Get Help

The Dakota team is committed to supporting users by providing documentation, examples, direct interaction through GitHub Discussions, and fostering community engagement.

When seeking help with Dakota, consider these support mechanisms:


The Dakota team maintains extensive documentation, which is updated with every release.

  • Our User's Manual contains general usage information, an input file keyword reference, and additional mathematical/implementation detail for some methods.
  • Information on integrating Dakota as a library is found in the Developer's manual


Numerous examples are provided with Dakota to demonstrate its capabilities.

  • Many examples are provided with explanations and usable input files and drivers in our examples repository.
  • The test folder, which contains our entire regression test suite, is also a great source of input files demonstrating both simple and advanced Dakota features. Each *.in file can contain multiple tests, with lines corresponding to each test denoted by #N or #pN. Use the script dakota_test.perl (also located in the test folder) to extract individual tests by number. E.g. to extract test 10 from the test file, which demonstrates surrogate-based local optimization:
    perl dakota_test.perl -e 3

    The file dakota_sbo_rosen.in_ (original test file name + an appended underscore) is produced. Add the --parallel (-p) option to extract a parallel test or run with --help for a full list of options.

Public User Community

Dakota is an open source and publicly available project with a significant worldwide user base. Our vision is that Dakota users will increasingly help each other with questions and issues. We encourage feature requests, bug reports, and general usage questions about how to use Dakota, including how to install, choose algorithms, or interface to an application code, be posted to our GitHub Discussions page. (You'll have to create a GitHub account if you don't have one.)

Note that while we make every attempt to respond to all support inquiries, funding and staffing limitations demand that we prioritize requests as follows:

  1. Sandia National Laboratories users and integrators
  2. CRADA and other DOE users and partners, e.g., NNSA/ASC labs, NEAMS and CASL Nuclear Energy initiatives
  3. Close research or software collaborators
  4. Other users

Internal Sandia User Community

After logging in using your Sandia credentials, a "Dakota @ SNL" link will appear on the main menu. Follow it to submit a support request.