Setting up GPGPU with CUDA


Here we provide help for setting up general-purpose computing on graphics processing units (GPGPU) using CUDA. Performing (part of) the calculations on a graphics card can result in a significant speed-up. Currently two codes in AMUSE support or require GPGPU: phi-GRAPE (using Sapporo) and Octgrav.

Self-help script

In the AMUSE root directory a self-help script can be found. If building or testing any of the codes mentioned above fails and you wonder why, it will hopefully provide you with helpful suggestions. From a command line run the bash script cuda_self_help:

> ./amuse-x.0/cuda_self_help


Check that your computer has a CUDA-capable Nvidia graphics card

First determine the model of your GPU.

On Linux:

> nvidia-settings -q gpus

On Mac:

  1. Click on “Apple Menu”
  2. Click on “About this Mac”
  3. Click on “More Info”
  4. Select “Graphics/Displays” under Contents list

Check whether your GPU model is listed among Nvidia’s CUDA-enabled GPUs.

Check that you have installed the CUDA Toolkit (TK) and software development kit (SDK)

If not, download and install it from CUDA Development Tools.

Set the CUDA_TK and CUDA_SDK environment variables

After installing the CUDA TK and SDK, make sure the environment variables CUDA_TK and CUDA_SDK are set correctly. For shell (bash) you need to do:

export CUDA_TK=/path/to/cuda_tk
export CUDA_SDK=/path/to/cuda_sdk

‘/path/to/cuda_tk’ should hold directories named ‘include’, ‘lib’, and ‘lib64’ (where is located)

‘/path/to/cuda_sdk’ should hold a directory named ‘common/inc’ (where various header files are located)

We recommend you add these lines to your ‘.bashrc’ file so that the variables are set correctly for all sessions. If you have a C shell you need to do a setenv and edit the ‘.cshrc file.

Configure AMUSE with CUDA enabled

AMUSE needs to be configured with the option --enable-cuda. See GPU.


Now try building for example Octgrav and run the nosetests (from AMUSE root directory), but first re-initialize mpd (or it will remember its original environment):

mpd &
make octgrav.code
nosetests ./test/codes_tests/

If this fails, please contact us through the ‘amusecode’ google group, or on IRC at the #amuse channel on