Continuous Integration (CI) Testing Maintenance Tasks

In Continuous Integration (CI) Testing, we described RAJA CI workflows. This section describes common CI testing maintenance tasks for RAJA and how to perform them.

Gitlab CI Tasks

The tasks in this section apply to GitLab CI running on Livermore Computing (LC) resources.

Changing Build Specs

The builds for each LC platform on which we run Gitlab CI pipelines are defined in <resource>-jobs.yml files in the RAJA/.gitlab directory. The key items that change when a new build is added are:

  • the unique label that identifies the build on a web page for a Gitlab CI pipeline, and
  • the build Spack spec, which identifies the compiler and version, compiler flags, etc.

For example, an entry for a build using a clang compiler with CUDA is:

    SPEC: "+cuda cuda_arch=70 %clang@ibm.10.0.1 ^cuda@10.1.168"
  extends: .build_and_test_on_lassen

To update, change the corresponding spec item, such as clang compiler or version, or cuda version. Then, update the label accordingly.

It is important to note that the build spec information must reside in the compilers.yaml and/or packages.yaml file for the system type in the radiuss-spack-configs submodule. If the desired information is not there, try updating the submodule to a newer version. If the information is still not available, create a branch in the RADIUSS Spack Configs repo, add the needed spec info, and create a pull request.


Build spec information used in RAJA Gitlab CI pipelines must exist in the compilers.yaml file and/or packages.yaml file for the appropriate system type in the RADIUSS Spack Configs repo.

Changing Build/Run Parameters

The commands executed to acquire resources on each system/system-type on which we run Gitlab CI are defined in the RAJA/.gitlab-ci.yml file. The default execution time for each test pipeline is also defined in the file using the variable DEFAULT_TIME. These commands and settings can remain as is for the most part.

However, sometimes a particular pipeline will take longer to build and run than the default allotted time. In this case, the default time can be adjusted in the build spec information in the associated <resource>-jobs.yml file discussed in the previous section. For example:

    SPEC: "+cuda %xl@ cuda_arch=70 ^cuda@10.1.168 ^cmake@3.14.5"
  allow_failure: true
  extends: .build_and_test_on_lassen

This example explicitly sets the build and test allocation time to 60 minutes: DEFAULT_TIME: 60. Note that it also allows the pipeline to fail: allow_failure: true. We do this in some cases where certain tests are known to fail regularly. This allows the overall check status to report as passing, even though the test pipeline annotated this way may fail.

Adding Test Pipelines

Adding a test pipeline involves adding a new entry in the RAJA/.gitlab-ci.yml file.


Build spec information used in RAJA Gitlab CI pipelines must exist in the compilers.yaml file and/or packages.yaml file for the appropriate system type in the RADIUSS Spack Configs repo.

Azure CI Tasks

The tasks in this section apply to RAJA Azure Pipelines CI.

Changing Builds/Container Images

The builds we run in Azure are defined in the RAJA/azure-pipelines.yml file.


To update or add a new compiler / job to Azure CI we need to edit both azure-pipelines.yml and Dockerfile.

If we want to add a new Azure pipeline to build with compilerX, then in azure-pipelines.yml we can add the job like so:

-job: Docker
        docker_target: compilerX

Here, compilerX: defines the name of a job in Azure. docker_target: compilerX defines a variable docker_target, which is used to determine what part of the Dockerfile to run.

In the Dockerfile we will want to add our section that defines the commands for the compilerX job.:

FROM AS compilerX
COPY . /home/raja/workspace
WORKDIR /home/raja/workspace/build
RUN cmake -DCMAKE_CXX_COMPILER=compilerX ... && \
    make -j 6 &&\
    ctest -T test --output-on-failure

Each of our docker builds is built up on a base image maintained by RSE-Ops, a table of available base containers can be found here. We are also able to add target names to each build with AS .... This target name correlates to the docker_target: ... defined in azure-pipelines.yml.

The base containers are shared across multiple projects and are regularly rebuilt. If bugs are fixed in the base containers the changes will be automatically propagated to all projects using them in their Docker builds.

Check here for a list of all currently available RSE-Ops containers. Please see the RSE-Ops Containers Project on Github to get new containers built that aren’t yet available.

Windows / MacOs

We run our Windows / MacOS builds directly on the Azure virtual machine instances. In order to update the Windows / MacOS instance we can change the pool under -job: Windows or -job: Mac:

-job: Windows
    vmImage: 'windows-2019'
-job: Mac
    vmImage: 'macOS-latest'

Changing Build/Run Parameters


We can edit the build and run configurations of each docker build, in the RUN command. Such as adding CMake options or changing the parallel build value of make -j N for adjusting throughput.

Each base image is built using spack. For the most part the container environments are set up to run our CMake and build commands out of the box. However, there are a few exceptions where we need to spack load specific modules into the path.

  • Clang requires us to load LLVM for OpenMP runtime libraries.:

    . /opt/spack/share/spack/ && spack load llvm

    CUDA for the cuda runtime.:

    . /opt/spack/share/spack/ && spack load cuda

    HIP for the hip runtime and llvm-amdgpu runtime libraries.:

    . /opt/spack/share/spack/ && spack load hip llvm-amdgpu

    SYCL requires us to run

    source /opt/view/

Windows / MacOS

Windows and MacOS build / run parameters can be configured directly in azure-pipelines.yml. CMake options can be configured with CMAKE_EXTRA_FLAGS for each job. The -j value can also be edited directly in the Azure script definitions for each job.

The commands executed to configure, build, and test RAJA for each pipeline in Azure are located in the RAJA/Dockerfile file. Each pipeline section begins with a line that ends with AS ... where the ellipses in the name of a build-test pipeline. The name label matches an entry in the Docker test matrix in the RAJA/azure-pipelines.yml file mentioned above.

RAJA Performance Suite CI Tasks

The RAJA Performance Suite project CI testing processes, directory/file structure, and dependencies are nearly identical to that for RAJA, which is described in Continuous Integration (CI) Testing. Specifically,

The main difference is that for Gitlab CI, is that the Performance Suite uses the RAJA submodules for uberenv and radiuss-spack-configs located in the RAJA submodule to avoid redundant submodules. This is reflected in the RAJAPerf/.uberenv_config.json file which point at the relevant RAJA submodule locations.

Apart from this minor difference, all CI maintenance and development tasks for the RAJA Performance Suite follow the guidance in Continuous Integration (CI) Testing Maintenance Tasks.