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Argonne Leadership Computing Facility

Quantum ESPRESSO on Theta

What Is Quantum ESPRESSO?

Quantum ESPRESSO (QE) is a suite of codes for electronic structure calculations and materials research. This code uses Density Functional Theory calculations with periodic boundary conditions to estimate energies, forces, and other properties of atomic scale systems. QE runs in parallel (MPI and OpenMP) and is based on plane waves basis functions and pseudopotentials. QE is an open-source project at

How to access Quantum ESPRESSO

Prebuilt QE binaries are provided on Theta under /soft/applications/quantum_espresso. The binaries for v5.3.0 and v6.2.1 are dynamically linked and require certain version of libraries to function. Please read the README file and load necessary modules. The binaries for v6.3 and beyond are statically linked and there is no dependance on loaded modules.

Using Quantum ESPRESSO at ALCF

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

If building your own QE is necessary, follow the instructions below.

Building on Theta

This recipe is verified on Oct 12th 2018 with QE-6.3.

QE uses autotools to create a file required to compile the code. First, obtain a copy of source code on the Theta login nodes.

We suggest compiling the code with Intel Fortran compiler (under Cray wrapper) and using Intel MKL for both linear algebra and FFT. Due to the conflict of MKL and libsci, libsci needs to be unloaded. Enabling wavefunction IO via hdf5 library is optional.

module unload cray-libsci
module load cray-hdf5-parallel 
export CRAYPE_LINK_TYPE=dynamic
Inside the source code directory, QE can be configured with the follow command in a shell terminal:
./configure \
 --prefix=/home/myhome/mypath \
 MPIF90=ftn CC=cc --enable-openmp --with-scalapack=intel --with-hdf5=/opt/cray/pe/hdf5-parallel/ \
 --with-elpa-include=/soft/applications/elpa/elpa-2017.11.001/include/elpa-2017.11.001/modules \
Now proceed to build the code. Use "make" and install it with "make install".

If statically linked binaries are needed, do the following before hitting "make":

export CRAYPE_LINK_TYPE=static
Edit by replacing
-lmkl_scalapack_lp64 -lmkl_blacs_intelmpi_lp64
${MKLROOT}/lib/intel64/libmkl_scalapack_lp64.a -Wl,--start-group ${MKLROOT}/lib/intel64/libmkl_intel_lp64.a ${MKLROOT}/lib/intel64/libmkl_intel_thread.a ${MKLROOT}/lib/intel64/libmkl_core.a ${MKLROOT}/lib/intel64/libmkl_blacs_intelmpi_lp64.a -Wl,--end-group

Running QE Jobs on Theta

Below is an example of a submission script of running the binary pw.x of QE in Theta:

#COBALT -n 8
#COBALT -t 10
#COBALT -q default
#COBALT -A my_project
#COBALT -O my_test



echo "Running Cobalt Job $COBALT_JOBID."

aprun -n $PROCS -N $PROCS_PERNODE -cc depth -d $NTHREADS -j $HT $pw -in ./ &> ./out

This script file can be submitted as ‘qsub’, assuming you have a ‘’ file in place.


QE User Manual