'''This page is work in progress !'''
= How to build software for Cray Xt3 / Catamount=
Cray Xt3 consists of two different types of nodes, the front end node, which are more or less regular AMD64 Linux machines, and the actual compute nodes, which have the same processors, but run the Catamount as operating system.
Building software for the front end nodes is not different than building software on any other Linux system.
But to build software for the actual compute nodes, you need to cross compile. For C/ C++ there are
typically two toolchains you can use for the compute nodes:
* the GNU gcc toolchain
* the Portland Group PGI toolchain
In order to use them with CMake you have to write a toolchain file.
There are wrapper scripts provided to call the actual compilers. There is a cc script for the C compiler, and a CC script for the C++ compiler. Depending on the current "environment" they call either the GNU compiler or the PGI compiler.
By default the PGI compiler is used.
To switch to gcc, use:
$ module switch PrgEnv-pgi PrgEnv-gnu
To switch back, exchange the two last parameters.
These scripts add a several include directories, compile flags, link directories and libraries to the compile and link calls.
CMake currently supports these wrapper scripts.
There is a problem here. Since the same compiler executable ("cc") can be two different compilers depending on the currently loaded environment, it can happen that some part of a project is compiled with PGI, then the user switches to gcc, and when he continues the build, gcc builds the rest of the files.
C++ libraries between PGI and g++ seem to be not ABI compatible.
Additionally it seems -lm may not be mixed, i.e. if some library is compiled with PGI and uses the math library and some other part is compiled with gcc and uses the math library there may be linker problems. So it may be the better choice to decide for one of the two toolchains and use this for everything.
== Writing the CMake toolchain file ==
For CMake to be able to crosscompile software, it requires you to write a toolchain file, which tells CMake some information about the toolchain.
The toolchain on for Cray Xt3/Catamount could look like like the following:
# the name of the target operating system
# set the compiler
set(CMAKE_C_COMPILER cc -target=catamount)
set(CMAKE_CXX_COMPILER CC -target=catamount)
# set the search path for the environment coming with the compiler
# and a directory where you can install your own compiled software
# adjust the default behaviour of the FIND_XXX() commands:
# search headers and libraries in the target environment, search
# programs in the host environment
Without more special settings this will work both for PGI and gcc.
Save this file as Toolchain-Catamount.cmake to some location where you will put
all your toolchain files, e.g. $HOME/Toolchains/.
As you can see CMAKE_FIND_ROOT_PATH is set to three directories coming with the toolchain, which contain the headers and libraries installed with the toolchain, and / home/ alex/ cray-install/ .
This last directory is intended to hold
other libraries you will compile for the compute nodes, they should be installed under this install prefix. This way the FIND_XXX() commands in CMake will find both the headers and libraries coming with the toolchain as well
as additional libraries you have built for this platform.
== Building the software for Catamount with the GNU toolchain==
Let's say you have the classical hello world software with a CMake based buildsystem and want to build this for now for your super computer.
Then run CMake on it to generate the buildfiles, the important point is that you tell it to use the toochain file you just wrote:
~/src/helloworld/ $ module switch PrgEnv-pgi PrgEnv-gnu
~/src/helloworld/ $ mkdir build-gcc
~/src/helloworld/ $ cd build-gcc
~/src/helloworld/build-gcc/ $ cmake -DCMAKE_TOOLCHAIN_FILE=~/ Toolchains/ Toolchain-Catamount.cmake -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=/home/alex/cray-install ..
-- The C compiler identification is GNU
-- The CXX compiler identification is GNU
-- Configuring done
-- Generating done
-- Build files have been written to: /home/alex/src/helloworld/build-gcc
~/src/helloworld/build-gcc/ $ make
Scanning dependencies of target hello
[100%] Building C object CMakeFiles/hello.dir/main.o
Linking C executable hello
[100%] Built target hello
So that's all. It actually doesn't matter whether it's just a "hello world" or some complex piece of software,
the only difference is the usage of the toolchain file. If the software has all required configure checks, it should just build also with this toolchain.
==Unsupported features of Catamount==
Among others Catamount doesn't support the following features:
* shared libraries
* IP server sockets
* IP client sockets
* getpw*() and other functions which might use nss_switch
Some functions like e.g. times() are present in libc, but the linker warns:
: warning: warning: times is not implemented and will always fail
This is the case for several functions, not only times(). So while the linker can resolve the symbols, the functions will fail at runtime. It may be a good idea to use <tt>-Wl,--fatal-warnings</tt>, so that the linker will interpret these warnings as errors and you as developer will actually notice if something breaks.