[mpich-discuss] Very long configuration time

Jed Brown jed at jedbrown.org
Wed May 21 15:28:43 CDT 2014

Kenneth Raffenetti <raffenet at mcs.anl.gov> writes:

> The Intel compilers could also be a source of slowdown. Are they 
> installed on a network filesystem? They may also call out to a network 
> license server each time they are invoked for a compile test. Does just 
> compiling a small program take a long time with icc, ifort, etc.?

The system headers and libraries are also often on a network file
system.  Although moving the source tree to a local disk usually
provides some improvement, I rarely find it getting anywhere close to
the performance of a cheap laptop because most of the file accesses
performed by the compiler are hitting the network anyway.  This is the
price we all pay for legacy file system semantics and dumb compiler
architecture.  I think most companies in a place to change these things
do full local installs on their development boxes so that compilation is
fast.  And the HPC vendors wear blindfolds and put their heads in the

As for Intel license servers, this is the price you pay for anti-piracy
measures.  People that are really ticked off by this crack their
compilers---the pirates enjoy a better user experience.  Is it ethical
to use a cracked version if you've already paid for the licensed

Besides those issues, the Intel compiler usually takes a lot longer to
compile.  It's worth building with gcc and clang to compare.  You might
be pleasantly surprised to find that in addition to compiling faster,
your code also runs faster (this is the case for several applications I
work with).
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