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
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
Libfabric distribution tarballs are already bootstrapped for you.
Libfabric currently supports GNU/Linux, Free BSD, and OS X.
configure script has many built in options (see
Some useful options are:
make install will place the files in the
--prefix option specifies that Libfabric files should be installed into
the tree specified by named
<directory>. The executables will be located at
Directory where valgrind is installed. If valgrind is found, then valgrind annotations are enabled. This may incur a performance penalty.
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.
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.
Disable the provider. This is synonymous with
Enable the provider and build it as a loadable library.
Enable the provider and use the installation given in
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.
$ ./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
tree. All other providers will be enabled if possible.
The fi_info utility can be used to validate the libfabric and provider
installation, as well as provide details about provider support and available
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.
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.
fi_gni(7) man page for more details.
gccversion 4.9 or higher.
The MXM provider has been deprecated and was removed after the 1.4.0 release.
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
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
psm provider can work with the
psm2-compat library, which exposes
a PSM 1.x interface over the Intel Omni-Path Fabric.
fi_psm(7) man page for more details.
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.
fi_psm2(7) man page for more details.
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.
fi_sockets(7) man page for more details.
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
forms the foundation of a utility provider that enables the implementation of
Libfabric features over any hardware.
fi_udp(7) man page for more details.
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.
fi_usnic(7) man page for more details.
usnicprovider depends on library files from either
libnlversion 1 (sometimes known as
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
libnlheader files (e.g., if you are building with
libnlversion 3, you need both the header and library files from version 3).
If specified, look for libnl support. If it is not found then the
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
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.
fi_verbs(7) man page for more details.
- 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 provider is a native provider that directly utilizes the hardware
interfaces of the Blue Gene/Q system to implement all aspects of the libfabric
fi_bgq(7) man page for more details
bgqprovider 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.
If specified, set the progress mode enabled in FABRIC_DIRECT.