Quick Start for Users

compass conda environment

E3SM supported machines

For each compass release, we maintain a conda environment. that includes the compass package as well as all of its dependencies and some libraries (currently ESMF and SCORPIO) built with system MPI on our standard machines (Anvil, Chicoma, Chrysalis, Compy, and Perlmutter). Here are the commands to load the the environment for the latest compass release with the default compiler and MPI library on each machine:

  • Anvil (Blues):

source /lcrc/soft/climate/compass/anvil/load_latest_compass.sh
  • Chicoma-CPU (coming soon):

source /usr/projects/climate/SHARED_CLIMATE/compass/chicoma-cpu/load_latest_compass.sh
  • Chrysalis:

source /lcrc/soft/climate/compass/chrysalis/load_latest_compass.sh
  • Compy:

source /share/apps/E3SM/conda_envs/compass/load_latest_compass.sh
  • Perlmutter-CPU (coming soon):

source /global/cfs/cdirs/e3sm/software/compass/pm-cpu/load_latest_compass.sh

These same paths (minus load_latest_compass.sh) also have load scripts for the latest version of compass with all the supported compiler and MPI combinations. For example, on Anvil, you can get an environment appropriate for build MPAS components with Gnu compilers and OpenMPI using:

source /lcrc/soft/climate/compass/anvil/load_latest_compass_gnu_openmpi.sh

other machines

To install your own compass conda environment on other machines, first, install Miniforge3 (if it is not already installed), then create a new conda environment (called compass in this example) as follows:

conda create -n compass -c conda-forge -c e3sm/label/compass python=3.10 \

This will install the version of the package with MPI from conda-forge’s MPICH package. If you want OpenMPI, use "compass=*=mpi_openmpi*" instead. If you do not want MPI from conda-forge (e.g. because you are working with a system with its own MPI), use "compass=*=nompi*"

To get a specific version of compass, you can instead run:

conda create -n compass -c conda-forge -c e3sm/label/compass python=3.9 \

That is, you will replace compass=* with compass=1.0.0.

Then, you will need to create a load script to activate the conda environment and set some environment variables. In a directory where you want to store the script, run:

conda activate compass

From then on, each time you want to set up test cases or suites with compass or build MPAS components, you will need to source that load script, for example:

source load_compass_1.0.0_mpich.sh

When you set up tests, a link called load_compass_env.sh will be added to each test case or suite work directory. To run the tests, you may find it more convenient to source that link instead of finding the path to the original load script.

Building MPAS components

You will need to check out a branch of E3SM to build an MPAS component.

Typically, for MPAS-Ocean, you will clone E3SM and for MALI, you will clone MALI-Dev.

To build MPAS-Ocean, first source the appropriate load script (see compass conda environment) then run:

cd components/mpas-ocean
git submodule update --init --recursive
make <mpas_make_target>

MALI can be compiled with or without the Albany library that contains the first-order velocity solver. The Albany first-order velocity solver is the only velocity option that is scientifically validated, but the Albany library is only available with Gnu compilers (and therefore not at all on Compy). Therefore, in some situations it is desirable to compile without Albany to run basic tests on platforms where Albany is not available. This basic mode of MALI can be compiled similarly to MPAS-Ocean. Again, first source the appropriate load script (see compass conda environment) then run:

cd components/mpas-albany-landice
git submodule update --init --recursive
make [ALBANY=true] <mpas_make_target>

where ALBANY=true is included if you want to compile with Albany support and excluded if you do not. Some more information on building and running MALI is available at https://github.com/MALI-Dev/E3SM/wiki.

See the last column of the table in Supported Machines for the right <mpas_make_target> command for each machine and compiler.

Setting up test cases

Before you set up a test case with compass, you will need to build the MPAS component you wish to test with, see Building MPAS components above.

If you have not already done so, you will need to source the appropriate load script, see compass conda environment.

To see all available test cases you can set up in compass, run:

compass list

and you get output like this:

0: landice/circular_shelf/decomposition_test
1: landice/dome/2000m/sia_smoke_test
2: landice/dome/2000m/sia_decomposition_test
3: landice/dome/2000m/sia_restart_test
4: landice/dome/2000m/fo_smoke_test
5: landice/dome/2000m/fo_decomposition_test
6: landice/dome/2000m/fo_restart_test
7: landice/dome/variable_resolution/sia_smoke_test
8: landice/dome/variable_resolution/sia_decomposition_test
9: landice/dome/variable_resolution/sia_restart_test

The list is long, so it will likely be useful to grep for particular content:

compass list | grep baroclinic_channel
32: ocean/baroclinic_channel/1km/rpe_test
33: ocean/baroclinic_channel/4km/rpe_test
34: ocean/baroclinic_channel/10km/rpe_test
35: ocean/baroclinic_channel/10km/decomp_test
36: ocean/baroclinic_channel/10km/default
37: ocean/baroclinic_channel/10km/restart_test
38: ocean/baroclinic_channel/10km/threads_test

See compass list for more information.

To set up a particular test case, you can either use the full path of the test case:

compass setup -t ocean/global_ocean/QU240/mesh -w <workdir> -p <mpas_path>

or you can replace the -t flag with the simple shortcut: -n 15. You can set up several test cases at once by passing test numbers separated by spaces: -n 15 16 17. See compass setup for more details.

Here, <workdir> is a path, usually to your scratch space. For example, on Chrysalis at LCRC, you might use:

-w /lcrc/group/e3sm/$USER/runs/210131_test_new_branch

The placeholder <mpas> is the relative or absolute path where the MPAS component has been built (the directory, not the executable itself; see Machines). You will typically want to provide a path either with -p or in a config file (see below) because the default paths are only useful for developers running out of the compass repository.

You can explicitly specify a supported machine with -m <machine>. You can run:

compass list --machines

to see what machines are currently supported. If you omit the -m flag, compass will try to automatically detect if you are running on a supported machine and will fall back to a default configuration if no supported machine is detected.

You may point to a config file with -f:

compass setup -t ocean/global_ocean/QU240/mesh -f ocean.cfg -w <workdir>

to specify config options that override the defaults from compass as a whole, individual testcases, or machines. If you are working on a supported machine and you used -p to point to the MPAS build you want to use, you do not need a config file.

If you are not on one of the supported machines, you will need to create a config file like in this example. See also this example in the repository.

# This file contains some common config options you might want to set

# The paths section describes paths to databases and shared compass environments

# A root directory where MPAS standalone data can be found
database_root = </path/to/root>/mpas_standalonedata

# The parallel section describes options related to running tests in parallel

# parallel system of execution: slurm or single_node
system = single_node

# whether to use mpirun or srun to run the model
parallel_executable = mpirun -host localhost

# cores per node on the machine, detected automatically by default
# cores_per_node = 4

The database_root directory can point to a location where you would like to download data for MALI, MPAS-Seaice and MPAS-Ocean. This data is downloaded only once and cached for the next time you call compass setup or compass suite (see below).

The cores_per_node config option will default to the number of CPUs on your computer. You can set this to a smaller number if you want compass to use fewer cores.

In order to run regression testing that compares the output of the current run with that from a previous compass run, use -b <previous_workdir> to specify a “baseline”.

When you set up one or more test cases, they will also be included in a custom test suite, which is called custom by default. (You can give it another name with the --suite_name flag.) You can run all the test cases in sequence with one command as described in Test Suites or run them one at a time as follows.

If you want to copy the MPAS executable over to the work directory, you can use the --copy_executable flag or set the config option copy_executable = True in the [setup] section of your user config file. One use of this capability for compass simulations that are used in a paper. In that case, it would be better to have a copy of the executable that will not be changed even if the E3SM branch is modified, recompiled or deleted. Another use might be to maintain a long-lived baseline test. Again, it is safer to have the executable used to produce the baseline preserved.

Running a test case

After compiling the code and setting up a test case, you can log into an interactive node (see Supported Machines), load the required conda environment and modules, and then

cd <workdir>/<test_subdir>
source load_compass_env.sh
compass run

The <workdir> is the same path provided to the -w flag above. The sequence of subdirectories (<test_subdir>) is the same as given when you list the test cases. If the test case was set up properly, the directory should contain a file test_case.pickle that contains the information compass needs to run the test case. The load script load_compass_env.sh is a link to whatever load script you sourced before setting up the test case (see compass conda environment).

Running with a job script

Alternatively, on supported machines, you can run the test case or suite with a job script generated automatically during setup, for example:

cd <workdir>/<test_subdir>
sbatch job_script.sh

You can edit the job script to change the wall-clock time (1 hour by default) or the number of nodes (scaled according to the number of cores require by the test cases by default).

#SBATCH  --job-name=compass
#SBATCH  --account=condo
#SBATCH  --nodes=5
#SBATCH  --output=compass.o%j
#SBATCH  --exclusive
#SBATCH  --time=1:00:00
#SBATCH  --qos=regular
#SBATCH  --partition=acme-small

source load_compass_env.sh
compass run

You can also use config options, passed to compass suite or compass setup with -f in a user config file to control the job script. The following are the config options that are relevant to job scripts:

# The parallel section describes options related to running jobs in parallel

# account for running diagnostics jobs
account = condo

# Config options related to creating a job script

# the name of the parallel job
job_name = compass

# wall-clock time
wall_time = 1:00:00

# The job partition to use, by default, taken from the first partition (if any)
# provided for the machine by mache
partition = acme-small

# The job quality of service (QOS) to use, by default, taken from the first
# qos (if any) provided for the machine by mache
qos = regular

# The job constraint to use, by default, taken from the first constraint (if
# any) provided for the  machine by mache
constraint =

Test Suites

compass includes several suites of test cases for code regressions and bit-for-bit testing, as well as simply to make it easier to run several test cases in one call. They can be listed with:

compass list --suites

The output is:

  -c landice -t calving_dt_convergence
  -c landice -t fo_integration
  -c landice -t full_integration
  -c landice -t humboldt_calving_tests
  -c landice -t humboldt_calving_tests_fo
  -c landice -t sia_integration
  -c ocean -t cosine_bell_cached_init
  -c ocean -t ec30to60
  -c ocean -t ecwisc30to60
  -c ocean -t kuroshio8to60
  -c ocean -t kuroshio12to60
  -c ocean -t nightly
  -c ocean -t pr
  -c ocean -t qu240_for_e3sm
  -c ocean -t quwisc240
  -c ocean -t quwisc240_for_e3sm
  -c ocean -t so12to60
  -c ocean -t sowisc12to60
  -c ocean -t wc14
  -c ocean -t wcwisc14
  -c ocean -t wetdry

You can set up a suite as follows:

compass suite -s -c ocean -t nightly -w <workdir> -p <mpas_path>

where the details are similar to setting up a case. You can use the same config file (e.g. -f ocean.cfg) and you can specify a “baseline” with -b <previous_workdir> for regression testing of the output compared with a previous run of the nightly suite. See compass suite for more on this command.

To run the regression suite, log into an interactive node, load your modules, and

cd <workdir>
source load_compass_env.sh
compass run [nightly]

In this case, you can specify the name of the suite to run. This is required if there are multiple suites in the same <workdir>. You can optionally specify a suite like compass run [suitename].pickle, which is convenient for tab completion on the command line. The load script load_compass_env.sh is a link to whatever load script you sourced before setting up the test case (see compass conda environment).