ImpactX depends on the following popular third party software. Please see installation instructions below.

  • a mature C++17 compiler, e.g., GCC 7, Clang 7, NVCC 11.0, MSVC 19.15 or newer

  • CMake 3.15.0+

  • Git 2.18+

  • AMReX: we automatically download and compile a copy

  • WarpX: we automatically download and compile a copy

Optional dependencies include:


Pick one of the installation methods below to install all dependencies for ImpactX development in a consistent manner.

Conda (Linux/macOS/Windows)

With MPI (only Linux/macOS):

conda create -n impactx-dev -c conda-forge ccache cmake compilers git "openpmd-api=*=mpi_mpich*" python mpich numpy scipy yt "fftw=*=mpi_mpich*" matplotlib mamba ninja numpy pandas pytest scipy
conda activate impactx-dev

Without MPI:

conda create -n impactx-nompi-dev -c conda-forge ccache cmake compilers git openpmd-api python numpy scipy yt fftw matplotlib mamba ninja numpy pandas scipy
conda activate impactx-nompi-dev

# compile ImpactX with -DImpactX_MPI=OFF


A general option to deactivate that conda self-activates its base environment. This avoids interference with the system and other package managers.

conda config --set auto_activate_base false

Spack (macOS/Linux)

spack env create impactx-dev
spack env activate impactx-dev
spack add adios2        # for openPMD
spack add ccache
spack add cmake
spack add fftw
spack add hdf5          # for openPMD
spack add mpi
spack add pkgconfig     # for fftw
spack add python
spack add py-pip
spack add py-setuptools
spack add py-wheel

# OpenMP support on macOS
[[ $OSTYPE == 'darwin'* ]] && spack add llvm-openmp

# optional: Linux only
#spack add cuda

spack install
python3 -m pip install matplotlib numpy openpmd-api pandas pytest scipy

In new terminals, re-activate the environment with spack env activate impactx-dev again.

Brew (macOS/Linux)

brew update
brew install adios2      # for openPMD
brew install ccache
brew install cmake
brew install fftw
brew install git
brew install hdf5-mpi    # for openPMD
brew install libomp      # for OpenMP
brew install pkg-config  # for fftw
brew install open-mpi
brew install python
python3 -m pip install matplotlib yt scipy numpy openpmd-api

Apt (Debian/Ubuntu)

sudo apt update
sudo apt install build-essential ccache cmake g++ git libfftw3-mpi-dev libfftw3-dev libhdf5-openmpi-dev libopenmpi-dev pkg-config python3 python3-matplotlib python3-numpy python3-pandas python3-scipy