[ofiwg] ofiwg item: supporting other OS's

Dave Goodell (dgoodell) dgoodell at cisco.com
Mon Jan 11 08:22:06 PST 2016

On Jan 8, 2016, at 1:15 PM, Sean Hefty <sean.hefty at intel.com> wrote:
> As a discussion item for the next ofiwg, the topic has come up (again) about supporting other operating systems, specifically Windows and Solaris.

Solaris on x86 should be relatively easy for us to support because we can easily set up automated testing in Solaris VMs on readily available Intel hardware.  Solaris on SPARC is likely to be much harder without some interested party providing *convenient* access to Solaris/SPARC machines.   SPARC is less tolerant than x86 (e.g., SIGBUS on misaligned accesses) and I've seen both the MPICH and Open MPI projects struggle to maintain SPARC support (even Linux/SPARC) over the years without direct access to a modern SPARC machine.

Windows support is a bigger issue, IMO.  I've seen multiple projects twist their code bases into knots with various new abstractions to support Windows quirks, only to have the parties/funding interested in Windows support disappear shortly after.  This results in both ugly code and eventual bit rot in the Windows support.  I think we should only deal with the Windows headache if:

1. We can find someone who actually knows how to develop on Windows who will work on libfabic with us, including long-term maintenance.

2. There's an extremely clear business interest from one party (or ideally, two parties) that will help sustain the Windows support.

> At least two development teams have asked about support outside of Linux.

Are these Intel development teams?  Or random third parties?


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