Building MFEM

A simple tutorial how to build and run the serial and parallel version of MFEM together with GLVis. For more details, see the INSTALL file and make help.

In addition to the native build system described below, MFEM packages are also available in the following package managers:

MFEM can also be installed as part of

Instructions

Download MFEM and GLVis

Below we assume that we are working with versions 3.4.

Serial version of MFEM and GLVis

Put everything in the same directory:

~> ls
glvis-3.4.tgz   mfem-3.4.tgz

Build the serial version of MFEM:

~> tar -zxvf mfem-3.4.tgz
~> cd mfem-3.4
~/mfem-3.4> make serial -j

Build GLVis:

~> tar -zxvf glvis-3.4.tgz
~> cd glvis-3.4
~/glvis-3.4> make MFEM_DIR=../mfem-3.4 -j

That's it! The MFEM library can be found in mfem-3.4/libmfem.a, while the glvis executable will be in the glvis-3.4 directory.

Note: as of version 4.0, GLVis has additional dependencies that need to be installed first, see its building documentation.

To start a GLVis server, open a new terminal and type

~> cd glvis-3.4
~/glvis-3.4> ./glvis

The serial examples can be build with:

~> cd mfem-3.4/examples
~/mfem-3.4/examples> make -j

All serial examples and miniapps can be build with:

~> cd mfem-3.4
~/mfem-3.4> make all -j

Parallel MPI version of MFEM

Download hypre and METIS from

Below we assume that we are working with hypre version 2.16.0 and METIS version 4.0.3 (see below for METIS version 5 and later). We also assume that the serial version of MFEM and GLVis have been built as described above.

Put everything in the same directory:

~> ls
glvis-3.4/  hypre-2.16.0.tar.gz   metis-4.0.3.tar.gz   mfem-3.4/

Build hypre:

~> tar -zxvf hypre-2.16.0.tar.gz
~> cd hypre-2.16.0/src/
~/hypre-2.16.0/src> ./configure --disable-fortran
~/hypre-2.16.0/src> make -j
~/hypre-2.16.0/src> cd ../..
~> ln -s hypre-2.16.0 hypre

Build METIS:

~> tar -zxvf metis-4.0.3.tar.gz
~> cd metis-4.0.3
~/metis-4.0.3> make
~/metis-4.0.3> cd ..
~> ln -s metis-4.0.3 metis-4.0

(If you are using METIS 5, see the instructions below.)

Build the parallel version of MFEM:

~> cd mfem-3.4
~/mfem-3.4> make parallel -j

Note that if hypre or METIS are in different locations, or you have different versions of these libraries, you will need to update the corresponding paths in the config/defaults.mk file, or create you own config/user.mk, as described in the INSTALL file.

The parallel examples can be build with:

~> cd mfem-3.4/examples
~/mfem-3.4/examples> make -j

The serial examples can also be build with the parallel version of the library, e.g.

~/mfem-3.4/examples> make ex1 ex2

All parallel examples and miniapps can be build with:

~> cd mfem-3.4
~/mfem-3.4> make all -j

One can also use the parallel library to optionally (re-)build GLVis:

~> cd glvis-3.4
~/glvis-3.4> make clean
~/glvis-3.4> make MFEM_DIR=../mfem-3.4 -j

This, however, is generally not recommended, since the additional MPI thread can interfere with the other GLVis threads.

Parallel build using METIS 5

Build METIS 5:

~> tar zvxf metis-5.1.0.tar.gz
~> cd metis-5.1.0
~/metis-5.1.0> make config ; make
~/metis-5.1.0> mkdir lib
~/metis-5.1.0> ln -s ../build/Linux-x86_64/libmetis/libmetis.a lib

Build the parallel version of MFEM, setting the options MFEM_USE_METIS_5 and METIS_DIR, e.g.:

~> cd mfem-3.4
~/mfem-3.4> make parallel -j MFEM_USE_METIS_5=YES METIS_DIR=@MFEM_DIR@/../metis-5.1.0

CUDA version of MFEM

Build the serial CUDA version of MFEM:

~/mfem> make cuda -j

Build the parallel CUDA version of MFEM:

~/mfem> make pcuda -j

It can be useful to specify the compute capability, with the CUDA_ARCH flag, corresponding to your NVidia GPU. Build the parallel CUDA version of MFEM for sm_70 (NVidia V100):

~/mfem> make pcuda CUDA_ARCH=sm_70 -j

HIP version of MFEM

Build the serial HIP version of MFEM:

~/mfem> make hip -j

Build the parallel HIP version of MFEM:

~/mfem> make phip -j

Installing MFEM with Spack

If Spack is already available on your system and is visible in your PATH, you can install the MFEM software simply with:

spack install mfem

To enable package testing during the build process, use instead:

spack install -v --test=all mfem

If you don't have Spack, you can download it and install MFEM with the following commands:

git clone https://github.com/spack/spack.git
cd spack
./bin/spack install -v mfem