Getting And Building MPICH

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Checking out the MPICH2 source

To checkout a new copy of the MPICH2 source on systems with access to the MCS filesystems, use

svn co mpich2

Setting up the build environment

The SVN repository does not contain any of the "derived" files, including the configure scripts and the C++ and Fortran 77 language bindings.

To build these, run


Occasionally changes are made to the autoconf macros that are not detected by the dependency tests for the configure scripts. It is always correct to delete all of the configure scripts before running maint/updatefiles:

find . -name configure -print | xargs rm

The autoconf macros and the scripts now require autoconf version 2.59. This was done because there are incompatible differences between each minor release of autoconf (even the allowed command line arguments has changed between 2.50 and 2.58).

You can select a particular version of autoconf and autoheader by using the environment variables AUTOCONF and AUTOHEADER respectively. maint/updatefiles will use these if they are set. Enabling automatic handling of file dependencies

Under certain circumstances, the build system will automatically maintain dependency information, ensuring that changes to a header file, for example, forces the recompilation of all files that include that header file. The requirements are

  • The C compiler is gcc, and
  • Dependencies are enabled when simplemake was run by maint/updatefiles (this is the default for the development version but not the a release distribution).

To enable the dependencies, simply run

make dependencies

after the configure step. This will enable dependency handling for the parts of MPICH2 that use simplemake (e.g., src/mpi, src/mpid, and some parts of src/util). Other parts of MPICH2, such as ROMIO, do not currently support automatic dependency handling.

Updated derived files such as configure

If you change one of the files that is the source for a derived file, such as a file, you will need to rebuild the derived file (e.g., the corresponding configure file). The safest way to do this is to rerun updatefiles:


(from the top-level MPICH2 directory). However, this can take a fair amount of time. You can direct updatefiles to only update certain classes of files. For example, to update all configure files, use

./maint/updatefiles -do=build_configure

You can use multiple -do arguments. For example, to rebuild the files and the configure files, use

./maint/updatefiles -do=build_configure -do=makefiles

Check the source of maint/updatefiles to see what other options are available for -do. Updating the MPICH2 Web Pages

The MPICH2 web site is managed under SVN. To update the web site, first checkout the mpich2-web module:

svn co

To maintain a uniform look to the web pages, including the menu sidebars, each web page is created from a text file. For example, the main page is created from m.txt. This page created from developer.txt. To make the web pages, simply execute make. To test the pages, use

make test-pages

which will install the pages into the directory testhome. To install the pages into the MCS web site, use

make install

To add a new page, look at the Makefile and add the necessary commands. Make sure that the DIRS and MAINPAGES variables list the source directory and files. Updating the MPICH2 FAQ Pages

The MPICH2 FAQ is maintained from a single file, faq.txt, in the directory mpich2/docs/faq. This source file uses a simplified form of LaTeX for formatting; the script faqbuild, which is run by using make in the docs/faq directory, will build three forms of the FAQ:

A single file, faq.php, which is copied to the MPICH2 web site with make install-web
A collection of files, all with extension .txt, that contain one FAQ item. These may be used with the REQ system
A single file, faq.tex, which is normally processed to produce a PDF file.