Replacing LAM with OpenMPI in Fedora Core

Orion Poplawski orion at
Fri Jan 27 00:50:26 UTC 2006

Hash: SHA1

Ed Hill wrote:
> On Thu, 2006-01-05 at 11:59 -0700, Orion Poplawski wrote:
>> Hash: SHA1
>> Ed Hill wrote:
>>> I understand that OpenMPI is supposed to [at least, for some people's
>>> perception! ;-)] become the "one true MPI" implementation that eclipses
>>> all others due to its very cool new modular design and other features.
>>> But, even so, I think it would be a good idea to have and maintain other
>>> MPI versions (such as MPICH v1 & v2, LAM, etc.) in Extras so that people
>>> have some flexibility.  And to do that, we'll very likely need to setup
>>> the multiple MPI packages using alternatives.
>> While we are thinking about this, it would be good to be able to support
>> multiple versions of a particular MPI compiled with different compilers.
>>  Locally I maintain LAM compiled with PGF90 and IFORT and it would be
>> nice to be able to have all three installed simultaneously.
> Hi Orion,
> Yes, we also have groups of machines where we maintain combinations of
> compilers, MPI libs, etc.:
>   MPI:  LAM, mpich, mpich-vmi, etc.
>   Compilers:  GNU (multiple versions), Intel, PGI, etc.
> and we do it with an install framework that looks something like:
>   /opt/pkg/${PKG_NAME}   and/or   /usr/local/pkg/${PKG_NAME}
> and then let users dynamically chose which packages or combinations of
> packages to use with the environment modules scripts:
> I like the above setup because:
>   + its quite flexible and can handle dependencies between 
>       the packages pretty gracefully
>   + it can be made to work (play nicely!) with the in-Core MPI 
>       setup and/or any number of additional MPI setups which 
>       might be installed (perhas someday?) through Fedora Extras 
>       or local installs
>   + its an increasingly popular arrangement for scientific and 
>       high-performance computing systems
> I'd like to see as much of the above as possible included in Fedora
> Extras and [given what little free time I have! :-)] I'm doing what I
> can to try and get the necessary parts packaged, etc.  I have a modules
> package in progress and will be glad to share my unfinished bits with
> anyone who is interested.
> Do you have any objections to the above or maybe suggestions for
> improvements?
> Ed

I've been poking around a bit with this using alternatives, and I've
think I've reached a dead end with that approach.  It's okay for a
couple binaries and man pages, but it quickly gets unwieldy with
collections of shared libraries and sets of API man pages.  Also,
alternatives works reasonably well for *system* wide defaults.  Less
well for per user defaults.  I've submitted the modules system for
Extras for use there.

So, what are the restrictions in Fedora as to where we can install
things?  In particular, I think we may need to install most of the
binaries somewhere other than /usr/bin, and we *definitely* need the
man3 pages somewhere other than /usr/share/man/man3 (and maybe the rest
as well).  How to we switch default paths between different bin and man
directories?  Entries in /etc/profile.d managed via alternatives?

Some bugs tracking this discussion:

Bug 178967 ? Future of lam - use alternatives

Bug 173719 ? Review Request: openmpi - a new MPI implementation

Bug 171993 ? Review Request: mpich2 - An implementation of MPI

- - Orion
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