ABI Compatibility Initiative

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Goals of the ABI Compatibility Initiative

The ABI compatibility initiative is an understanding between various MPICH derived MPI implementations to maintain runtime compatibility between each other. That is, an application can be compiled with one of them and executed with another. The following are the partners and package release dates involved in the ABI compatibility initiative:

  • MPICH v3.1 (Released Feburary 2014)
  • IBM MPI v2.1 (December 2014)
  • IntelĀ® MPI Library v5.0 (2014)
  • Cray MPT v7.0.0 (June 2014)

ABI Compliance Requirements

In order to maintain ABI compliance, the members of the initiative have agreed on the following requirements:

  • All releases by the above MPI implementations will use the libtool ABI string 12:x:0. x can vary based on release number.
  • The following names will be used for the libraries:
    • C bindings and internal symbols: libmpi
    • C++ bindings: libmpicxx
    • Fortran bindings: libmpifort
  • Functions that are not a part of the MPI standard (MPIX_ functions) and F08 bindings are not covered by the ABI.
  • All wrapper compilers will only use the frontend libraries (libmpi, libmpicxx, mpifort) as dependencies; the backend libraries (libmpl, libopa) will not be added as explicit dependencies (they will be pulled in using libtool interlibrary dependencies).

When the ABI string current version or age is being updated, this will be done in coordination with the remaining initiative members. The next likely change point will be either when MPI-3.1 is released or when we decide to include F08 bindings in the ABI string. We might merge both of these into a single ABI string change. At that point, assuming no ABI breakage, we would move to the ABI string 13:0:1.


ABI String Updates

The first ABI release for each partner is using the following ABI string: 12:0:0 (or 12:x:0 for some x). This will result in the following list of files (names updated for simplicity):

% ls -l install/lib
total 64584
-rw-r--r-- 1 balaji collab 44071674 Mar 31 14:48 libmpi.a
-rwxr-xr-x 1 balaji collab     1102 Mar 31 14:48 libmpi.la
lrwxrwxrwx 1 balaji collab       16 Mar 31 14:48 libmpi.so -> libmpi.so.12.0.0
lrwxrwxrwx 1 balaji collab       16 Mar 31 14:48 libmpi.so.12 -> libmpi.so.12.0.0
-rwxr-xr-x 1 balaji collab 18584233 Mar 31 14:48 libmpi.so.12.0.0
-rw-r--r-- 1 balaji collab   541354 Mar 31 14:48 libmpicxx.a
-rwxr-xr-x 1 balaji collab     1167 Mar 31 14:48 libmpicxx.la
lrwxrwxrwx 1 balaji collab       19 Mar 31 14:48 libmpicxx.so -> libmpicxx.so.12.0.0
lrwxrwxrwx 1 balaji collab       19 Mar 31 14:48 libmpicxx.so.12 -> libmpicxx.so.12.0.0
-rwxr-xr-x 1 balaji collab   307420 Mar 31 14:48 libmpicxx.so.12.0.0
-rw-r--r-- 1 balaji collab  1718388 Mar 31 14:48 libmpif77.a
-rwxr-xr-x 1 balaji collab     1167 Mar 31 14:48 libmpif77.la
lrwxrwxrwx 1 balaji collab       19 Mar 31 14:48 libmpif77.so -> libmpif77.so.12.0.0
lrwxrwxrwx 1 balaji collab       19 Mar 31 14:48 libmpif77.so.12 -> libmpif77.so.12.0.0
-rwxr-xr-x 1 balaji collab   674233 Mar 31 14:48 libmpif77.so.12.0.0
-rw-r--r-- 1 balaji collab    62816 Mar 31 14:48 libmpifort.a
-rwxr-xr-x 1 balaji collab     1221 Mar 31 14:48 libmpifort.la
lrwxrwxrwx 1 balaji collab       20 Mar 31 14:48 libmpifort.so -> libmpifort.so.12.0.0
lrwxrwxrwx 1 balaji collab       20 Mar 31 14:48 libmpifort.so.12 -> libmpifort.so.12.0.0
-rwxr-xr-x 1 balaji collab    42788 Mar 31 14:48 libmpifort.so.12.0.0
-rw-r--r-- 1 balaji collab    29910 Mar 31 14:48 libmpl.a
-rwxr-xr-x 1 balaji collab      929 Mar 31 14:48 libmpl.la
lrwxrwxrwx 1 balaji collab       15 Mar 31 14:48 libmpl.so -> libmpl.so.1.0.0
lrwxrwxrwx 1 balaji collab       15 Mar 31 14:48 libmpl.so.1 -> libmpl.so.1.0.0
-rwxr-xr-x 1 balaji collab    27039 Mar 31 14:48 libmpl.so.1.0.0
-rw-r--r-- 1 balaji collab     4148 Mar 31 14:48 libopa.a
-rwxr-xr-x 1 balaji collab      939 Mar 31 14:48 libopa.la
lrwxrwxrwx 1 balaji collab       15 Mar 31 14:48 libopa.so -> libopa.so.1.0.0
lrwxrwxrwx 1 balaji collab       15 Mar 31 14:48 libopa.so.1 -> libopa.so.1.0.0
-rwxr-xr-x 1 balaji collab     8320 Mar 31 14:48 libopa.so.1.0.0
drwxr-xr-x 2 balaji collab     4096 Mar 31 14:48 pkgconfig

A later release, say mpich-3.1.1, which only updates the library implementation, but does not change the public interface would go to the ABI string 12:1:0. The resultant files would be:

% ls -l install/lib/
total 64584
-rw-r--r-- 1 balaji collab 44071674 Mar 31 15:09 libmpi.a
-rwxr-xr-x 1 balaji collab     1102 Mar 31 15:09 libmpi.la
lrwxrwxrwx 1 balaji collab       16 Mar 31 15:09 libmpi.so -> libmpi.so.12.0.1
lrwxrwxrwx 1 balaji collab       16 Mar 31 15:09 libmpi.so.12 -> libmpi.so.12.0.1
-rwxr-xr-x 1 balaji collab 18584233 Mar 31 15:09 libmpi.so.12.0.1
-rw-r--r-- 1 balaji collab   541354 Mar 31 15:09 libmpicxx.a
-rwxr-xr-x 1 balaji collab     1167 Mar 31 15:09 libmpicxx.la
lrwxrwxrwx 1 balaji collab       19 Mar 31 15:09 libmpicxx.so -> libmpicxx.so.12.0.1
lrwxrwxrwx 1 balaji collab       19 Mar 31 15:09 libmpicxx.so.12 -> libmpicxx.so.12.0.1
-rwxr-xr-x 1 balaji collab   307420 Mar 31 15:09 libmpicxx.so.12.0.1
-rw-r--r-- 1 balaji collab  1718388 Mar 31 15:09 libmpif77.a
-rwxr-xr-x 1 balaji collab     1167 Mar 31 15:09 libmpif77.la
lrwxrwxrwx 1 balaji collab       19 Mar 31 15:09 libmpif77.so -> libmpif77.so.12.0.1
lrwxrwxrwx 1 balaji collab       19 Mar 31 15:09 libmpif77.so.12 -> libmpif77.so.12.0.1
-rwxr-xr-x 1 balaji collab   674233 Mar 31 15:09 libmpif77.so.12.0.1
-rw-r--r-- 1 balaji collab    62816 Mar 31 15:09 libmpifort.a
-rwxr-xr-x 1 balaji collab     1221 Mar 31 15:09 libmpifort.la
lrwxrwxrwx 1 balaji collab       20 Mar 31 15:09 libmpifort.so -> libmpifort.so.12.0.1
lrwxrwxrwx 1 balaji collab       20 Mar 31 15:09 libmpifort.so.12 -> libmpifort.so.12.0.1
-rwxr-xr-x 1 balaji collab    42788 Mar 31 15:09 libmpifort.so.12.0.1
-rw-r--r-- 1 balaji collab    29910 Mar 31 15:09 libmpl.a
-rwxr-xr-x 1 balaji collab      929 Mar 31 15:09 libmpl.la
lrwxrwxrwx 1 balaji collab       15 Mar 31 15:09 libmpl.so -> libmpl.so.1.0.0
lrwxrwxrwx 1 balaji collab       15 Mar 31 15:09 libmpl.so.1 -> libmpl.so.1.0.0
-rwxr-xr-x 1 balaji collab    27039 Mar 31 15:09 libmpl.so.1.0.0
-rw-r--r-- 1 balaji collab     4148 Mar 31 15:09 libopa.a
-rwxr-xr-x 1 balaji collab      939 Mar 31 15:09 libopa.la
lrwxrwxrwx 1 balaji collab       15 Mar 31 15:09 libopa.so -> libopa.so.1.0.0
lrwxrwxrwx 1 balaji collab       15 Mar 31 15:09 libopa.so.1 -> libopa.so.1.0.0
-rwxr-xr-x 1 balaji collab     8320 Mar 31 15:09 libopa.so.1.0.0
drwxr-xr-x 2 balaji collab     4096 Mar 31 15:09 pkgconfig

Another release, say mpich-3.2, that adds new interfaces, but does not disturb the old interfaces (i.e., neither updates them nor deletes them) would result in the ABI string 13:0:1. The resultant files would be:

% ls -l install/lib/
total 64584
-rw-r--r-- 1 balaji collab 44071674 Mar 31 15:16 libmpi.a
-rwxr-xr-x 1 balaji collab     1102 Mar 31 15:16 libmpi.la
lrwxrwxrwx 1 balaji collab       16 Mar 31 15:16 libmpi.so -> libmpi.so.12.1.0
lrwxrwxrwx 1 balaji collab       16 Mar 31 15:16 libmpi.so.12 -> libmpi.so.12.1.0
-rwxr-xr-x 1 balaji collab 18584233 Mar 31 15:16 libmpi.so.12.1.0
-rw-r--r-- 1 balaji collab   541354 Mar 31 15:16 libmpicxx.a
-rwxr-xr-x 1 balaji collab     1167 Mar 31 15:16 libmpicxx.la
lrwxrwxrwx 1 balaji collab       19 Mar 31 15:16 libmpicxx.so -> libmpicxx.so.12.1.0
lrwxrwxrwx 1 balaji collab       19 Mar 31 15:16 libmpicxx.so.12 -> libmpicxx.so.12.1.0
-rwxr-xr-x 1 balaji collab   307420 Mar 31 15:16 libmpicxx.so.12.1.0
-rw-r--r-- 1 balaji collab  1718388 Mar 31 15:16 libmpif77.a
-rwxr-xr-x 1 balaji collab     1167 Mar 31 15:16 libmpif77.la
lrwxrwxrwx 1 balaji collab       19 Mar 31 15:16 libmpif77.so -> libmpif77.so.12.1.0
lrwxrwxrwx 1 balaji collab       19 Mar 31 15:16 libmpif77.so.12 -> libmpif77.so.12.1.0
-rwxr-xr-x 1 balaji collab   674233 Mar 31 15:16 libmpif77.so.12.1.0
-rw-r--r-- 1 balaji collab    62816 Mar 31 15:16 libmpifort.a
-rwxr-xr-x 1 balaji collab     1221 Mar 31 15:16 libmpifort.la
lrwxrwxrwx 1 balaji collab       20 Mar 31 15:16 libmpifort.so -> libmpifort.so.12.1.0
lrwxrwxrwx 1 balaji collab       20 Mar 31 15:16 libmpifort.so.12 -> libmpifort.so.12.1.0
-rwxr-xr-x 1 balaji collab    42788 Mar 31 15:16 libmpifort.so.12.1.0
-rw-r--r-- 1 balaji collab    29910 Mar 31 15:16 libmpl.a
-rwxr-xr-x 1 balaji collab      929 Mar 31 15:16 libmpl.la
lrwxrwxrwx 1 balaji collab       15 Mar 31 15:16 libmpl.so -> libmpl.so.1.0.0
lrwxrwxrwx 1 balaji collab       15 Mar 31 15:16 libmpl.so.1 -> libmpl.so.1.0.0
-rwxr-xr-x 1 balaji collab    27039 Mar 31 15:16 libmpl.so.1.0.0
-rw-r--r-- 1 balaji collab     4148 Mar 31 15:16 libopa.a
-rwxr-xr-x 1 balaji collab      939 Mar 31 15:16 libopa.la
lrwxrwxrwx 1 balaji collab       15 Mar 31 15:16 libopa.so -> libopa.so.1.0.0
lrwxrwxrwx 1 balaji collab       15 Mar 31 15:16 libopa.so.1 -> libopa.so.1.0.0
-rwxr-xr-x 1 balaji collab     8320 Mar 31 15:16 libopa.so.1.0.0
drwxr-xr-x 2 balaji collab     4096 Mar 31 15:16 pkgconfig

An application that was compiled with mpich-3.1 would have dependencies such as the following:

% mpicc ../mpich/examples/cpi.c -o cpi
% ldd ./cpi 
	linux-vdso.so.1 =>  (0x00007fff101d5000)
	libmpi.so.12 => /sandbox/balaji/build/install/lib/libmpi.so.12 (0x00007f60d757c000)
	libc.so.6 => /lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libc.so.6 (0x00007f60d718a000)
	libmpl.so.1 => /sandbox/balaji/build/install/lib/libmpl.so.1 (0x00007f60d6f83000)
	libpthread.so.0 => /lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libpthread.so.0 (0x00007f60d6d66000)
	libgcc_s.so.1 => /lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libgcc_s.so.1 (0x00007f60d6b50000)
	/lib64/ld-linux-x86-64.so.2 (0x00007f60d7e1c000)

Notice that the application only has a dependency on libmpi.so.12, and not on libmpi.so.12.0.0. Thus, the application can work correctly with other MPI releases (either within MPICH or other ABI initiative partners) that exposes the same library dependency: libmpi.so.12.


ABI Points of Contact

  • Argonne: Ken Raffenetti (primary) and Pavan Balaji (secondary)
  • Intel: Michael Chuvalev (primary) and Dave Poulsen (secondary)
  • IBM: Mike Blocksome (primary) and Chulho Kim (secondary)
  • Cray: Steve Oyanagi (primary) and Mark Pagel (secondary)


ABI Compatibility Testing Requirements

ABI compatibility testing is currently done with the MPICH test suite.

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