Building OpenMPI for Fortran compilers

While GNU Gfortran and Intel Fortran have easy-to-use OpenMPI support pre-built for many platforms, it can be desirable to compile OpenMPI to get the latest version or to support other compilers. Compiling OpenMPI is quite easy and takes only several minutes to compile.

  1. Download latest OpenMPI source

  2. This example command configures OpenMPI with Fortran compiler:

     ./configure --prefix=$HOME/.local/openmpi4.0.0 CC=gcc CXX=g++ FC=gfortran

    Don’t just use $HOME/.local as that spills OpenMPI files into common directories, making it hard to use multiple OpenMPI versions or multiple compilers. {: .alert-box}

  3. Build and install OpenMPI:

    make -s -j
    make install   # no sudo
  4. add to ~/.bashrc:

    export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=$HOME/.local/openmpi4.0.0/lib:$LD_LIBRARY_PATH

CMake for OpenMPI

CMake ≥ 3.10 is recommended for better OpenMPI support.

The FindMPI CMake module works well, and it’s easy to switch between multiple OpenMPI versions installed with MPI_ROOT variable:

cmake -DMPI_ROOT=$HOME/.local/openmpi-4.0.0/lib ..

As in general for CMake packages, the MPI imported target is highly recommended over the legacy discrete variables, as in this minimal CMakeLists.txt:

find_package(MPI REQUIRED COMPONENTS Fortran)

add_executable(mpivers mpivers.f90)
target_link_libraries(mpivers MPI::MPI_Fortran)


If it doesn’t work with CMake, try $HOME/.local/openmpi4.0.0/bin/mpif90 myprog.f90. If that works, try something like:

FC=gfortran CC=gcc cmake -DMPI_Fortran_COMPILER=$HOME/.local/openmpi4.0.0/bin/mpif90 ..


See the modern Fortran 2008 OpenMPI examples