Installing GPAW with conda

[Updated on 14.09.2022]

In short, in a clean environment, everything should work with just five lines:


Initialize conda. If it is in the .bashch, source it. If not, source “PATHTOCONDA/miniconda3/etc/profile.d/”.

conda create --name gpaw python=3
conda activate gpaw
conda install -c conda-forge gpaw=22.8=*openmpi*

For details, see the description below.

1. Install conda – software and environment management system.

Here is the official instruction:

On August 2022, run these:


If you wish to autostart conda, allow it to write to your .bashrc.

P.S. Here are good intros to conda:

2. Create a conda virtual environment:

conda create --name gpaw python=3.10

If needed, remove the environment as:

conda remove --name gpaw --all

You can check the available environments as:

conda env list

3. Activate the virtual environment.

conda activate gpaw

4. Install gpaw:

Ensure that no interfering modules and environments are loaded.

Purge modules by executing:

module purge

To check whether some code (like mpirun) has an alternative path, try:

which codename


codename --version

There should be no mpirun, ase, libxc, numpy, scipy, etc. Otherwise, the installation with conda will most probably fail due to conflicting paths.

4.1. It is safer to install using gpaw*.yml file from vliv/conda directory on FEND:

conda env create -f gpaw.yml

Note that there are many yml files with different versions of GPAW.

4.2. Pure installation is simple, but might not work:

conda install -c conda-forge gpaw=*=*openmpi*

Recently, there were problems with openmpi. Try downgrading it to version 4.1.2:

conda install -c conda-forge openmpi=4.1.2

You might with to install ucx but be aware that there are many problems with it; e. g. depending on mlx version:

conda install -c conda-forge ucx

If you get an error about GLIBCXX, try upgrading gcc:

conda install -c conda-forge gcc=12.1.0

4.3. To make a quick check of the installation, run “gpaw -P 2 test” or “gpaw info”.

The installation might fail. In case you succeed, save the yml file as:

conda env export | grep -v "^prefix: " > gpaw.yml

Now you can use it to install gpaw as:

conda env create -f gpaw.yml

To properly test the installation install pytest and follow That might take hours.

conda install -c conda-forge pytest pytest-xdist 

5. If needed, install extra packages within your specific conda environment (gpaw).

To apply D4 dispersion correction:

conda install -c conda-forge dftd4 dftd4-python

To analyze trajectories:

conda install -c conda-forge mdanalysis

To analyze electronic density (some might not work):

pip install git+
pip install git+
pip install git+
pip install pybader
pip install cpmd-cube-tools
conda install -c conda-forge chargemol

To use catlearn:

pip install catlearn

To work with crystal symmetries:

conda install -c conda-forge spglib

Extra for visualization (matplotlib comes with ASE):

conda install -c conda-forge pandas seaborn bokeh jmol

To use notebooks (you might need to install firefox as well):

conda install -c conda-forge jupyterlab nodejs jupyter_contrib_nbextensions 

6. Run calculations by adding these lines to the submission script:

Note1: Check the path and change the USERNAME

Note2: Turn off ucx.

Note3: You may play with the number of openmp threads.

module purge
source "/groups/kemi/USERNAME/miniconda3/etc/profile.d/"
conda activate gpaw
export OMPI_MCA_pml="^ucx"
export OMPI_MCA_osc="^ucx"
mpirun gpaw python

Note4: Check an example in vliv/conda/sub directory.

7. Speeding-up calculations.

Add the “parallel” keyword to GPAW calculator:

parallel = {'augment_grids':True,'sl_auto':True},

For more options see For LCAO mode, try ELPA. See

parallel = {'augment_grids':True,'sl_auto':True,'use_elpa':True},

For calculations with vdW-functionals, use libvdwxc:

xc = {'name':'BEEF-vdW', 'backend':'libvdwxc'},

8. If needed, add fixes.

To do Bayesian error estimation (BEE) see

To use MLMin/NEB apply corrections from

9. Something worth trying:

Atomic Simulation Recipes:


ase-notebook (won’t install at FEND because of glibc 2.17):

gpaw benchmarking: