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README file for mpi-spawner
===========================

@ TOC: @
@ Section: Overview @
@ Section: Basic Usage @
@ Section: Build-time Configuration @
@ Section: Runtime Configuration @


@ Section: Overview @

This document describes mpi-spawner, a component of the GASNet runtime library
which allows applications using many GASNet conduits to utilize an existing
installation of MPI to perform job launch.  Because most systems where GASNet
will be deployed are also used for MPI, this is often the simplest and most
reliable way to launch GASNet applications.

@ Section: Basic Usage @

+ Usage summary (option 1):
  Many languages and libraries built over GASNet provide their own commands
  for job launch.  These should be used instead of GASNet's whenever possible.
  They typically wrap the mechanisms described below, while providing
  additional options specific to the language or library.

  The remaining options are documented here mainly for those who are
  implementing such a wrapper.

+ Usage summary (option 2):
  Conduits which support mpi-spawner each include a spawner utility named
  for the conduit:
    gasnetrun_[conduit] -n <n> [options] [--] prog [program args]
    options:
      -n <n>                 number of processes to run (required)
      -N <N>                 number of nodes to run on (not supported by all MPIs)
      -E <VAR1[,VAR2...]>    list of environment vars to propagate
      -v                     be verbose about what is happening
      -t                     test only, don't execute anything (implies -v)
      -k                     keep any temporary files created (implies -v)
      -spawner=(ssh|mpi|pmi) force use of a specific spawner (if available)

  The mpi-spawner described in this README is used if selected by one of the
  following three mechanisms, in order from greatest to least precedence:
     + Passing -spawner=mpi to the gasnetrun_[conduit] utility
     + Setting GASNET_[CONDUIT]_SPAWNER=mpi in the environment
     + If mpi-spawner was established as the default at configure time (see
       Build-time Configuration, below).

+ Usage summary (option 3):
  When mpi-spawner is supported by a conduit, it is also possible to launch
  applications directly using mpirun, or its equivalent on your system.
  For example:
    mpirun -np N prog [program args]
  where N is the number of processes to run.

@ Section: Build-time Configuration @

Conduits other than mpi-conduit which support mpi-spawner each accept a
configure option of the form
    --with-[conduit]-spawner=VALUE
where VALUE is one of "mpi", "ssh", or "pmi".  This sets the default
spawner used by the corresponding gasnetrun_[conduit] utility, as described
in the "Basic Usage" section above.  In all cases "mpi" is the default if
MPI support is found at configure time.  However, one may explicitly pass
'--with-[conduit]-spawner=mpi' to ensure configure will fail if the
corresponding conduit is to be built but MPI support was not found.

In order to use mpi-spawner, a working MPI must be installed and configured
on your system.  See mpi-conduit/README for information on configuring GASNet
for a particular MPI and in particular the setting of an MPIRUN_CMD (which is
critical to correct operation of mpi-spawner).

Note that you do not need to compile mpi-conduit if you never plan to use it.
To do so while retaining support for mpi-based job launch, configure with
    --disable-mpi --enable-mpi-compat
The first option disables building of mpi-conduit while the second ensures
that configure fails if it is unable to find a working MPI installation.

If one is using mpi-conduit, or is expecting to run hybrid GASNet+MPI
applications with any conduit, then MPIRUN_CMD should be set as one would
normally use mpirun for MPI applications.  However, since mpi-spawner itself
uses MPI only for initialization and finalization (and MPI is not used for
GASNet communications other than in mpi-conduit) one can potentially reduce
resource use by setting MPIRUN_CMD such that the MPI will use TCP/IP for its
communication.  Below are recommendations for several MPIs.  When recommended
to set an environment variable, the most reliable way is to prefix the mpirun
command.  For instance
   MPIRUN_CMD='env VARIABLE=value mpirun [rest of your template]'

    - Open MPI
      Pass "--mca btl tcp,self" to mpirun, OR
      Set environment variable OMPI_MCA_BTL=tcp,self.
    - MPICH or MPICH2
      These normally default to TCP/IP, so no special action is required.
    - MVAPICH family
      These most often support only InfiniBand and therefore are not
      recommended for use as a launcher for GASNet applications if one
      is concerned with reducing resource usage.
    - Intel MPI
      Set environment variable I_MPI_DEVICE=sock.
    - HP-MPI
      Set environment variable MPI_IC_ORDER=tcp.
    - LAM/MPI
      Pass "-ssi rpi tcp" to mpirun, OR
      Set environment variable LAM_MPI_SSI_rpi=tcp.

Please also check the conduit-specific README for the conduit(s) you will
use for any additional recommendations or restrictions.

@ Section: Runtime Configuration @

Recognized Environment Variables:

* MPIRUN_CMD - a template for executing mpirun, or its equivalent.
  A default value is established at configure time, but a value set at run
  time will take precedence over that default.
  See mpi-conduit's README for full documentation on this variable.

* GASNET_MPI_THREAD - can be set to one of the values:
    "SINGLE", "FUNNELED", "SERIALIZED" or "MULTIPLE"
  to request the MPI library be initialized with a specific threading support
  level.  The default value depends on the GASNET_{SEQ,PAR} mode and on the
  conduit.
  + SINGLE - Sufficient for mpi-spawner itself. This MPI thread mode is only
    guaranteed to work correctly in a strictly single-threaded process (i.e.
    no threads anywhere in the system).
  + FUNNELED - Other threads exist in the process, but never call MPI or GASNet.
  + SERIALIZED - GASNET_PAR or GASNET_PARSYNC mode, where multiple client
    threads may call GASNet.  Also required if the conduit spawns internal AM
    progress threads.
  + MULTIPLE - Multi-threaded GASNet+MPI process that makes direct calls to MPI.
  See MPI documentation for detailed explanation of the threading levels.