RCE 102: Spack

Created on Friday, 30 October 2015 22:29
Written by Brock Palen

Brock Palen and Jeff Squyres speak with Todd Gamblin about Spack. Spack is a package management tool designed to support multiple versions and configurations of software on a wide variety of platforms and environments. It was designed for large supercomputing centers, where many users and application teams share common installations of software on clusters with exotic architectures, using libraries that do not have a standard ABI. Spack is non-destructive: installing a new version does not break existing installations, so many configurations can coexist on the same system.

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Todd is a computer scientist in the Center for Applied Scientific Computing at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory . His research focuses on scalable tools for measuring, analyzing, and visualizing performance the performance of massively parallel simulations. Todd works closely with production simulation teams at LLNL, and he likes to create tools that users can pick up easily.

Frustrated with the complexity of building HPC performance tools, Todd started developing Spack two years ago to allow users to painlessly install software on big machines. Spack has since been adopted by Livermore Computing, other HPC centers, and LLNL application teams. The open source project now includes several core developers at LLNL and a rapidly growing community on GitHub. A 1.0 release is coming soon.