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 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 1.15, 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-1.15.0.tar.gz
    2. Make sure that your shell is in the directory containing QUICKSTART.rst, for example:

      cd chapel-1.15.0
    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 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 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 information about Chapel, refer to the following resources:

Online documentation:
Platform-specific notes: ../platforms
Example Chapel programs: $CHPL_HOME/examples/README
Setting Chapel env vars: chplenv.rst
Building the compiler: building.rst
Compiling Chapel programs: compiling.rst
Executing Chapel programs: executing.rst
Debugging Chapel programs: debugging.rst
Reporting bugs: bugs.rst
Performance status: $CHPL_HOME/
Chapel modes for emacs/vim: $CHPL_HOME/highlight/
Chapel's file/dir structure: $CHPL_HOME/README.files
Changes since last release: $CHPL_HOME/