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MPI_Comm_spawn - Spawns a number of identical binaries.
int MPI_Comm_spawn(const char *command, char *argv, int maxprocs,
MPI_Info info, int root, MPI_Comm comm,
MPI_Comm *intercomm, int array_of_errcodes)
! or the older form: INCLUDE ’mpif.h’
MPI_COMM_SPAWN(COMMAND, ARGV, MAXPROCS, INFO, ROOT, COMM,
INTERCOMM, ARRAY_OF_ERRCODES, IERROR)
CHARACTER*(*) COMMAND, ARGV(*)
INTEGER INFO, MAXPROCS, ROOT, COMM, INTERCOMM,
MPI_Comm_spawn(command, argv, maxprocs, info, root, comm, intercomm,
CHARACTER(LEN=*), INTENT(IN) :: command, argv(*)
INTEGER, INTENT(IN) :: maxprocs, root
TYPE(MPI_Info), INTENT(IN) :: info
TYPE(MPI_Comm), INTENT(IN) :: comm
TYPE(MPI_Comm), INTENT(OUT) :: intercomm
INTEGER :: array_of_errcodes(*)
INTEGER, OPTIONAL, INTENT(OUT) :: ierror
- Name of program to be spawned (string, significant
only at root).
- Arguments to command (array of strings, significant
only at root).
- Maximum number of processes to start (integer, significant
only at root).
- A set of key-value pairs telling the runtime system where
and how to start the processes (handle, significant only at root).
- Rank of process in which previous arguments are examined (integer).
- Intracommunicator containing group of spawning processes (handle).
tries to start maxprocs identical copies of the MPI program specified by
command, establishing communication with them and returning an intercommunicator.
The spawned processes are referred to as children. The children have their
own MPI_COMM_WORLD, which is separate from that of the parents. MPI_Comm_spawn
is collective over comm, and also may not return until MPI_Init has been
called in the children. Similarly, MPI_Init in the children may not return
until all parents have called MPI_Comm_spawn. In this sense, MPI_Comm_spawn
in the parents and MPI_Init in the children form a collective operation
over the union of parent and child processes. The intercommunicator returned
by MPI_Comm_spawn contains the parent processes in the local group and
the child processes in the remote group. The ordering of processes in the
local and remote groups is the same as the as the ordering of the group
of the comm in the parents and of MPI_COMM_WORLD of the children, respectively.
This intercommunicator can be obtained in the children through the function
- Intercommunicator between original group and the newly
spawned group (handle).
- One code per process (array of
- Fortran only: Error status (integer).
The MPI standard allows an implementation to use the
MPI_UNIVERSE_SIZE attribute of MPI_COMM_WORLD to specify the number of
processes that will be active in a program. Although this implementation
of the MPI standard defines MPI_UNIVERSE_SIZE, it does not allow the user
to set its value. If you try to set the value of MPI_UNIVERSE_SIZE, you
will get an error message.
The command Argument
The command argument is
a string containing the name of a program to be spawned. The string is null-terminated
in C. In Fortran, leading and trailing spaces are stripped. MPI looks for
the file first in the working directory of the spawning process.
argv is an array of strings containing arguments that are passed
to the program. The first element of argv is the first argument passed to
command, not, as is conventional in some contexts, the command itself. The
argument list is terminated by NULL in C and C++ and an empty string in
Fortran (note that it is the MPI application’s responsibility to ensure
that the last entry of the argv array is an empty string; the compiler
will not automatically insert it). In Fortran, leading and trailing spaces
are always stripped, so that a string consisting of all spaces is considered
an empty string. The constant MPI_ARGV_NULL may be used in C, C++ and Fortran
to indicate an empty argument list. In C and C++, this constant is the same
In C, the MPI_Comm_spawn argument argv differs from the argv argument
of main in two respects. First, it is shifted by one element. Specifically,
argv of main contains the name of the program (given by command). argv
of main corresponds to argv in MPI_Comm_spawn, argv of main to argv
of MPI_Comm_spawn, and so on. Second, argv of MPI_Comm_spawn must be null-terminated,
so that its length can be determined. Passing an argv of MPI_ARGV_NULL to
MPI_Comm_spawn results in main receiving argc of 1 and an argv whose element
0 is the name of the program.
The maxprocs Argument
Open MPI tries to spawn
maxprocs processes. If it is unable to spawn maxprocs processes, it raises
an error of class MPI_ERR_SPAWN. If MPI is able to spawn the specified number
of processes, MPI_Comm_spawn returns successfully and the number of spawned
processes, m, is given by the size of the remote group of intercomm.
call with the default behavior is called hard. A spawn call for which fewer
than maxprocs processes may be returned is called soft.
The info Argument
The info argument is an opaque handle of type MPI_Info in C, MPI::Info
in C++ and INTEGER in Fortran. It is a container for a number of user-specified
(key,value) pairs. key and value are strings (null-terminated char* in C,
character*(*) in Fortran). Routines to create and manipulate the info argument
are described in Section 4.10 of the MPI-2 standard.
For the SPAWN calls,
info provides additional, implementation-dependent instructions to MPI and
the runtime system on how to start processes. An application may pass MPI_INFO_NULL
in C or Fortran. Portable programs not requiring detailed control over process
locations should use MPI_INFO_NULL.
The following keys for info are recognized
in Open MPI. (The reserved values mentioned in Section 5.3.4 of the MPI-2 standard
are not implemented.)
Key Type Description
--- ---- -----------
host char * Host on which the process should be
spawned. See the orte_host man
page for an explanation of how this
will be used.
hostfile char * Hostfile containing the hosts on which
the processes are to be spawned. See
the orte_hostfile man page for
an explanation of how this will be
add-host char * Add the specified host to the list of
hosts known to this job and use it for
the associated process. This will be
used similarly to the -host option.
add-hostfile char * Hostfile containing hosts to be added
to the list of hosts known to this job
and use it for the associated
process. This will be used similarly
to the -hostfile option.
wdir char * Directory where the executable is
located. If files are to be
pre-positioned, then this location is
the desired working directory at time
of execution - if not specified, then
it will automatically be set to
ompi_prefix char * Same as the --prefix command line
argument to mpirun.
ompi_preload_binary bool If set to true, pre-position the
specified executable onto the remote
host. A destination directory must
also be provided.
ompi_preload_files char * A comma-separated list of files that
are to be pre-positioned in addition
to the executable. Note that this
option does not depend upon
ompi_preload_binary - files can
be moved to the target even if an
executable is not moved.
ompi_stdin_target char* Comma-delimited list of ranks to
receive stdin when forwarded.
ompi_non_mpi bool If set to true, launching a non-MPI
application; the returned communicator
will be MPI_COMM_NULL. Failure to set
this flag when launching a non-MPI
application will cause both the child
and parent jobs to "hang".
ompi_param char * Pass an OMPI MCA parameter to the
child job. If that parameter already
exists in the environment, the value
will be overwritten by the provided
mapper char* Mapper to be used for this job
map_by char* Mapping directive indicating how
processes are to be mapped (slot,
node, socket, etc.).
rank_by char * Ranking directive indicating how
processes are to be ranked (slot,
node, socket, etc.).
bind_to char * Binding directive indicating how
processes are to be bound (core, slot,
node, socket, etc.).
path char* List of directories to search for
npernode char* Number of processes to spawn on
each node of the allocation
pernode bool Equivalent to npernode of 1
ppr char* Spawn specified number of processes
on each of the identified object type
env char* Newline-delimited list of envars to
be passed to the spawned procs
bool info keys are actually strings but are evaluated as follows: if the
string value is a number, it is converted to an integer and cast to a boolean
(meaning that zero integers are false and non-zero values are true). If
the string value is (case-insensitive) "yes" or "true", the boolean is true.
If the string value is (case-insensitive) "no" or "false", the boolean
is false. All other string values are unrecognized, and therefore false.
The root Argument
All arguments before the root argument are examined
only on the process whose rank in comm is equal to root. The value of these
arguments on other processes is ignored.
The array_of_errcodes Argument
The array_of_errcodes is an array of length maxprocs in which MPI reports
the status of the processes that MPI was requested to start. If all maxprocs
processes were spawned, array_of_errcodes is filled in with the value MPI_SUCCESS.
If anyof the processes are not spawned, array_of_errcodes is filled in
with the value MPI_ERR_SPAWN. In C or Fortran, an application may pass MPI_ERRCODES_IGNORE
if it is not interested in the error codes. In C++ this constant does not
exist, and the array_of_errcodes argument may be omitted from the argument
Completion of MPI_Comm_spawn in the parent does not necessarily
mean that MPI_Init has been called in the children (although the returned
intercommunicator can be used immediately).
Almost all MPI routines
return an error value; C routines as the value of the function and Fortran
routines in the last argument. C++ functions do not return errors. If the
default error handler is set to MPI::ERRORS_THROW_EXCEPTIONS, then on error
the C++ exception mechanism will be used to throw an MPI::Exception object.
Before the error value is returned, the current MPI error handler is called.
By default, this error handler aborts the MPI job, except for I/O function
errors. The error handler may be changed with MPI_Comm_set_errhandler; the
predefined error handler MPI_ERRORS_RETURN may be used to cause error values
to be returned. Note that MPI does not guarantee that an MPI program can
continue past an error.
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