5.5. Specifying compilers and flags

Changing the compilers that PMIx uses to build itself uses the standard GNU Autoconf mechanism of setting special environment variables either before invoking configure or on the configure command line itself.

The following environment variables are recognized by configure:

  • CC: C compiler to use

  • CFLAGS: Compile flags to pass to the C compiler

  • CPPFLAGS: Preprocessor flags to pass to the C compiler

  • LDFLAGS: Linker flags to pass to all compilers

  • LIBS: Libraries to pass to all compilers (it is rarely necessary for users to need to specify additional LIBS)

  • PKG_CONFIG: Path to the pkg-config utility


PMIx latest does not contain any C++ code. However, you can use a C++ compiler to build PMIx if you so choose.

For example, to build with a specific instance of gcc:

shell$ ./configure \
    CC=/opt/gcc-a.b.c/bin/gcc CFLAGS=-m64 ...


The PMIx community generally suggests using the above command line form for setting different compilers (vs. setting environment variables and then invoking ./configure). The above form will save all variables and values in the config.log file, which makes post-mortem analysis easier if problems occur.


Note that setting CFLAGS (etc.) does not affect the flags used by the wrapper compiler. In the above, example, you may also need to add -m64 to the --with-wrapper-cflags option:

shell$ ./configure CFLAGS=-m64 \
     --with-wrapper-cflags=-m64 ...

Failure to do this will result in PMIx-based applications failing to compile / link properly.

See the Customizing wrapper compiler behavior section for more details.

Note that if you intend to compile PMIx with a make other than the default one in your PATH, then you must either set the $MAKE environment variable before invoking PMIx’s configure script, or pass MAKE=your_make_prog to configure. For example:

shell$ ./configure MAKE=/path/to/my/make ...

This could be the case, for instance, if you have a shell alias for make, or you always type gmake out of habit. Failure to tell configure which non-default make you will use to compile PMIx can result in undefined behavior (meaning: don’t do that).

Note that you may also want to ensure that the value of LD_LIBRARY_PATH is set appropriately (or not at all) for your build (or whatever environment variable is relevant for your operating system). For example, some users have been tripped up by setting to use a non-default C compiler via the CC environment variable, but then failing to set LD_LIBRARY_PATH to include the directory containing that non-default C compiler’s support libraries. This causes PMIx’s configure script to fail when it tries to compile / link / run simple C programs.