Build or download

Should you down pre-existing binaries or should you build VisIt from scratch? Building VisIt is a long process, especially because it depends on so many third party libraries. If possible, we highly recommend you use the pre-built binaries.

There are three typical reasons to build VisIt from scratch:

  1. None of the pre-built binaries work on your platform.
  2. You want to run in parallel.
    • Mac versions of VisIt (10.5 and later) already come with parallel executables
    • Pre-built binaries for Linux will almost certainly not run in parallel on any machine except for the one it was originally compiled on, because of differences in MPI version, networking, etc.
  3. You want to do VisIt development.
  4. You want to access a feature or bug fix that has been committed to the VisIt repository, but not yet released.

If you don't meet any of these three criteria, we encourage you to use the pre-existing binaries.