Installation on Linux, Unix, and Mac

DIRAC is configured using CMake, typically via the setup script, and subsequently compiled using make or gmake.


To compile and run DIRAC you need CMake 2.8 or higher and python 2.4 or higher.

What to do if CMake is not available or too old?

It is your machine and you have Ubuntu or Debian:

$ sudo apt-get install cmake

On Fedora:

$ sudo yum install cmake

Similar mechanisms exist for other distributions or operating systems. Please consult Google.

If it is a cluster, please ask the Administrator to install/upgrade CMake.

If it is a cluster, but you prefer to install it yourself (it’s easy):

  1. Download the latest precompiled tarball from
  2. Extract the tarball to, say, ~/cmake-2.8.5-Linux-i386
  3. Set correct PATH variable

Basic installation using the setup script

DIRAC is configured using CMake. The setup script is a useful front-end to CMake. It does nothing else than create the directory “build” and call CMake with appropriate environment variables and flags:

$ ./setup [--flags]
$ cd build
$ make

To see all available options:

$ ./setup --help

You can see the CMake command using:

$ ./setup [--flags] --show

and use it directly to call CMake without setup.

Most typical examples

In order to get familiar with the configuration setup, let us demonstrate some of the most typical configuration scenarios.

Configure for parallel compilation using MPI (make sure to properly export MPI paths):

$ ./setup --fc=mpif90 --cc=mpicc

Configure for parallel compilation using MPI and 64-bit integers:

$ ./setup --fc=mpif90 --cc=mpicc --int64

Configure for sequential compilation using ifort/icc:

$ ./setup --fc=ifort --cc=icc

Configure for sequential compilation using gfortran/gcc:

$ ./setup --fc=gfortran --cc=gcc

You get the idea. The configuration is normally pretty good at detecting math libraries automatically, provided you export proper environment variables, see Linking math libraries.

Out of source compilation

By default CMake builds out of source. This means that all object files and the final binary are generated outside of the src/ directory. Typically the build directory is called “build”, but you can modify this default behavior:

$ .setup [--flags] alternative-build-path

The out of source compilation is in contrast to previous DIRAC releases. This strategy offers several advantages. One obvious advantage is that you can now build several binaries with the same source:

$ cd /sourcepath
$ ./setup --fc=gfortran --cc=gcc /gfortran-buildpath
$ cd /gfortran-buildpath
$ make
$ cd /sourcepath
$ ./setup --fc=ifort --cc=icc /ifort-buildpath
$ cd /ifort-buildpath
$ make

Basic installation without the setup script

If you are familiar with CMake you don’t have to use the setup script. The setup script does nothing else than calling CMake with appropriate environment variables and flags, it is a convenient front-end.

Minimal example:

$ mkdir build
$ cd build
$ cmake ..
$ make

The two following strategies are completely equivalent:

Using CMake directly:

$ mkdir build
$ cd build
$ FC=mpif90 CC=mpicc cmake -DENABLE_MPI=1 -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Release ..
$ make

Using setup:

$ ./setup --fc=mpif90 --cc=mpicc
$ cd build
$ make

If the compiler contains “mpi”, then you can omit the flag –mpi, setup will set it in this case automatically.

Please note that the defaults for performance optimization are different for setup and direct CMake: by default setup configures for optimization, whereas direct CMake commands configure code without optimization. Both defaults can be changed.

There is nothing special about the directory “build”. You can do this instead:

$ mkdir /buildpath
$ cd /buildpath
$ cmake /sourcepath
$ make

Make install

Make install is very useful to make DIRAC available to other users on the same machine:

$ ./setup [--flags] --prefix=/path
$ cd build
$ make
$ make install

Where should $PATH point to? Source directory or build directory?

We recommend to let $PATH point to the install directory:

$ ./setup [--flags] --prefix=/install/path
$ cd build
$ make
$ make install

This way everything (binary, scripts, basis sets) will be at the right place under /install/path and $PATH should contain /install/path.

Compiling in verbose mode

Sometimes you want to see the actual compiler flags and definitions:

$ make VERBOSE=1

Compiling on many cores

Yes, it works. Try:

$ make -j4

We have successfully compiled DIRAC on 64 cores. With the new configuration based on CMake, compilation race condition errors do not appear.

How can I change optimization flags?

If you want to turn optimization off (debug mode), there are several ways to do that.

Either use setup:

$ ./setup --debug [other flags]
$ cd build
$ make

Or use CMake directly (default here is debug mode):

$ mkdir build
$ cd build
$ [FC=ifort CC=icc] cmake ..
$ make