Installing SimGrid

SimGrid should work out of the box on Linux, Mac OSX, FreeBSD, and Windows (under Windows, you need to install the Windows Subsystem Linux to get more than the Java bindings).

Pre-compiled Packages

Binaries for Linux

On Debian or Ubuntu, simply type:

apt install simgrid

If you build pre-compiled packages for other distributions, drop us an email.

Stable Java Package

The jar file can be retrieved from the Release page. This file is self-contained, including the native components for Linux, Mac OS X and Windows. Copy it to your project’s classpath and you’re set.

Nightly built Java Package

For non-Windows systems (Linux, Mac OS X, or FreeBSD), head to Jenkins. In the build history, pick the last green (or at least yellow) build that is not blinking (i.e., not currently under build). In the list, pick a system that is close to yours, and click on the ball in the Debug row. The build artefact will appear at the top of the resulting page.

For Windows, head to AppVeyor. Click on the artefact link on the right, and grab your file. If the latest build failed, there will be no artefact. Then you will need to first click on “History” at the top and look for the last successful build.

Binary Java Troubleshooting

Here are some error messages that you may get when trying to use the binary Java package.

Your architecture is not supported by this jarfile
If your system is not supported, you should compile your own jarfile by compiling SimGrid from the source.
Library not found: boost-context
You should obviously install the boost-context library on your machine, for example with apt.

Installing from the Source

Getting the Dependencies

C++ compiler (either g++, clang, or icc).
We use the C++11 standard, and older compilers tend to fail on us. It seems that g++ 5.0 or higher is required nowadays (because of boost). SimGrid compiles well with clang or icc too.
Python 3.
SimGrid should build without Python, that is only needed by our regresion test suite.
cmake (v2.8.8).
ccmake provides a nicer graphical interface compared to cmake. Press t in ccmake if you need to see absolutely all configuration options (e.g., if your python installation is not standard).
boost (at least v1.48, v1.59 recommended)
  • On Debian / Ubuntu: apt install libboost-dev libboost-context-dev
  • On Max OS X with homebrew: brew install boost
Java (optional):
  • Debian / Ubuntu: apt install default-jdk libgcj18-dev (or any version of libgcj)
  • Mac OS X or Windows: Grab a full JDK
Lua (optional – must be v5.3)
  • SimGrid won’t work with any other version of Lua.
  • Debian / Ubuntu: apt install liblua5.3-dev lua5.3
  • Windows: choco install lua53
  • From the source
    • You need to patch the sources to build dynamic libraries. First download lua 5.3
    • Open the archive: tar xvfz lua-5.3.*.tar.gz
    • Enter the directory: cd lua-5.3*
    • Patch the sources: patch -p1 < /path/to/simgrid/...../tools/lualib.patch
    • Build and install lua: make linux && sudo make install

For platform-specific details, please see below.

Getting the Sources

Grab the last stable release from FramaGit, and compile it as follows:

tar xf SimGrid-3-XX.tar.gz
cd SimGrid-*
cmake -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=/opt/simgrid .
make install

If you want to stay on the bleeding edge, get the current git version, and recompile it as with stable archives. You may need some extra dependencies.

git clone
cd simgrid
cmake -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=/opt/simgrid .
make install

Build Configuration

This section is about compile-time options, that are very different from run-time options. Compile-time options fall into two categories. SimGrid-specific options define which part of the framework to compile while Generic options are provided by cmake itself.

Generic build-time options

These options specify for example the path to various system elements (Python path, compiler to use, etc). In most case, CMake automatically discovers the right value for these ones, but you can set them manually on need. Notable such variables include CC and CXX, defining respectively the paths to the C and C++ compilers, CFLAGS and CXXFLAGS respectively specifying extra options to pass to the C and C++ compilers, or PYTHON_EXECUTABLE specifying the path to the python executable.

The best way to discover the exact name of the option that you need to change is to press t in the ccmake graphical interface, as all options are shown (and documented) in the advanced mode.

Once you know their name, there are several ways to change the values of build-time options. You can naturally use the ccmake graphical interface for that, or you can use environment variables, or you can prefer the -D flag of cmake.

For example, you can change the compilers with environment variables by issuing these commands before launching cmake:

export CC=gcc-5.1
export CXX=g++-5.1

The same can be done by passing -D parameters to cmake, as follows. Note that the ending dot is mandatory (see Out of Tree Compilation).

cmake -DCC=clang -DCXX=clang++ .

SimGrid compilation options

Here is the list of all SimGrid-specific compile-time options (the default choice is in uppercase).

Where to install SimGrid (/opt/simgrid, /usr/local, or elsewhere).
enable_compile_optimizations (ON/off)
Request the compiler to produce efficient code. You probably want to activate this option, unless you plan modify SimGrid itself: efficient code takes more time to compile, and appears mangled to debuggers.
enable_compile_warnings (on/OFF)
Request the compiler to issue error messages whenever the source code is not perfectly clean. If you are a SimGrid developer, you have to activate this option to enforce the code quality. As a regular user, this option is of little use.
enable_debug (ON/off)
Disabling this option discards all log messages of gravity debug or below at compile time (see @ref XBT_log). The resulting code is faster than if you discard these messages at runtime. However, it obviously becomes impossible to get any debug info from SimGrid if something goes wrong.
enable_documentation (ON/off)
Generates the documentation pages.
enable_java (on/OFF)
Generates the java bindings of SimGrid.
enable_jedule (on/OFF)
Produces execution traces from SimDag simulations, that can then be visualized with the Jedule external tool.
enable_lua (on/OFF)
Generate the lua bindings to the SimGrid internals (requires lua-5.3).
enable_lib_in_jar (ON/off)
Embeds the native java bindings into the produced jar file.
enable_lto (ON/off)
Enables the Link Time Optimization in the C++ compiler. This feature really speeds up the produced code, but it is fragile with older gcc versions.
enable_maintainer_mode (on/OFF)
(dev only) Regenerates the XML parsers whenever the DTD is modified (requires flex and flexml).
enable_mallocators (ON/off)
Activates our internal memory caching mechanism. This produces faster code, but it may fool the debuggers.
enable_model-checking (on/OFF)
Activates the formal verification mode. This will hinder simulation speed even when the model-checker is not activated at run time.
enable_ns3 (on/OFF)
Activates the ns-3 bindings. See section @ref pls_ns3.
enable_smpi (ON/off)
Allows to run MPI code on top of SimGrid.
enable_smpi_ISP_testsuite (on/OFF)
Adds many extra tests for the model-checker module.
enable_smpi_MPICH3_testsuite (on/OFF)
Adds many extra tests for the MPI module.

Reset the build configuration

To empty the CMake cache (either when you add a new library or when things go seriously wrong), simply delete your CMakeCache.txt. You may also want to directly edit this file in some circumstances.

Out of Tree Compilation

By default, the files produced during the compilation are placed in the source directory. It is however often better to put them all in a separate directory: cleaning the tree becomes as easy as removing this directory, and you can have several such directories to test several parameter sets or architectures.

For that, go to the directory where the files should be produced, and invoke cmake (or ccmake) with the full path to the SimGrid source as last argument.

mkdir build
cd build
cmake [options] ..

Existing Compilation Targets

In most cases, compiling and installing SimGrid is enough:

make install # try "sudo make install" if you don't have the permission to write

In addition, several compilation targets are provided in SimGrid. If your system is well configured, the full list of targets is available for completion when using the Tab key. Note that some of the existing targets are not really for public consumption so don’t worry if some do not work for you.

  • make simgrid: Build only the SimGrid library and not any example
  • make s4u-app-pingpong: Build only this example (works for any example)
  • make java-all: Build all Java examples and their dependencies
  • make clean: Clean the results of a previous compilation
  • make install: Install the project (doc/ bin/ lib/ include/)
  • make uninstall: Uninstall the project (doc/ bin/ lib/ include/)
  • make dist: Build a distribution archive (tar.gz)
  • make distcheck: Check the dist (make + make dist + tests on the distribution)
  • make documentation: Create SimGrid documentation

If you want to see what is really happening, try adding VERBOSE=1 to your compilation requests:

make VERBOSE=1

Testing your build

Once everything is built, you may want to test the result. SimGrid comes with an extensive set of regression tests (as described in the @ref inside_tests “insider manual”). The tests are run with ctest, that comes with CMake. We run them every commit and the results are on our Jenkins.

ctest                     # Launch all tests
ctest -R s4u              # Launch only the tests whose names match the string "s4u"
ctest -j4                 # Launch all tests in parallel, at most 4 concurrent jobs
ctest --verbose           # Display all details on what's going on
ctest --output-on-failure # Only get verbose for the tests that fail

ctest -R s4u -j4 --output-on-failure # You changed S4U and want to check that you didn't break anything, huh?
                                     # That's fine, I do so all the time myself.

Mac OS X Specifics

SimGrid compiles like a charm with clang (version 3.0 or higher) on Mac OS X:

cmake -DCMAKE_C_COMPILER=/path/to/clang -DCMAKE_CXX_COMPILER=/path/to/clang++ .

Troubleshooting your Mac OS X build.

CMake Error: Parse error in cache file build_dir/CMakeCache.txt. Offending entry: /SDKs/MacOSX10.8.sdk

This was reported with the XCode version of clang 4.1. The work around is to edit the CMakeCache.txt file directly, to change the following entry:


You can safely ignore the warning about “-pthread” not being used, if it appears.

/usr/include does not seem to exist
This directory does not exist by default on modern Mac OS X versions, and you may need to create it with xcode-select -install

Windows Specifics

The best solution to get SimGrid working on windows is to install the Ubuntu subsystem of Windows 10. All of SimGrid (but the model-checker) works in this setting.

Native builds not very well supported. Have a look to our appveypor configuration file to see how we manage to use mingw-64 to build the DLL that the Java file needs.

The drawback of MinGW-64 is that the produced DLL are not compatible with MS Visual C. clang-cl sounds promising to fix this. If you get something working or if you have any other improvement, please @ref community_contact “tell us”.

Java Specifics

Once you have the full JDK installed, things should be as simple as:

cmake -Denable_java=ON .
make  simgrid-java_jar # Only build the jarfile

After the compilation, the file `simgrid.jar` is produced in the root directory.

Troubleshooting Java Builds

Sometimes, the build system fails to find the JNI headers. First locate them as follows:

$ locate jni.h

Then, set the JAVA_INCLUDE_PATH environment variable to the right path, and relaunch cmake. If you have several versions of JNI installed (as above), pick the one corresponding to the report of javac -version

export JAVA_INCLUDE_PATH=/usr/lib/jvm/java-8-openjdk-amd64/include/
cmake -Denable_java=ON .

Note that the filename `jni.h` was removed from the path.

Linux Multi-Arch Specifics

On a multiarch x86_64 Linux, it should be possible to compile a 32-bit version of SimGrid with something like:

CFLAGS=-m32 \
PKG_CONFIG_LIBDIR=/usr/lib/i386-linux-gnu/pkgconfig/ \
cmake . \
-DCMAKE_Fortran_COMPILER=/some/path/to/i686-linux-gnu-gfortran \
-DGFORTRAN_EXE=/some/path/to/i686-linux-gnu-gfortran \

If needed, implement i686-linux-gnu-gfortran as a script:

#!/usr/bin/env sh
exec gfortran -m32 "$@"