In order to build pocl, you need the following support libraries and tools:

  • Latest released version of LLVM & Clang
  • GNU make
  • libtool dlopen wrapper files (e.g. libltdl3-dev in Debian)
  • pthread (should be installed by default)
  • hwloc v1.0 or newer (e.g. libhwloc-dev)
  • pkg-config
  • cmake

Clang / LLVM Notes

IMPORTANT NOTE! Some platforms (TCE and possibly HSA) require that you compile & build LLVM with RTTI on. It can be enabled on cmake command line, as follows:

Supported versions

Note that pocl aims to support the latest LLVM version at the time of pocl release, plus the previous LLVM version. All older LLVM versions are supported with “best effort” basis; there might not be build bots continuously testing the code base nor anyone fixing their possible breakage.

Configure & Build

CMake version 2.8.12 or higher is required.

The build+install is the usual CMake way:

cd <directory-with-pocl-sources>
mkdir build
cd build
cmake [-D<option>=<value> ...] ..
make && make install

To see the default detected values, run cmake .. without any options, it will produce a summary.

CMake: important options & features

For multiple-item options, use ”;” as separator (you’ll have to escape it for bash).

  • -DWITH_LLVM_CONFIG=<path-to-llvm-config> IMPORTANT Path to a llvm-config binary. This determines the LLVM installation used by pocl. If not specified, pocl will try to find and link against llvm-config in PATH env var (usually means your system LLVM).

  • -DSTATIC_LLVM enable this to link LLVM statically into pocl. Note that you need LLVM built with static libs. This option might result in much longer build/link times and much larger pocl library, but the resulting libpocl will not require an LLVM installation to run.

  • -DENABLE_ICD and -DDIRECT_LINKAGE By default pocl’s buildsystem will try to find an ICD and build pocl as a dynamic library named “libpocl”. These options are useful if you want to avoid ICD and build pocl directly as libOpenCL library. See also Linking your program with pocl through an icd loader

  • -DPOCL_INSTALL_<something>_DIR The equivalent of --bindir, --sbindir etc fine-tuning of paths for autotools. See the beginning of toplevel CMakeLists.txt for all the variables.

  • -DKERNELLIB_HOST_CPU_VARIANTS You can control which CPUs the kernel library will be built for. Defaults to “native” which will be converted to the build machine’s CPU at buildtime. Available CPUs are listed by llc -mcpu=help; you can specify multiple CPUs, and pocl will look for a kernel library for the runtime-detected CPU.

    For x86(64) there is another possibility, distro, which builds a few preselected sse/avx variants covering 99.99% of x86 processors, and pocl will use the most appropriate one at runtime, based on detected CPU features. With distro, the minimum requirement on CPU is SSE2.

  • -DENABLE_TESTSUITES Which external (source outside pocl) testsuites to enable. For the list of testsuites, see examples/CMakeLists.txt or the examples directory. Set to all and pocl will try to autodetect & enable everything it can.

    Note that you may build testsuites outside pocl’s build tree, and test multiple pocl builds with a single testsuite directory. To use this, run cmake with -DTESTSUITE_BASEDIR=<tests-builddir> and -DTESTSUITE_SOURCE_BASEDIR=<tests-sourcedir>. The directory structure mirrors that of pocl/examples. So to build e.g. AMD SDK 2.9 with -DTESTSUITE_BASEDIR=/home/pocltest-build -DTESTSUITE_SOURCE_BASEDIR=/home/pocltest-src, place the AMD-APP-SDK-v2.9-RC-lnx64.tgz file into /home/pocltest-src/AMDSDK2.9 directory.

LLVM-less build

Building on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

The Clang/LLVM 3.8 shipped with Ubuntu 16.04 should work with pocl. Be sure to install also the ‘libclang-3.8-dev’ package in addition to the ‘clang-3.8 and llvm-3.8-dev’ packages, otherwise cmake will fail.

Known build-time issues

There are unsolved issues and bugs in pocl. See the bug listing for a complete listing at

Known issues not related to pocl are listed below.