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A tool for building a scientific software stack from a recipe on HPE Cray EX systems.

It is used to build software vClusters on Alps infrastructure at CSCS.

Getting Stackinator

To get the latest version, download directly from GitHub.

git clone
cd stackinator

The script will install the necessary dependencies, so that Stackinator can be run as a standalone application.

Once installed, add the bin sub-directory to your path:

export PATH="<stackinator-install-path>/bin:$PATH"

Using Pip

Stackinator is available on PyPi:

pip install stackinator


The PyPi package is only updated for releases, so you will likely be missing the latest and greatest features. Let us know if you need more regular PyPi updates.

Quick Start

Stackinator generates the make files and spack configurations that build the spack environments that are packaged together in the spack stack. It can be thought of as equivalent to calling cmake or configure, before running make to run the configured build.

# configure the build
stack-config --build $BUILD_PATH --recipe $RECIPE_PATH --system $SYSTEM_CONFIG_PATH

Where the BUILD_PATH is the path where the build will be configured, the RECIPE_PATH contains the recipe for the sotware stack, and SYSTEM_CONFIG_PATH is the system configuration for the cluster being targeted.

Once configured, the build stack is built in the build path using make:

# build the spack stack
env --ignore-environment PATH=/usr/bin:/bin:`pwd`/spack/bin make modules store.squashfs -j64

See the documentation on building Spack stacks for more information.

Once the build has finished successfully the software can be installed.


On Alps the software stack can be tested using the SquashFS image generated by the build:

squashfs-mount store.squashfs:/user-environment -- bash
ls /user-environment