The software packaging and distribution activity and working group is getting underway to address common issues, tools, and approaches, convened by Liz Sexton-Kennedy (FNAL) and Benedikt Hegner (CERN). The activity was launched with a meeting on Feb 25 2015. All are welcome to join the forum and participate:

Software Packaging Tools Discussion Forum


The aim of this working group is to foster communication and exchange among the experiments’ librarians. We identified various topics to work on. Some of them are:

  1. Common build recipes and tools
  2. How to take most advantage of technologies like dockers
  3. Exchange of experience with the CMake eco-system

We started by tackling the first item.

Common Build Recipes and Tools

Software development in high energy physics follows the paradigm of open-source software (OSS). Experiments as well as the theory community heavily rely on software being developed outside of the field. Creating a consistent and working stack out of 100s of packages, on a variety of platforms is a non-trivial task. Within the field multiple technical solutions exist to configure and build those stacks. None of this work is experiment specific and our working group agrees that this effort is being duplicated.

We held various meetings to look at the existing build and packaging solutions

Date Main topic
25.2.2015 Brainstorming session
2.6.2015 DUNE approach
9.6.2015 LCGCMake
16.6.2015 cmsBuild
23.6.2015 SciSoft, Contractor
4.11.2015 AliBuild
18.11.2015 Conda
10.02.2016 Spack
02.11.2017 Gentoo’s Portage

During these meetings we looked at the following community-driven projects

and the following open-source projects

The summary of our analysis has been summarized in a Technical note on Build Tools

Existing build recipes

Other resources