Open Fabric Interfaces
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README.md

libfabric master branch Travis CI status libfabric Coverity scan suild status libfabric release version

libfabric

The Open Fabrics Interfaces (OFI) is a framework focused on exporting fabric communication services to applications.

See the OFI web site for more details, including a description and overview of the project, and detailed documentation of the Libfabric APIs.

Installing pre-built Libfabric packages

On OS X, the latest release of Libfabric can be installed using the Homebrew package manager using the following command:

$ brew install libfabric

Libfabric pre-built binaries may be available from other sources, such as Linux distributions.

Building and installing Libfabric from source

Distribution tarballs are available from the Github releases tab.

If you are building Libfabric from a developer Git clone, you must first run the autogen.sh script. This will invoke the GNU Autotools to bootstrap Libfabric's configuration and build mechanisms. If you are building Libfabric from an official distribution tarball, there is no need to run autogen.sh; Libfabric distribution tarballs are already bootstrapped for you.

Libfabric currently supports GNU/Linux, Free BSD, and OS X.

Configure options

The configure script has many built in options (see ./configure --help). Some useful options are:

--prefix=<directory>

By default make install will place the files in the /usr tree. The --prefix option specifies that Libfabric files should be installed into the tree specified by named <directory>. The executables will be located at <directory>/bin.

--with-valgrind=<directory>

Directory where valgrind is installed. If valgrind is found, then valgrind annotations are enabled. This may incur a performance penalty.

--enable-debug

Enable debug code paths. This enables various extra checks and allows for using the highest verbosity logging output that is normally compiled out in production builds.

--enable-<provider>=[yes|no|auto|dl|<directory>]
--disable-<provider>

This enables or disables the provider named <provider>. Valid options are:

  • auto (This is the default if the --enable-<provider> option isn't specified)

    The provider will be enabled if all of its requirements are satisfied. If one of the requirements cannot be satisfied, then the provider is disabled.

  • yes (This is the default if the --enable-<provider> option is specified)

    The configure script will abort if the provider cannot be enabled (e.g., due to some of its requirements not being available.

  • no

    Disable the provider. This is synonymous with --disable-<provider>.

  • dl

    Enable the provider and build it as a loadable library.

  • <directory>

    Enable the provider and use the installation given in <directory>.

Examples

Consider the following example:

$ ./configure --prefix=/opt/libfabric --disable-sockets && make -j 32 && sudo make install

This will tell Libfabric to disable the sockets provider, and install Libfabric in the /opt/libfabric tree. All other providers will be enabled if possible and all debug features will be disabled.

Alternatively:

$ ./configure --prefix=/opt/libfabric --enable-debug --enable-psm=dl && make -j 32 && sudo make install

This will tell Libfabric to enable the psm provider as a loadable library, enable all debug code paths, and install Libfabric to the /opt/libfabric tree. All other providers will be enabled if possible.

Validate installation

The fi_info utility can be used to validate the libfabric and provider installation, as well as provide details about provider support and available interfaces. See fi_info(1) man page for details on using the fi_info utility. fi_info is installed as part of the libfabric package.

A more comprehensive test package is available via the fabtests package.

Providers

gni


The gni provider runs on Cray XC (TM) systems utilizing the user-space Generic Network Interface (uGNI) which provides low-level access to the Aries interconnect. The Aries interconnect is designed for low-latency one-sided messaging and also includes direct hardware support for common atomic operations and optimized collectives.

See the fi_gni(7) man page for more details.

Dependencies

  • The gni provider requires gcc version 4.9 or higher.

mxm

The MXM provider has been deprecated and was removed after the 1.4.0 release.

psm


The psm provider runs over the PSM 1.x interface that is currently supported by the Intel TrueScale Fabric. PSM provides tag-matching message queue functions that are optimized for MPI implementations. PSM also has limited Active Message support, which is not officially published but is quite stable and well documented in the source code (part of the OFED release). The psm provider makes use of both the tag-matching message queue functions and the Active Message functions to support a variety of Libfabric data transfer APIs, including tagged message queue, message queue, RMA, and atomic operations.

The psm provider can work with the psm2-compat library, which exposes a PSM 1.x interface over the Intel Omni-Path Fabric.

See the fi_psm(7) man page for more details.

psm2


The psm2 provider runs over the PSM 2.x interface that is supported by the Intel Omni-Path Fabric. PSM 2.x has all the PSM 1.x features plus a set of new functions with enhanced capabilities. Since PSM 1.x and PSM 2.x are not ABI compatible, the psm2 provider only works with PSM 2.x and doesn't support Intel TrueScale Fabric.

See the fi_psm2(7) man page for more details.

sockets


The sockets provider is a general purpose provider that can be used on any system that supports TCP sockets. The provider is not intended to provide performance improvements over regular TCP sockets, but rather to allow developers to write, test, and debug application code even on platforms that do not have high-performance fabric hardware. The sockets provider supports all Libfabric provider requirements and interfaces.

See the fi_sockets(7) man page for more details.

udp


The udp provider is a basic provider that can be used on any system that supports UDP sockets. The provider is not intended to provide performance improvements over regular UDP sockets, but rather to allow application and provider developers to write, test, and debug their code. The udp provider forms the foundation of a utility provider that enables the implementation of Libfabric features over any hardware.

See the fi_udp(7) man page for more details.

usnic


The usnic provider is designed to run over the Cisco VIC (virtualized NIC) hardware on Cisco UCS servers. It utilizes the Cisco usnic (userspace NIC) capabilities of the VIC to enable ultra low latency and other offload capabilities on Ethernet networks.

See the fi_usnic(7) man page for more details.

Dependencies

  • The usnic provider depends on library files from either libnl version 1 (sometimes known as libnl or libnl1) or version 3 (sometimes known as libnl3). If you are compiling Libfabric from source and want to enable usNIC support, you will also need the matching libnl header files (e.g., if you are building with libnl version 3, you need both the header and library files from version 3).

Configure options

--with-libnl=<directory>

If specified, look for libnl support. If it is not found then the usnic provider will not be built. If <directory> is specified, then check in the directory and check for libnl version 3. If version 3 is not found, then check for version 1. If no <directory> argument is specified, then this option is redundant with --with-usnic.

verbs


The verbs provider enables applications using OFI to be run over any verbs hardware (Infiniband, iWarp, etc). It uses the Linux Verbs API for network transport and provides a translation of OFI calls to appropriate verbs API calls. It uses librdmacm for communication management and libibverbs for other control and data transfer operations.

See the fi_verbs(7) man page for more details.

Dependencies

  • The verbs provider requires libibverbs (v1.1.8 or newer) and librdmacm (v1.0.16 or newer). If you are compiling Libfabric from source and want to enable verbs support, you will also need the matching header files for the above two libraries. If the libraries and header files are not in default paths, specify them in CFLAGS, LDFLAGS and LD_LIBRARY_PATH environment variables.

bgq


The bgq provider is a native provider that directly utilizes the hardware interfaces of the Blue Gene/Q system to implement all aspects of the libfabric interface.

See the fi_bgq(7) man page for more details

Dependencies

  • The bgq provider depends on the system programming interfaces (SPI) and the hardware interfaces (HWI) located in the Blue Gene/Q driver installation. Additionally, the open source Blue Gene/Q system files are required.

Configure options

--with-bgq-progress=(auto|manual|runtime)

If specified, set the progress mode enabled in FABRIC_DIRECT.