Building ParaView

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ParaView is a visualization software designed with the need of large data sets in mind. It is able to run on multiple computers using MPI to handle the largest data sets.

What follows is a tutorial to compile ParaView from sources on a Unix computer.



  • CMake, version 2.0.6 or newer
  • CVS client to get the sources
  • C++ compiler such as g++
  • MPICH (or other MPI implementation) if parallel ParaView is desired

Getting the sources

We are interested in the very new phasta Reader developped by Kitware, which is (at least for the time being) only available in the development version of ParaView, which means that we need to get the sources from CVS. Replace /space with any directory that has 1GB of available space.

$ cd /space 
$ cvs -d login
Logging in to
CVS password: <Press ENTER> 
$ cvs -d co -D "2006-02-13 16:15" ParaView
   output truncated

Compilation - Serial

The recommended way to build ParaView is out of source, meaning that cmake, make etc are not run in the ParaView directory, but in a separate, empty one. This makes it possible to build ParaView for several architectures without collision.

To make the paraview binary, do:

$ mkdir obj-serial 
$ cd obj-serial 
$ ccmake ../ParaView
   press c to configure
   press c again to configure
   press g to generate and quit
   output truncated
$ make && make install
   output truncated

The compilation takes a while. On a 2GHz Pentium 4 running Red Hat Linux 4, it takes about 90 minutes. When it is complete, you have the program ready to use in obj-serial/bin/paraview.

You can preset the values of the variables defined by ccmake on the command line. Version 3.2.1 is built using the above method replacing the call to ccmake with the following:

ccmake -DQT_QMAKE_EXECUTABLE=/usr/local/Trolltech/Qt-4.2.3/bin/qmake \
 -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=/usr/local/paraview/3.2.1/serial -DVTK_USE_BOOST=ON \
-DBUILD_EXAMPLES=ON   ../ParaView3.2.1/

On 64bit machines it seems to be necessary to disable boost support and build with:

ccmake -DQT_QMAKE_EXECUTABLE=/usr/local/Trolltech/Qt-4.2.3/bin/qmake  \
-DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=/usr/local/paraview/3.2.1/serial -DVTK_USE_BOOST=OFF \

Compilation - Parallel

Compiling parallel ParaView is very similar to the serial case - except that you need to tell cmake where to find the MPI implementation. The following guide assumes a standard SCOREC installation with MPICH in /usr/local/mpich/latest

To make the paraview binary, do:

$ mkdir obj-parallel 
$ cd obj-parallel 
$ ccmake -DVTK_USE_MPI:BOOL=ON \
> -DMPI_INCLUDE_PATH:PATH=/usr/local/mpich/latest/ch_p4/include \
> -DMPI_LIBRARY:FILEPATH="-L/usr/local/mpich/latest/ch_p4/lib -lmpich" \
> -DVTK_MPIRUN_EXE:FILEPATH=/usr/local/mpich/latest/ch_p4/bin/mpirun \
> ../ParaView
   press c to configure
   press c again to configure
   press g to generate and quit
   output truncated
$ make && make install
   output truncated

When the compilation is complete, the program is ready to use in obj-parallel/bin/paraview.

paraview 3.2.1 is being built with:

ccmake -DQT_QMAKE_EXECUTABLE=/usr/local/Trolltech/Qt-4.2.3/bin/qmake \
-DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=/usr/local/paraview/3.2.1/parallel -DVTK_USE_BOOST=ON \
-DMPI_INCLUDE_PATH:PATH=/usr/local/mpich/latest/ch_p4/include \
-DMPI_LIBRARY:FILEPATH="-L/usr/local/mpich/latest/ch_p4/lib -lmpich" \
 -DVTK_MPIRUN_EXE:FILEPATH=/usr/local/mpich/latest/ch_p4/bin/mpirun \
-DPARAVIEW_USE_MPI=ON ../ParaView3.2.1/

September 08 CVS Builds

First Do a CVS checkout as described on the paraview website.

Set any optimization options using environment variables

export CFLAGS="-O3"
export CCFLAGS="-O3"
export FFLAGS="-O3"

If building on an NFS share (your home directory for example) Make a file called "cp" containing:

/bin/cp $@

and put it in the beginning of your path. For example, if you put it in ~/bin

export PATH="/users/you/bin:$PATH"

Use the new cmake:

export PATH="/usr/local/cmake/latest/bin:$PATH"

Get the source:

mkdir paraview
cvs -d login 
cvs -d co ParaView3 

Then configure as described above with (all one line)

ccmake -D CMAKE_PREFIX_PATH="/usr/local/boost/latest;/usr/local/Trolltech/4.4.3;/usr/local/mpich/1.2.7p1-share;/" -DPARAVIEW_USE_MPI=ON -DBUILD_SHARED_LIBS=ON -DPARAVIEW_ENABLE_PYTHON=ON -DMPI_LIBRARY="/usr/local/mpich/1.2.7p1-share/lib/libpmpich.a" -DMPI_EXTRA_LIBRARY="/usr/local/mpich/1.2.7p1-share/lib/;/usr/local/mpich/1.2.7p1-share/lib/;/usr/local/mpich/1.2.7p1-share/lib/shared/;/usr/local/mpich/1.2.7p1-share/lib/libpmpich++.a;/usr/local/mpich/1.2.7p1-share/lib/libmpe.a;/usr/local/mpich/1.2.7p1-share/lib/liblmpe.a;/usr/local/mpich/1.2.7p1-share/lib/libfmpich.a;/usr/local/mpich/1.2.7p1-share/lib/libmpich.a;/usr/local/mpich/1.2.7p1-share/lib/libmpichfarg.a;/usr/local/mpich/1.2.7p1-share/lib/libmpichfsup.a;/usr/local/mpich/1.2.7p1-share/lib/libtmpe.a" -DMPI_INCLUDE_PATH="/usr/local/mpich/1.2.7p1-share/include" ../ParaView3

You'll probably want to set the CMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX, either in the cmake GUI or on the command line, by appending -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX="/where/I/want/to/keep/paraview" to the above command.

If you get a warning about QT being the wrong version, just press e to ignore it. Your build will still be fine.

If everything went well build with

make -j8

If something goes wrong, try with

make -j1

to get some error messages

Then you can

make install

Before you can run paraview you'll need to

export LD_LIBRARY_PATH="/usr/local/mpich/1.2.7p1-share/lib/shared:$CMAKE_INSTALLL_PREFIX/lib/paraview-3.5:/usr/local/mpich/1.2.7p1-share/lib:$LD_LIBRARY_PATH"

where $CMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX is the value you gave when configuring paraview

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