repository.

More information on E4S version 1.2 can be found on the website.