ParaTools, with the help of its partners, has created a fully-featured Linux distribution for high performance application development. All the tools you need to build parallel HPC applications are included:

  • Eclipse PDT, OpenSHMEM (reference implementation from U.Houston), OpenMPI, GNU OpenMP, Berkeley UPC, GNU UPC, TAU, Trilinos, ATLAS, etc.

  • PToolsWin is preinstalled so you can easily port HPC applications from Linux to Windows.

  • PToolsRTE gives you everything you need to develop HPC Python applications including IPython, numpy, and scipy.

HPC Linux is available for free download in the downloads section. Once you have a copy of the image, visit the getting started section to boot the image.


  • Use the preinstalled PToolsWin toolkit to port parallel HPC applications with MPI or OpenMP from Linux to Windows Azure. Simply load the PToolsWin environment module, recompile your application, and upload it to the cloud.
  • Build your own parallel application development cluster. OpenMPI is preinstalled and ready to go, or you can use Berkeley UPC or GNU UPC on top of MPI.
  • Benchmark and test your application with the TAU Performance System. Use TAU to quantify optimization benefits and record your application performance and test data in an online database.
  • HPC Linux is based on Fedora 16 so it includes all the tools and features of a fully functional Fedora installation. Use the yum package manager to install any software you need directly from our repository or Fedora’s.


Getting Started

The easiest way to start using HPCLinux is in a virtual machine. The ISO image and OVA files are compatible with VMware, VirtualBox, and KVM. Simply create a new virtual machine that boots from the file you downloaded. For the OVA file, use File -> Import Appliance -> OVA file in VirtualBox. We recommend VirtualBox.

If you prefer to boot natively, you may either boot from a CD/DVD or from a USB device. Download the ISO image and burn it to a CD, DVD, or USB device. Insert the freshly-burned boot medium and reboot while holding down the appropriate boot modifier key. On Apple systems this is the ‘c’ key, while on Dell systems it is the F12 key. If you don’t know which key is correct for your system, please check your system’s documentation for more information. You may need to modify your boot settings in the system BIOS.

Windows Azure

A special version of HPC Linux, customized for data analysis with iPython, is now available as a Windows Azure virtual machine image. Visit for more information.


This material is based upon work supported by the Department of Energy under Award Number(s) DE-SC0004314 and sponsored by the Microsoft Developer Platform Evangelism team.


This report was prepared as an account of work sponsored by an agency of the United States Government. Neither the United States Government nor any agency thereof, nor any of their employees, makes any warranty, express or implied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product, or process disclosed, or represents that its use would not infringe privately owned rights. Reference herein to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the United States Government or any agency thereof. The views and opinions of authors expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of the United States Government or any agency thereof.


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