[R-SIG-Mac] Apple Clang does support OpenMP (if libomp is available)

Simon Urbanek @|mon@urb@nek @end|ng |rom R-project@org
Thu Jun 6 17:39:29 CEST 2019


some time ago Apple's clang has silently dropped -fopenmp so we were able to at least keep it in the flags even if it wasn't actually using it. Still, it was only dropping it, it wasn't actually generating any parallel code, so there was real point in using it. That's when we decided to use non-Apple clang since it has proper support for parallel code generation.

What you're pointing out is that more recent clang builds from Apple now do include the OMP generation pieces (in particular the pre-processor), they just don't ship any OpenMP-related headers or libraries. The problem is that it's hard to rely on something that is unsupported and works only on some systems. We could ship libomp (we already do - no need to get it from homebrew), but, for example, the omp.h headers from clang7 don't work with Apple's clang (you do need explicit -I.. and -lomp in addition to -Wp,-fopenmp because it's not only the pre-processor that needs to know about it).

Also note that "-Wp,-fopenmp" is a hack - just because Apple has not patched the pre-processor and only the front-end/linker to refuse it, it doesn't mean that it actually works properly. There is no guarantee that they made changes to the code-generation which break something in OpenMP since it's not not even included in any of their tests. Hence I'd say it's a quick hack if you don't want to to install clang7 that may or may not work depending on your code, but not something I'd trust in a release.


> On Jun 6, 2019, at 6:42 AM, Jon Clayden <jon.clayden using gmail.com> wrote:
> Dear all,
> Lack of OpenMP support in Apple’s build of Clang is cited as one
> reason for not using it in CRAN builds, but this is only partly true:
> after installing libomp from Homebrew, I have been adding
> “-Wp,-fopenmp” to CXXFLAGS and CFLAGS (and “-lomp” to LIBS) to my
> builds for a while, and everything seems to work OK.
> I’m not sure how far back this support goes (and I haven’t tried the
> Xcode 11 tools yet), but is there any known reason not to take this
> approach, and if not, would it make sense for R’s configure script to
> try “-Wp,-fopenmp” when testing for OpenMP support?
> All the best,
> Jon
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