Chapel Quickstart Instructions

These instructions are designed to help you get started with a source distribution of Chapel.

In the following instructions, note that building and using Chapel as described in steps 2-5 disables optional and advanced features in the interest of getting you a clean build as quickly as possible. Later sections explain how to re-build in the preferred configuration and how to enable more features, such as distributed memory execution.

  1. See doc/prereqs.rst for more information about system tools and packages you may need to have installed to build and run Chapel.

  2. If you don't already have Chapel 1.14, see .

  3. If you are using a source release, build Chapel in a quickstart configuration. The quickstart script used below is designed to help you get started with Chapel. After that, you may want to switch to a more full-featured configuration. See using-a-more-full-featured-chapel below.

    1. Expand the source release if you haven't already:

      tar xzf chapel-1.14.0.tar.gz
    2. Make sure that your shell is in the directory containing QUICKSTART.rst, for example:

      cd chapel-1.14.0
    3. Set up your environment for Chapel's Quickstart mode. If you are using a shell other than bash, see quickstart-with-other-shells below.

      source util/quickstart/setchplenv.bash
    4. Use GNU make to build Chapel. On some systems, you will have to use gmake. See doc/building.rst for more information about building Chapel.

    5. Optionally, check that your Chapel build is working correctly

      make check
  4. Compile an example program:

    chpl -o hello examples/hello.chpl
  5. Run the resulting executable:

  6. Experiment with Chapel in this Quickstart mode to your heart's content. Once you are comfortable with Chapel and interested in using a full-featured version in the preferred configuration, see the next section.

Using Chapel in Multi-Locale Mode

All of the instructions above describe how to run Chapel programs in a single-locale (shared-memory) mode. To run using multiple locales (distributed memory), please refer to doc/multilocale.rst.


If you plan to do performance studies of Chapel programs, be sure to use the full-featured version from using-a-more-full-featured-chapel above and read $CHPL_HOME/ to avoid common pitfalls.

Quickstart with Other Shells

If you use: then type:
a bash-compatible shell (bash/zsh) source util/quickstart/setchplenv.bash
a csh-compatible shell (csh/tcsh) source util/quickstart/setchplenv.csh
the fish shell (fish) . util/quickstart/
the Bourne shell (sh) . util/quickstart/

What's next?

For more detailed information about: refer to:
platform-specific notes platforms
online Chapel Documentation
example Chapel programs examples/README
setting Chapel environment variables doc/chplenv.rst
building the compiler doc/building.rst
compiling Chapel programs doc/compiling.rst
executing Chapel programs doc/executing.rst
debugging Chapel programs doc/debugging.rst
reporting bugs doc/bugs.rst
implementation status STATUS
performance status
Chapel modes for emacs and vim highlight/
Chapel's file and directory structure README.files
changes since the last release