Using build visit with intel tools

Building and running VisIt with Intel Cluster Studio Tools

Using build_visit

The easiest way to create a build utilizing icc and Intel MPI for VisIt and all of its dependancies is via our build_visit script. Before you begin, make sure icc and mpicc are in your current PATH. At LLNL we have a dotkit environment setup allows us to easily activate the proper environment to compile with the Intel tools.

You can find build_visit for the latest release of VisIt here:

For this example, we will use the script for VisIt 2.6.2

Below is a bash recipe that will call build_visit to download, build, and install VisIt and a common set third party libraries used. When using the recipe, take note of the following option which you will want to adjust:

  • --thirdparty-path specifies the install location for all third party dependent libraries build via build_visit.
  • --prefix specifies the install location for VisIt
  • Set PAR_COMPILER and PAR_INCLUDE to reflect your cluster studio tools install.
export PAR_COMPILER="/usr/local/tools/icsxe-2013.0/impi/"
export PAR_INCLUDE="-I/usr/local/tools/icsxe-2013.0/impi/"

./build_visit2_6_2 --cc icc --cxx icpc --parallel \
      --cflags   "-O2 -axAVX -axSSE4.2 -xSSE2"  \
      --cxxflags "-O2 -axAVX -axSSE4.2 -xSSE2" \
      --console --makeflags "-j8" \
      --cmake   --python --vtk --qt --pyside \
      --szip --hdf5 --silo --boxlib \
      --exodus --cgns --fastbit \
      --netcdf --xdmf \
      --thirdparty-path /path/to/visit/thirdparty/2.6.2/shared/icsxe-2013/ \
      --prefix /path/to/visit/icsxe-2013/

Setting up a parallel host profile

After build_visit completes, you should be able to run VisIt by typing:


Again, make sure the proper Intel environment variable paths are set to pickup the icc libraries.

Intel's cluster tools use mpirun to launch parallel jobs, to run in parallel you need to create a simple host profile that tells VisIt these details. Here are directions to to do so:

  • Click on the Options menu, and select Host Profiles
Mpirun host profile example 1.png
  • Create a new Host Profile, and select the Launch Profiles tab.
  • Create a new Launch Profile for Intel MPI.
Mpirun host profile example 2.png
  • Select the Parallel tab
  • Click Launch parallel engine
  • Select mpirun and set processor defaults

Mpirun host profile example 3.png

Note: VisIt also supports multi-stage job submission and launching (msub/mpirun for example). There may be a specific setup better suited to your cluster.

  • Finally, click on the Options menu, and select Save Settings to store the new host profile.
Mpirun host profile example 4.png

This will save the host launching information in a XML file located at:


This XML file can be used by a system admin as the foundation of host profile for a cluster installation.

Running VisIt in parallel

With the Host Profile in place, when you open a data file with VisIt you will see a dialog that allows you to select options and launch a parallel engine.

Mpirun host profile example 5.png
  • Select the number of processors and click OK.