Ptools sponsors projects that:

  • respond to demonstrable needs in the user community,
  • provide the generality needed for execution on multiple systems and platforms,
  • are developed with the active participation of users, and
  • share a common look-and-feel interface.

The Consortium provides an infrastructure for collaboration, including channels for acquiring input from and providing feedback to a wide range of tool developers and users, as well as mechanisms to formalize and distribute tool components. We believe that this peer-reviewed method of defining and developing projects leads to more useful results for both users and industry.

Ongoing Ptools Projects

Performance API (PAPI)

  • what it is: a standard API (application program interface) for obtaining the values of hardware counters.
  • targeted task: performance tuning
  • Working Group home page
  • project maillist: (join the maillist)

Dynamic Probe Class Library (DPCL)

  • what it is: a standard infrastructure that will make it possible to build tools that are portable across HPC platforms
  • targeted task: tool building
  • Working Group home page
  • project maillist: (join the maillist) Documentaion on DPCL (and PE)

Memory Utilization Tracking Tool (MUTT)

  • what it is: tool that determines which portions of an application are where in memory
  • targeted task: performance tuning, debugging
  • Working Group home page
  • project maillist: (join the maillist)

Parallel Unix Commands

  • what it is: parallel versions of familiar, commonly used UNIX commands (e.g., copy a single file to the same path on many nodes, or search process space the same way that “find” searches file space).
  • targeted task: execution setup
  • Working Group home page
  • project maillist: (join the maillist)

Other Ptools-Sponsored Efforts

Tracefile Testbed

High Performance Debugging Forum

  • what it is: Collaborative effort to define standards related to debugging tools for high-performance computers.
  • home page:

Task Force on Requirements for HPC Software and Tools

1995 Task Force on HPC Software and Tools

Completed Ptools Projects

Lightweight Corefile Browser

  • what it is: a simple, convenient tool for finding out where parallel processes/threads were when the application crashed
  • targeted task: debugging

Portable Timing Routines (PTR)

  • what it is: a standard API (application program interface) for measuring intervals of program execution, in terms of wallclock, user CPU, and system CPU time
  • targeted task: performance tuning 

Message Queue Manager (MQM)

  • what it is: tool for obtaining a “snapshot” of the current contents of message queues 
  • targeted task: debugging, performance tuning 

Parallel Print Function (PPF)

  • what it is: standard API (application program interface) for merging and identifying the output from multiple nodes in a parallel program
  • targeted task: debugging

Distributed Array Query and Visualization (DAQV)

  • what it is: tools providing access to, and visualization of, distributed arrays in a parallel program
  • targeted task: debugging

Joining a Ptools Working Group

A working group is formed for each active Ptools project. Membership in working groups is open to the public, and ensures that you will receive copies of email associated with the project. While you are welcome to join simply to monitor project progress, we particularly encourage active participation.

To become a member of one or more projects, simply join the working group’s email reflector.

Citing Ptools Projects and Documents

We request that projects and documents be cited in the following ways. If more than one citation is made, feel free to abbreviate “Parallel Tools Consortium” to “Ptools” after the first citation.ProjectsParallel Tools Consortium Working Group on <project name>
Example: Parallel Tools Consortium Working Group on Portable Timing Routines.Documents<title>, Parallel Tools Consortium Working Document, <date-or-version>. Available online at <url>.
Example: “Message Queue Manager Adopter’s Guide,” Parallel Tools Consortium Working Document, Version 1.0. Available online at

Licensing, Certification, etc.

For information on licensing arrangements, certification of originality, or Year 2000 compliance for any Ptools project, contact