[Users] WaveDemo question

Ian Hinder ian.hinder at aei.mpg.de
Tue May 29 03:09:49 CDT 2012

On 28 May 2012, at 21:38, Erik Schnetter wrote:

> On Mon, May 28, 2012 at 3:21 PM, Ian Hinder <ian.hinder at aei.mpg.de> wrote:
>> On 28 May 2012, at 21:13, Erik Schnetter wrote:
>>> We should really brush up our autoconf. We should remove all the fancy
>>> stuff, and try to use cc/c++/f90 (or mpicc/mpic++/mpif90) for
>>> building, using -O and -g as optimisation/debug options.
>>> The remaining complexity would be to autodetect how to build C99 code
>>> (instead of C90 code), and how to link against the Fortran run-time
>>> library. We should be able to automate this.
>>> This way, the option lists may improve performance, but people would
>>> have a fighting chance to build out of the box. This probably wouldn't
>>> help on all the crazy systems, but would simplify things for people's
>>> laptops and workstations.
>>> We probably would also need to detect various kinds of configuration
>>> problems, such as mis-installed compilers or MPI libraries.
>> Yes, this is something I've been thinking about in the last few days.  I would like Cactus to be able to automatically configure itself on the most common platforms.  The "magic" is all in the known_architectures file, correct?  This seems to be a monolithic file which contains all the compiler detection, and is then duplicated for each architecture.  Would it make sense to modularise this?  We have pulled the library configuration out of Cactus itself into thorns.  Would it be possible to provide thorns for compilers as well, rather than have this knowledge as part of the flesh?  The build process might prohibit this, since configuration happens before the thorn scripts are run, and we need a compiler then.  As an alternative, maybe the known_architectures scripts could be split up into smaller parts (e.g. sub-script for each compiler etc).
>> In a related note, it would be good if the simfactory optionlists could be simplified.  They should really just be there to specify library locations that cannot be auto-detected, and compiler flags for exceptional cases.  At the moment they are several screens long, and very intimidating.
> Most of the truly architecture related stuff lives in Simfactory these
> days, and could go away from the flesh, or could be reduced to a small
> amount of code handling exceptions (e.g. "Cray requires MPI").

(CCing Cactus list)


> What
> remains is mostly compiler specific, and not architecture specific,
> and could be simplified as well. There is not much point in trying to
> find elaborate sets of optimisation/debugging options for each
> compiler version; -O and -g should be good enough (or maybe -O2).

But should this be in the flesh?  In principle one could imagine this being provided by thorns.  Maybe we should tidy it up first, and think about separating it later.

> I believe we could use regular autoconf tools to handle this. (We
> would have to write a set of Fortran macros, because Fortran is not
> well supported by autoconf.) Autoconf is easier to write than correct,
> portable shell scripts. The advantage of autoconf is that one doesn't
> have to parse the output of compilers; instead, one simply tries
> whether something works, and after trying all variants that one knows,
> one has either found something that works, or there is a problem that
> can be reported right away.

I imagine having a set of "known" compiler suites, such as GCC, Intel, PGI, PathScale etc, and having a configuration script for each one.  The user would then specify in their option list which one of these they want to use (if left unspecified we could autodetect, or use a generic "cc").  We would have to think about whether it is possible to mix C/C++/Fortran from different compilers; I can't think of a situation where that is a good idea.  The script would then provide sensible defaults for the CFLAGS and optimisation settings etc.  To handle different versions of the compilers taking different options, we would use autoconf - is that what you meant above?

What is a good way to handle different operating systems with the same compiler?  Currently we simply have one known_architectures script per operating system.  This means that things get fixed for one OS but not for the others.  Would it be better for the compiler scripts to have case discriminations for the operating system if necessary?

Some examples of things I would like to see go away from option lists are the following (taken from datura.cfg):

* Standard compiler flags:

FPPFLAGS = -traditional
CFLAGS   = -g -debug all -traceback -align -std=c99 -ansi_alias -U__STRICT_ANSI__ -rdynamic
CXXFLAGS = -g -debug all -traceback -align -restrict -rdynamic -D__builtin_signbit=::signbit
F77FLAGS = -g -debug all -traceback -align -pad -w95 -cm
F90FLAGS = -g -debug all -traceback -align -pad -w95 -cm
C_OPENMP_FLAGS   = -openmp
F77_OPENMP_FLAGS = -openmp
F90_OPENMP_FLAGS = -openmp

These are duplicated (inconsistently) throughout many optionlists.  I think that we should have a standard set of default options for each compiler, and not have to set them explicitly for each machine.  At the same time, we would clean up our policy on exactly how C99 etc should be implemented for each compiler, and avoid duplicating this work for every machine.

* Miscellaneous options:


I don't even know what some of these mean; can't they be enabled by default if they are useful?  Can the PTHREADS option go away by making it the default?


LDFLAGS = -Wl,-rpath,/cluster/Compiler/Intel/11.1.072/mkl/lib/em64t -Wl,-rpath,/cluster/Compiler/Intel/11.1.072/lib/intel64

Setting rpaths should be redundant now; the flesh should know how to configure the specific compilers, and external libraries have their own way of specifying library directories to add them to the rpath.

* Explicit lists of libraries:

BLAS_LIBS = -Wl,--start-group mkl_intel_lp64 mkl_intel_thread mkl_core -Wl,--end-group   iomp5   pthread
LAPACK_LIBS = -Wl,--start-group mkl_intel_lp64 mkl_intel_thread mkl_core -Wl,--end-group

These libraries should be added by the BLAS and LAPACK thorns.  Probably which ones you add are specific to the installation of BLAS and LAPACK; again this should be handled automatically.

Ian Hinder

More information about the Users mailing list