Using Chapel with Omni-Path

This document describes how to run Chapel across multiple nodes of an Intel Omni-Path cluster. Multilocale Chapel Execution describes general information about running Chapel in a multilocale configuration.


Only CHPL_COMM=gasnet with the ofi substrate is supported for Omni-Path. CHPL_COMM=ofi is not supported.

Configuring for Omni-Path

To build Chapel with Omni-Path support, set:

export CHPL_COMM=gasnet

GASNet should automatically detect the psm2 provider, but to ensure this provider is used FI_PROVIDER=psm2 may optionally be set.

Configuring a Launcher

A gasnetrun_ofi-based launcher should be used to launch jobs and native launchers like srun will not work. Many Omni-Path clusters use a workload manager or queueing system such as Slurm. To select an appropriate Chapel launcher you can set CHPL_LAUNCHER to one of the following values:

Launcher Name



run jobs interactively on your system


queue jobs using Slurm (srun/sbatch)

Selecting a Spawner

Under the covers gasnetrun_ofi-based launchers must figure out how to spawn jobs and get them up and running on the compute nodes. GASNet’s two primary means of doing this on Omni-Path clusters are ssh and mpi. GASNet will default to mpi if MPI support is detected at configure time, otherwise it will default to ssh. Using mpi will likely incur a performance penalty because MPI will be running concurrently with GASNet. Running with ssh is recommended, but not all systems support ssh’ing to compute nodes so it is not always the default.

Using SSH for Job Launch

To launch Omni-Path jobs with SSH, use the following:

# Specify ssh spawner

# Specify the nodes to run on (only required when using plain
# gasnetrun_ofi outside a Slurm reservation)
export GASNET_SSH_SERVERS="nid00001 nid00002 nid00003 ..."

If you receive an error message like:

*** Failed to start processes on nid00001, possibly due to an inability to establish an ssh connection from login-node without interactive authentication.

This indicates passwordless SSH is not set up. You can try copying existing SSH keys or generating new ones with the following:

ssh-keygen -t rsa # use default location and empty passphrase
cat ~/.ssh/ >> ~/.ssh/authorized_keys

If you see the same error message this may indicate ssh connections to compute nodes are not allowed, in which case using the MPI spawner may be your only option.

Using MPI for Job Launch

To launch Omni-Path jobs with mpirun, first make sure that mpicc is available and that MPI programs launch appropriately with mpirun. Then use the following. You’ll want to make sure that GASNet detects MPI in its configuration output.


It’s worth noting that some configurations do not allow opening the network device multiple times from a single process, so this method may not be reliable.

Verifying Job Launch

Once the above configuration has been done, checking that jobs are launching properly is recommended. The following Chapel program will print out the locale names and how much parallelism is available per locale. Ideally each locale is running on a unique node (not oversubscribed) and the amount of parallelism matches the number of physical cores on each node.

for loc in Locales do on loc do
  writeln((, here.maxTaskPar));

An example run may look something like the following:

(nid00001, 28)
(nid00002, 28)

If nodes are oversubscribed or the amount of parallelism is far less than expected see Selecting a Spawner and if that does not help consider opening a bug as described in Reporting Chapel Issues.

In some cases, we have found that setting HFI_NO_CPUAFFINITY=1 may be required to get access to all cores.

See Also

For more information on these and other available GASNet options, including configuring to launch through MPI, please refer to GASNet’s official ofi conduit documentation, which can also be found in $CHPL_HOME/third-party/gasnet/gasnet-src/ofi-conduit/README.