MPI Jobs on HCC

This quick start demonstrates how to implement a parallel (MPI) Fortran/C program on HCC supercomputers. The sample codes and submit scripts can be downloaded from

Login to a HCC Cluster

Log in to a HCC cluster through PuTTY (For Windows Users) or Terminal (For Mac/Linux Users) and make a subdirectory called mpi_dir under the $WORK directory.

$ cd $WORK
$ mkdir mpi_dir

In the subdirectory mpi_dir, save all the relevant codes. Here we include two demo programs, demo_f_mpi.f90 and demo_c_mpi.c, that compute the sum from 1 to 20 through parallel processes. A straightforward parallelization scheme is used for demonstration purpose. First, the master core (i.e. myid=0) distributes equal computation workload to a certain number of cores (as specified by --ntasks in the submit script). Then, each worker core computes a partial summation as output. Finally, the master core collects the outputs from all worker cores and perform an overall summation. For easy comparison with the serial code (Fortran/C on HCC), the added lines in the parallel code (MPI) are marked with “!=” or “//=”.


Compiling the Code

The compiling of a MPI code requires first loading a compiler “engine” such as gccintel, or pgi and then loading a MPI wrapper openmpi. Here we will use the GNU Complier Collection, gcc, for demonstration.

$ module load compiler/gcc/6.1 openmpi/2.1
$ mpif90 demo_f_mpi.f90 -o demo_f_mpi.x  
$ mpicc demo_c_mpi.c -o demo_c_mpi.x

The above commends load the gcc complier with the openmpi wrapper. The compiling commands mpif90 or mpicc are used to compile the codes to.x files (executables). 

Creating a Submit Script

Create a submit script to request 5 cores (with --ntasks). A parallel execution command mpirun ./ needs to enter to last line before the main program name.

#SBATCH --ntasks=5
#SBATCH --mem-per-cpu=1024
#SBATCH --time=00:01:00
#SBATCH --job-name=Fortran
#SBATCH --error=Fortran.%J.err
#SBATCH --output=Fortran.%J.out

mpirun ./demo_f_mpi.x 
#SBATCH --ntasks=5
#SBATCH --mem-per-cpu=1024
#SBATCH --time=00:01:00
#SBATCH --job-name=C
#SBATCH --error=C.%J.err
#SBATCH --output=C.%J.out

mpirun ./demo_c_mpi.x 

Submit the Job

The job can be submitted through the command sbatch. The job status can be monitored by entering squeue with the -u option.

$ sbatch submit_f.mpi
$ sbatch submit_c.mpi
$ squeue -u <username>

Replace <username> with your HCC username.

Sample Output

The sum from 1 to 20 is computed and printed to the .out file (see below). The outputs from the 5 cores are collected and processed by the master core (i.e. myid=0).