RAJA Build Configurations

To meet user needs, RAJA is built and tested with a wide range of compilers for all of its supported back-ends. Automated continuous integration (CI) testing employed by the project is described in Continuous Integration (CI) Testing. During day-to-day development, the project currently maintains two ways to build and test configurations in a reproducible manner:

  • Build scripts. The RAJA source repository contains a collection of simple build scripts that are used to generate build configurations for a variety of platforms, such as Livermore Computing (LC) systems, MacOS, and Linux environments.
  • Generated host-config files. The RAJA repository includes a mechanism to generate host-config files (i.e., CMake cache files) using Spack.

The configurations specify compiler versions and options, build targets (Release, Debug, etc.), RAJA features to enable (OpenMP, CUDA, HIP, etc.), and paths to required tool chains, such as CUDA, ROCm, etc. They are described briefly in the following sections.

RAJA Build Scripts

Build scripts mentioned above live in the RAJA/scripts directory. Each script is executed from the top-level RAJA directory. The scripts for CPU-only platforms require an argument that indicates the compiler version. For example,

$ ./scripts/lc-builds/toss3_clang.sh 10.0.1

Scripts for GPU-enabled platforms require three arguments: the device compiler version, the target compute architecture, and the host compiler version. For example,

$ ./scripts/lc-builds/blueos_nvcc_gcc.sh 10.2.89 sm_70 8.3.1

When a script is run, it creates a build directory named for the configuration in the top-level RAJA directory and runs CMake with arguments contained in the script to create a build environment in the new directory. One then goes into that directory and runs ‘make’ to build RAJA, and depending on options passed to CMake RAJA tests, example codes, etc. For example,

$ ./scripts/lc-builds/blueos_nvcc_gcc.sh 10.2.89 sm_70 8.3.1
$ cd build_lc_blueos-nvcc10.2.89-sm_70-gcc8.3.1
$ make -j
$ make test

Spack-Generated Host-Config Files

The RAJA repository contains two submodules uberenv and radiuss-spack-configs that work together to generate host-config files. These are projects in the GitHub LLNL organization and contain utilities shared and maintained by various projects. The main uberenv script is used to drive Spack to generate a host-config file (i.e., a CMake cache file) that contains all the information required to define a RAJA build environment. The generated file can then be passed to CMake using the ‘-C’ option to create a build configuration. Spack specs defining compiler configurations are maintained in files in the radiuss-spack-configs repository.

Additional documentation for this process is available in the RADIUSS Uberenv Guide.

Generating a RAJA host-config file

This section describes the host-config file generation process for RAJA.

Platform configurations

Compiler configurations for Livermore computer platforms are contained in sub-directories of the RAJA/scripts/radiuss-spack-configs submodule directory:

$ ls -c1 ./scripts/radiuss-spack-configs

To see available configurations, please see the contents of the compilers.yaml and packages.yaml files in each sub-directory.

Generating a host-config file

The uberenv.py python script can be run from the top-level RAJA directory to generate a host-config file for a desired configuration. For example,

$ python3 ./scripts/uberenv/uberenv.py --spec="%gcc@8.1.0"
$ python3 ./scripts/uberenv/uberenv.py --spec="%gcc@8.1.0~shared+openmp tests=benchmarks"

Each command generates a corresponding host-config file in the top-level RAJA directory. The file name contains the platform and OS to which it applies, and the compiler and version. For example,


This process is also used by our Gitlab CI testing effort. See Continuous Integration (CI) Testing for more information.

Building RAJA with a generated host-config file

To build RAJA with one of these host-config files, create a build directory and run CMake in it by passing a host-config file to CMake using the ‘-C’ option. Then, run ‘make’ to build RAJA. To ensure the build was successful, you may want to run the RAJA tests. For example,

$ mkdir <build dirname> && cd <build dirname>
$ cmake -C <path_to>/<host-config>.cmake ..
$ cmake --build -j .
$ ctest --output-on-failure -T test

You may also run the RAJA tests with the command

$ make test

as an alternative to the ‘ctest’ command used above.

It is also possible to use the configuration with the RAJA Gitlab CI script outside of the Gitlab environment:

$ HOST_CONFIG=<path_to>/<host-config>.cmake ./scripts/gitlab/build_and_test.sh


In RAJA, the Spack configuration for MacOS contains the default compiler corresponding to the OS version in the compilers.yaml file in the RAJA/scripts/radiuss-spack-configs/darwin/ directory, and a commented section to illustrate how to add CMake as an external package in the packages.yaml in the same directory. You may also install CMake with Homebrew, for example, and follow the process outlined above after it is installed.

Reproducing Docker Builds Locally

RAJA uses Docker container images that it shares with other LLNL GitHub projects for Azure CI testing (see Azure Pipelines CI for more information). We use Azure Pipelines for Linux, Windows, and MacOS builds.

You can reproduce these builds locally for testing with the following steps if you have Docker installed.

  1. Run the command to build a local Docker image:

    $ DOCKER_BUILDKIT=1 docker build --target ${TARGET} --no-cache

    Here, ${TARGET} is replaced with one of the names following AS in the RAJA Dockerfile.

  2. To get dropped into a terminal in the Docker image, run the following:

    $ docker run -it axom/compilers:${COMPILER} /bin/bash

    Here, ${COMPILER} is replaced with the compiler you want (see the aforementioned Dockerfile).

Then, you can build, run tests, edit files, etc. in the Docker image. Note that the docker command has a -v argument that you can use to mount a local directory in the image. For example

& docker -v pwd:/opt/RAJA

will mount your current local directory as /opt/RAJA in the image.