Quick Start

Under Linux, or Mac OS X:

# Get latest development version from github
git clone
cd sylver

mkdir build # create build directory
cd build
# configure compilation
cmake <path-to-source> -D SYLVER_RUNTIME=StarPU -D SYLVER_ENABLE_CUDA=ON
make # run compilation

Third-party libraries


SPRAL is an open-source library for sparse linear algebra and associated algorithm and has several important features used in SyLVER. By default, SPRAL is automatically download and built during the installation of SyLVER. However, if you wish to use your own version of SPRAL, which is not recommended, you can use the instructions below to install it.

SPRAL installation

The installation instruction presented here are only useful if you wish to install SPRAL as an internal package. By default SPRAL is automatically downloaded and built during the installation of SyLVER.

The latest release of SPRAL can be found on its GitHub repository. The compilation of SPRAL is handled by autotools and for example can be done as follow when using the GCC compilers:

cd spral
mkdir build
cd build
../configure CXX=g++ FC=gfortran CC=gcc CFLAGS="-g -O2 -march=native" CXXFLAGS="-g -O2 -march=native" FCFLAGS="-g -O2 -march=native" --with-metis="-L/path/to/metis -lmetis" --with-blas="-L/path/to/blas -lblas" --with-lapack="-L/path/to/lapack -llapack" --disable-openmp --disable-gpu

Note that the compilation flags used for SPRAL must match the flags used in the compilation of SyLVER. Here we use the flags -g -O2 -march=native that correspond to the RelWithDebInfo build type in SyLVER.

Here we use the --disable-openmp option because SyLVER works with the serial version of SPRAL. Additionally, in this example we disabled the compilation of the SPRAL GPU kernels using the --disable-gpu option.

Sequential version of BLAS and LAPACK should be used. We recommend using the MKL library for best performance on Intel machines and ESSL on IBM machines. The MKL link line advisor can be useful to fill the --with-blas and --with-lapack options.

When compiling SyLVER you need to provide both the path to the SPRAL source directory which can be given using the -D SPRAL_SRC_DIR CMake option or the SPRAL_SRC_DIR environment variable and the path to the SPRAL library which can be given using the -D SPRAL_DIR CMake option or the SPRAL_DIR environment variable.


The MeTiS partitioning library is needed by the SPRAL library and therefore, needed when linking the SyLVER package for building examples and test drivers.

When compiling SyLVER you can provide the path to the MeTiS library using either -D METIS_DIR CMake option or the METIS_DIR environment variable.


The hwloc library is topology discovery library which is necessary for linking the examples and test drivers if SPRAL was compiled with it. In this case, the library path can be given to CMake using either the -D HWLOC_DIR definition or the HWLOC_DIR environment variable.

Runtime system

The -D SYLVER_RUNTIME=StarPU enables the compilation of the parallel version of SyLVER using StarPU runtime system. In this case the StarPU version needs to be at least 1.3.0. The StarPU library is found with the FindSTARPU.cmake script located in the cmake/Modules directory. Note that, for this script to be able to find the StarPU library, you need to set the environment variable STARPU_DIR to the path of you StarPU install base directory.


The BLAS and LAPACK libraries play an important role in the performance of the solver. We recommend using the MKL library for best performance on Intel machines and the ESSL library when running on IBM machines. Alternative BLAS and LAPACK libraries include OpenBLAS. Note that SyLVER should be linked against the sequential BLAS and LAPACK libraries.

These libraries are found via the CMake scripts FindBLAS and FindLAPACK and therefore it is possible to use the options -D BLA_VENDOR to indicate which libraries to use. For example:

cmake <path-to-source> -D BLA_VENDOR=Intel10_64lp_seq # configure compilation

selects and locates the sequential BLAS and LAPACK implementation for the compilation and when linking test drivers, example and tests.

If CMake is unable to locate the requested libraries via the -D BLA_VENDOR, it is still possible to give them explicitly using the -D LBLAS and -D LLAPACK options. For example:

# configure compilation
cmake <path-to-source> -D LBLAS="-L/path/to/blas -lblas" -D LLAPACK="-L/path/to/lapack -llapack"