How to: Configure and Launch the MPI Cluster Debugger in Visual Studio 2008


Updated: February 3, 2010

The MPI Cluster Debugger Add-in for Visual Studio 2008 helps you debug parallel applications that are running on a Windows HPC Server 2008 cluster and that communicate through the Message Passing Interface (MPI). In Visual Studio, you can select the cluster head node and specify the number of processes to include in the debugging session, configure advanced properties for the cluster debugging session, and then start the debugger.

Before following the procedures in this topic, ensure that you have the required software, software updates, and system configurations as listed in Requirements for Using the MPI Cluster Debugger.

The following procedure describes how to perform a basic launch of the MPI Cluster Debugger. The procedure includes an optional step to select nodes and define process allocation. For detailed information and additional considerations about node selection, and for information about advanced configuration properties, see Configuration Properties for the MPI Cluster Debugger.

To configure and launch the MPI Cluster Debugger

  1. In Visual Studio, open the solution that contains your parallel application.

  2. In the Project menu, click <yourProjectName> Properties. The Property Pages dialog box appears.

  3. Expand the Configuration Properties node, then select Debugging.

  4. Under Debugger to launch, select MPI Cluster Debugger.

  5. Click OK to save changes and close Property Pages.

  6. On the Tools menu, click Cluster Debugger Configuration. The Cluster Debugger Configuration pane appears.

  7. In Cluster Debugger Configuration, specify the following properties:

    • In the Cluster head node drop-down list, select the name of the head node for the cluster that you want to use.

      The list of head nodes is populated from the Active Directory domain controller. Only clusters in your domain appear in the list. If you do not see your head node, type the name or the IPv4 address of the head node in the property field.

    • In Number of processes, type or select the number of process to launch.

  8. Optionally, specify which nodes to use for debugging and how to allocate processes as follows:

    1. In Cluster Debugger Configuration, expand Advanced Properties.

    2. In Nodes to use for debugging, select Edit.... The Node Selector Tool dialog box appears.

    3. Select the radio button for the desired allocation option.

    4. Select one or more nodes in the node list to use for debugging.

    5. Click OK.

    System_CAPS_ICON_note.jpg Note

    The resource selection that you specify in the Node Selector Tool overrides the Number of process property.

  9. Set one or more breakpoints in your code. For information about setting breakpoints, see Breakpoints and Tracepoints.

  10. Press F5 to launch the debugger.

    System_CAPS_ICON_note.jpg Note

    In the MPI Cluster Debugger, you cannot start without debugging. Pressing Ctrl+F5 (or Start without debugging on the Debug menu) also starts debugging.

  11. Because you are submitting a job to the cluster, you are prompted to enter your password to connect to the cluster. Type your password, and then press ENTER.

  12. After the debugger is launched, look at the Processes window to verify the placement of the processes. For each process, look at the Transport Qualifier column to view the compute node on which the process is running.

  • After you launch the debugger, you can set the active process to debug by double-clicking a process in the Processes window. To open the Processes window, on the Debug menu, click Windows, then click Processes.

  • When you are debugging multiple processes, a breakpoint affects all the processes that are being debugged by default. To avoid breaking processes in unintended places, clear the Break all processes when one process breaks option. For more information about how to change break behavior, see Execution Control.

Configuration Properties for the MPI Cluster Debugger
Walkthrough: Launching the MPI Cluster Debugger in Visual Studio 2008
Using the MPI Cluster Debugger Add-In for Visual Studio 2008
Debugger Roadmap
mpiexec Command Reference