INTEL Xeon Phi Linux Debian 6 or Ubuntu 12.04 support

INTEL Xeon Phi Linux Debian 6 or Ubuntu 12.04 support


the current INTEL Xeon Phi support is restricted only on RedHat (CentOS) and SLES Linux distributions. When will be available support for Debian6 and/or Ubuntu 12.04 LTS? In academic HPC community is penetretaion by commercial Linux distributions very low.

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The coprocessor has been brought up on many different OSs outside of the officially supported ones. You will need to obtain the sources (available to you) and do some recompiling and perhaps some integration. I believe there is documentation out there on how to do this. In fact, I'm reviewing one such document but it isn't public as yet. Intel doesn't do rigorous testing, etc, for unsupported OSs. It's use at your own risk, but it doesn't mean that it is not possible or will not work.

Here is another thread that may interest you as well:



In the MPSS release, you will find a src directory containing a file named intel-mic-kmod-<version>.src.rpm that will rebuild the kernel module used in your host Linux. (The files to rebuild the Ganglia and OFED support are in that directory as well.) With the Gold releases, you will also find the version of the gcc compiler that was used to build the officially supported versions of Linux. An rpmbuild --rebuild of that file. might be all you need. Try that first. There is also a directory called gpl containing support commands for the host as well as the full coprocessor environment. The coprocessor commands are independent of your host operating system but you might want to untar and recompile the source in there if you have trouble with the commands in /opt/intel/mic/bin. You can find detailed directions in the Intel® Xeon Phi™ Coprocessor Many-core Platform Software Stack (MPSS) Getting Started Guide (or the files) that came with the MPSS release for rebuilding both the kernel module and the GPL commands.

I could set MPSS successfully in ubuntu 12.10 x64 OS. It required quite a lot of manual intervention as the scripts were written for RHEL or SLES.


Jaiber J. wrote:

I could set MPSS successfully in ubuntu 12.10 x64 OS. It required quite a lot of manual intervention as the scripts were written for RHEL or SLES.

Could you share with us your modified (Ubuntu 12.10) install script??? My attempts to install MPSS on debian like machines are still not successful.

This link should help you install MPSS on Ubuntu 12.04. However, I got it working on 12.10. In addition to the patch you'll find in that URL, there'll be 2 additional errors when compiling the mic driver. One is minor_num in tty_driver struct which is deprecated in the latest kernels (hint: and another is an attribute called 'key' being renamed to '_key' in the latest kernels. Assuming you know how to work with kernel you'll be able to get past them.

Other manual steps:

- The linux-k1om-4.7 directory had to be manually copied to /usr directory. Else there'll be an error something like 'ld cannot convert x64 to klom-x64 architecter.. blah..'

-scif_lib ( had to be manually copied to /usr/lib

-The path /etc/sysconfig does not exist in Ubuntu, but micctrl --initconfig expects it, even make install-runtime needs it. That path has to be created.

-The directory /var/lock/subsys does not exist in Ubuntu, so mpssd does not start. This has to be manually created..

-You'll need to create Ubuntu specific entries for mic driver loading, mpssd start in init.d etc..

Other than that, build-essential, doxygen, asciidocs need to be installed. Thats all I have in my notes.

If you have a specific error I can help.

Hi everyone,

I just got a Intel Xeon Phi. However I did not realise that was going to be so hard to get started! I have been an Ubuntu user since they started, a few years now, so I will like to be able to used as my host OS. As a desktop linux user I have always found my way with the help of goole,  but I am not really a system admin (I am a physicist working in a small physics department at the university so I need to solve my linux issues in my own).

The instruction above apply to Ubuntu 12.04.0LTS or 12.10 and MPSS 2.1. However, I'll like to know if somebody could help me in getting the Xeon Phi up and running with 12.04.3LTS and MPSS3.1. (Why, well there must be a reason why upgrades happen isn't it?)

I have read the "readme-en.txt", which leads me to the section 8.1 on the "MPSS_Cluster_Setup_Guide.pdf". However, the instructions to recompile the host driver are too specific to either Red Hat or Suse.  My knowledge is not engouhg to extrapolate from such specific instructions what I need to do in my case.

I am actually quite surprise the lack of support of Ubuntu which is quite a popular linux distro. I'll use CentOS if I have to, but as I feel conforable with the Debian way, I'll really appreciate any help!

Thanks in advance, Jofre

Hi Jofre,

Intel has to focus its support due to limited resources. This focus is on servers and clusters, which usually run a commercially supported server OS such as SLES and RHEL. This doesn't mean that MPSS won't work on other distributions, but that Intel doesn't support or validate on them.

Bring up any application suite, particularly one as complex as the MPSS/Intel(r) Xeon Phi(tm) coprocessor environment, is not going to be trivial. It sounds like your questions are of a more general nature related to porting. I suggest you work with other forums for such questions and come back here for more specific MPSS related issues.


Jofre -

I have a few questions. Do you know what version of the Linux kernel is used with the version of Ubuntu you are using?

The "MPSS_Cluster_Setup_Guide.pdf" that you mention is for 2.1 - at 3.1, the boot configuration guide and cluster setup guide have been replace by a single user guide. Could you check to see if you are using the 3.1 readme?

Using the directions in the 3.1 readme, depending on the version of kernel that is being used, you would first remove the MPSS rpm files you have installed and install the rpm files again. Start clean. Before you go on to the micctrl --initdefaults step, go to the user guide and follow the instructions in section 8.1 "Recompiling the host driver". If you run into errors recompiling, come back and let me know what the errors were. It may be the case that the version of the kernel in your Ubuntu requires you to make changes to the MPSS code. But if it recompiles ok, go back to the install instructions in the readme, starting with the micctrl --initdefaults step and complete the install. 

Let me know what happens - and a warning - file locations and the behavior of some programs have changed with the 3.1 release. The discussion you were looking at above has a lot of obsolete information.

Dear Taylor and Frances, 

Thanks for taking time answering.

I do not have acces right now to the system (I'll have it on monday). Sorry but it was not my intention to copy the link, only the name of the document. I was following the document corresponding to MPSS3.1 (otherwise the section 8.1, will not correspond to recompile MPSS).

I do not need to remove anything as I did not manage to install anything! I'll try again next week. I'll let you know...

Regarding the comment of Taylor about Ubuntu and big servers. Intel Xeon Phi is marketed to compite to TESLA, and TESLA is much, much, much straight forward to set-up although to write code afterwards needs a lot of re-learning, and that's why I bought a Xeon Phi system. I was expecting somehow that a popular desktop distro as Ubuntu will be supported.

All the best, Jofre

I try it again with Ubuntu without luck. So I simply give up (too many things to do) and install CentOS6.4 and follow the instruction. This time, by following the instruction, I had the nice surprise of working flawless! Well: Ubuntu on the desktop and CentOs in the server. I can live with that...


Hi, Do we need etc/mpss/mpss.ubuntu to be copied on /etc/ folder from mpss-daemon package for mpss installation?


MPSS doesn't support Ubuntu, though there are successful ports for earlier versions of MPSS.

Additionally, there is a newer version of MPSS coming out in late Q1, so I suggest you delaying any personal porting efforts until then.


PS I notice that you posted similar questions under other threads. I put a similar answer (well, actually identical) there.

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