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November 2014

Portable Hardware Locality (Hwloc)

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Hwloc.jl is a high-level wrapper of the hwloc library. It examines the current machine's hardware topology (memories, caches, cores, etc.) and provides Julia functions to visualize and access this information conveniently.

Taken from the hwloc website:

The Portable Hardware Locality (hwloc) software package provides a portable abstraction (across OS, versions, architectures, ...) of the hierarchical topology of modern architectures, including NUMA memory nodes, sockets, shared caches, cores and simultaneous multithreading. It also gathers various system attributes such as cache and memory information as well as the locality of I/O devices such as network interfaces, InfiniBand HCAs or GPUs.

hwloc primarily aims at helping applications with gathering information about increasingly complex parallel computing platforms so as to exploit them accordingly and efficiently.


Perhaps the most important function is Hwloc.topology() which displays a tree structure describing the system topology. This roughly corresponds to the output of the lstopo program (non-GUI version). On my laptop this gives the following output:

julia> using Hwloc

julia> topology()
Machine (16.0 GB)
    Package L#0 P#0 (16.0 GB)
        NUMANode (16.0 GB)
        L3 (12.0 MB)
            L2 (256.0 kB) + L1 (32.0 kB) + Core L#0 P#0 
                PU L#0 P#0 
                PU L#1 P#1 
            L2 (256.0 kB) + L1 (32.0 kB) + Core L#1 P#1 
                PU L#2 P#2 
                PU L#3 P#3 
            L2 (256.0 kB) + L1 (32.0 kB) + Core L#2 P#2 
                PU L#4 P#4 
                PU L#5 P#5 
            L2 (256.0 kB) + L1 (32.0 kB) + Core L#3 P#3 
                PU L#6 P#6 
                PU L#7 P#7 
            L2 (256.0 kB) + L1 (32.0 kB) + Core L#4 P#4 
                PU L#8 P#8 
                PU L#9 P#9 
            L2 (256.0 kB) + L1 (32.0 kB) + Core L#5 P#5 
                PU L#10 P#10 
                PU L#11 P#11

Often, one is only interested in a summary of this topology. The function topology_info() provides such a compact description, which is loosely similar to the output of the hwloc-info command-line application.

julia> topology_info()
Machine: 1 (16.0 GB)
 Package: 1 (16.0 GB)
  NUMANode: 1 (16.0 GB)
   L3Cache: 1 (12.0 MB)
    L2Cache: 6 (256.0 KB)
     L1Cache: 6 (32.0 KB)
      Core: 6
       PU: 12

If you prefer a more verbose graphical visualization you may consider using topology_graphical():

Screenshot 2022-09-27 at 12 06 57

(Note that as of now this may not produce colorful output on all systems.)

Obtaining particular information:

Number of cores, NUMA nodes, and sockets

Hwloc exports a few convenience functions for obtaining particularly import information, such as the number of physical and virtual cores (i.e. processing units), NUMA nodes, and sockets / packages:

julia> num_physical_cores()

julia> num_virtual_cores()

julia> num_numa_nodes()

julia> num_packages()

One may also use getinfo() to programmatically access some of the output of topology_info():

julia> getinfo()
Dict{Symbol,Int64} with 8 entries:
  :L2Cache  => 6
  :NUMANode => 1
  :Core     => 6
  :Package  => 1
  :L1Cache  => 6
  :Machine  => 1
  :PU       => 12
  :L3Cache  => 1

Cache properties

Assuming that multiple caches of the same level (e.g. L1) have identical properties, one can use the convenience functions cachesize() and cachelinesize() to obtain the relevant sizes in Bytes:

julia> cachesize()
(L1 = 32768, L2 = 262144, L3 = 12582912)

julia> cachelinesize()
(L1 = 64, L2 = 64, L3 = 64)

Otherwise, there are the following more specific functions available:

julia> @show Hwloc.l1cache_sizes();
       @show Hwloc.l2cache_sizes();
       @show Hwloc.l3cache_sizes();
Hwloc.l1cache_sizes() = [32768, 32768, 32768, 32768, 32768, 32768]
Hwloc.l2cache_sizes() = [262144, 262144, 262144, 262144, 262144, 262144]
Hwloc.l3cache_sizes() = [12582912]

Manual access

To manually traverse and investigate the system topology tree, one may use gettopology() to obtain the top-level Hwloc.Object.

julia> topo = gettopology()
Hwloc.Object: Machine

julia> fieldnames(typeof(topo))
(:type_, :os_index, :name, :attr, :mem, :depth, :logical_index, :children, :memory_children)

julia> Hwloc.children(topo)
1-element Array{Hwloc.Object,1}:
 Hwloc.Object: Package

julia> Hwloc.children(topo.children[1])
1-element Array{Hwloc.Object,1}:
 Hwloc.Object: L3Cache

julia> l2cache = Hwloc.children(topo.children[1].children[1])[1]
Hwloc.Object: L2Cache

julia> Hwloc.attributes(l2cache)

julia> l2cache |> print_topology
L2 (256.0 kB) + L1 (32.0 kB) + Core L#0 P#0 
    PU L#0 P#0 
    PU L#1 P#1

Topology elements of type Hwloc.Object also are Julia iterators. One can thus readily traverse the corresponding part of the topology tree:

julia> for obj in l2cache
           @show hwloc_typeof(obj)
hwloc_typeof(obj) = :L2Cache
hwloc_typeof(obj) = :L1Cache
hwloc_typeof(obj) = :Core
hwloc_typeof(obj) = :PU
hwloc_typeof(obj) = :PU

julia> collect(obj for obj in l2cache)
5-element Array{Hwloc.Object,1}:
 Hwloc.Object: L2Cache
 Hwloc.Object: L1Cache
 Hwloc.Object: Core
 Hwloc.Object: PU
 Hwloc.Object: PU

julia> count(hwloc_isa(:PU), l2cache)

julia> collectobjects(:PU, l2cache)
2-element Array{Hwloc.Object,1}:
 Hwloc.Object: PU
 Hwloc.Object: PU

Manual topology query

On the first call of gettopology(), Hwloc.jl examines the current machine's hardware topology and caches the result in Hwloc.machine_topology. To manually query the system topology one may use Hwloc.topology_load which directly ccalls into libhwloc and directly returns the resulting Hwloc.Object.

Required Packages

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