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Argonne Leadership Computing Facility

Kokkos on ThetaGPU


Kokkos implements a programming model in C++ for writing performance portable applications targeting all major HPC platforms. It provides abstractions for both parallel execution of code and data management. Kokkos is designed to target complex node architectures with N-level memory hierarchies and multiple types of execution resources. It can use OpenMP, etc as a backend programming model. For more information please visit

The Kokkos shared memory programming model is a C++ library, that provides the necessary architecture specific backends (e.g. OpenMP, CUDA, …). To begin with, though, it is important to note that the Kokkos programming model is usable only in C/C++ codes. Hence, for those with Fortran codes, Kokkos must first be encapsulated within C/C++ functions and called from the main Fortran code.

The purpose of this document is to provide guidance on using Kokkos on Cooley. Please see the following pages for tutorials and more information on Kokkos: Kokkos GitHub and Kokkos Tutorials.

Using Kokkos at ALCF

ALCF provides assistance with build instructions, compiling executables, submitting jobs, and providing prebuilt binaries. For questions, contact us at

Building Kokkos on ThetaGPU

Please follow the steps below to build Kokks on ThetaGPU.

Step 1: Clone the repository

git clone 
cd kokkos 
export KOKKOS_PATH=”${PWD}”
Note: the Kokkos Project strives to keep the master branch stable.

Step 2: Make sure that a relatively new version of CMake is available

module load cmake/3.14.5

Step 3: Create a build directory

mkdir build && cd build

Step 4: Generate the Makefile

cmake ../kokkos \
    -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=${PWD}/kokkos-install \
    -DKokkos_ENABLE_OPENMP=On \
    -DKokkos_ENABLE_HWLOC=On \
    -DKokkos_HWLOC_DIR=/usr \
Note: the default compiler on Theta should be sufficient to build Kokkos.

Step 5: Install Kokkos

make install
Note: This will end up installing Kokkos in ${KOKKOS_PATH}/build/kokkos-install.

If you wish to install it in a different directory, change CMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX in step 4.