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Chapter 2

Using Sun Fortran Compilers

This chapter describes how to use the Fortran 77 and Fortran 95 compilers.

The principal use of any compiler is to transform a program written in a procedural language like Fortran into a data file that is executable by the target computer hardware. As part of its job, the compiler may also automatically invoke a system linker to generate the executable file.

The Sun Fortran 77 and Fortran 95 compilers can also be used to:

A Quick Start

This section provides a quick overview of how to use the Sun Fortran compilers to compile and run Fortran programs. A full reference to command-line options appears in the next chapter.

Note – The command line examples in this chapter primarily show f77 usages. Except where noted, equivalent usages of f95 are similarly valid; however, the printed output may be slightly different.

The very basic steps to running a Fortran application involve using an editor to create a Fortran source file with a .f, .for, .f90, .f95, .F, .F90, or .F95 filename suffix; invoking the compiler to produce an executable; and finally, launching the program into execution by typing the name of the file:

Example: This program displays a message on the screen:

demo% cat greetings.f
     PRINT *, 'Real programmers write Fortran!'
demo% f77 greetings.f 
  MAIN greetings:
demo% a.out 
 Real programmers write Fortran!

In this example, f77 compiles source file greetings.f and links the executable program onto the file, a.out, by default. To launch the program, the name of the executable file, a.out, is typed at the command prompt.

Traditionally, UNIX compilers write executable output to the default file called a.out. It can be awkward to have each compilation write to the same file. Moreover, if such a file already exists, it will be overwritten by the next run of the compiler. Instead, use the -o compiler option to explicitly specify the name of the executable output file:

demo% f77 -o greetings greetings.f 
MAIN greetings: 

In the preceding example, the -o option tells the compiler to write the executable code to the file greetings. (By convention, executable files usually are given the same name as the main source file, but without an extension.)

Alternatively, the default a.out file could be renamed via the mv command after each compilation. Either way, run the program by typing the name of the executable file:

demo% greetings 
 Real programmers write Fortran! 

Here is the same example, using f95:

demo% cat greetings.f95
program greetings
print*, 'Real programmers write Fortran 95!'
demo% f95 -o greetings greetings.f95
demo% greetings
 Real programmers write Fortran 95!

The next sections of this chapter discuss the conventions used by the f77 and f95 commands, compiler source line directives, and other issues concerning the use of these compilers. The next chapter describes the command-line syntax and all the options in detail.

Invoking the Compiler

The syntax of a simple compiler command invoked at a shell prompt is:

f77  [options]    files...      invokes the Fortran 77 compiler
f95  [options]    files...      invokes the Fortran 95 compiler

Here files... is one or more Fortran source file names ending in .f, .F, .f90, .f95, .F90, .F95, or .for; options is one or more of the compiler option flags. (Files with names ending in a .f90 or .f95 extension are "free-format" Fortran 95 source files recognized only by the f95 compiler.)

In the example below, f95 is used to compile two source files to produce an executable file named growth with runtime debugging enabled:

demo% f95 -g -o growth growth.f fft.f95

Note – You can invoke the Sun WorkShop 6 Fortran 95 compiler with either the f95 or f90 command -- f90 is now an alias for f95.

Compile-Link Sequence

In the previous example, the compiler automatically generates the loader object files, growth.o and fft.o, and then invokes the system linker to create the executable program file growth.

After compilation, the object files, growth.o and fft.o, will remain. This convention permits easy relinking and recompilation of files.

If the compilation fails, you will receive a message for each error. No .o files are generated for those source files with errors, and no executable program file is written.

Command-Line File Name Conventions

The suffix extension attached to file names appearing on the command-line determine how the compiler will process the file. File names with a suffix extension other than one of those listed below, or without an extension, are passed to the linker.

TABLE 2-1   File Name Suffixes Recognized by Sun Fortran Compilers  
Suffix Language Action
Fortran 77 or Fortran 95 fixed-format Compile Fortran source files, put object files in current directory; default name of object file is that of the source but with .o suffix.
Fortran 95 free-format Same action as .f (f95 only)
Fortran 77 or
Fortran 95
Same action as .f.
Fortran 77 or Fortran 95 fixed-format Apply the Fortran (or C) preprocessor to the Fortran 77 source file before compilation.
Fortran 95 free-format Apply the Fortran (or C) preprocessor to the Fortran 95 free-format source file before Fortran compiles it. (f95 only)
Assembler Assemble source files with the assembler.
Assembler Apply the C preprocessor to the assembler source file before assembling it.
Inline expansion Process template files for inline expansion. The compiler will use templates to expand inline calls to selected routines. (Template files are special assembler files; see the inline(1) man page.)
Object files Pass object files through to the linker.
Libraries Pass names of libraries to the linker. .a files are static libraries, .so and .so.n files are dynamic libraries.

Fortran 95 free-format is described in Appendix C of this manual.

Source Files

The Fortran compilers will accept multiple source files on the command line. A single source file, also called a compilation unit, may contain any number of procedures (main program, subroutine, function, block data, module, and so on). Applications may be configured with one source code procedure per file, or by gathering procedures that work together into single files. The Fortran Programming Guide describes the advantages and disadvantages of these configurations.

Source File Preprocessors

Both f77 and f95 support two source file preprocessors, fpp and cpp. Either can be invoked by the compiler to expand source code "macros" and symbolic definitions prior to compilation. The compilers will use fpp by default; the -xpp=cpp option changes the default from fpp to cpp. (See also the discussion of the -Dname option).

fpp is a Fortran-specific source preprocessor. See the fpp(1) man page and the fpp README for details. It is invoked by default by f77 on files with a .F extension and by f95 on files with a .F, .F90, or .F95 extension.

The source code for fpp is available from the Netlib web site at

See cpp(1) for information on the standard Unix C language preprocessor. Use of fpp over cpp is recommended on Fortran source files.

Separate Compiling and Linking

You can compile and link in separate steps. The -c option compiles source files and generates .o object files, but does not create an executable. Without the -c option the compiler will invoke the linker. By splitting the compile and link steps in this manner, a complete recompilation is not needed just to fix one file, as shown in the following example:

Compile one file and link with others in separate steps:

demo% f95 -c file1.f                          (Make new object file)
demo% f95 -o prgrm file1.o file2.o file3.o         (Make executable file)

Be sure that the link step lists all the object files needed to make the complete program. If any object files are missing from this step, the link will fail with undefined external reference errors (missing routines).

Consistent Compiling and Linking

Ensuring a consistent choice of compiling and linking options is critical whenever compilation and linking are done in separate steps. Compiling any part of a program with any of the following options requires linking with the same options:

-a, -autopar, -Bx, -fast, -G, -Lpath, -lname, -mt, -xmemalign, -nolib, -norunpath, -p, -pg, -xlibmopt, -xlic_lib=name, -xprofile=p

Example: Compiling sbr.f with -a and smain.f without it, then linking in separate steps (-a invokes tcov old-style profiling):

demo% f95 -c -a sbr.f       
demo% f95 -c smain.f
demo% f95 -a sbr.o smain.o        link step; passes  -a  to the linker

Also, a number of options require that all source files be compiled with that option, including the link step. These include:

-autopar, -aligncommon, -dx, -dalign, -dbl, -explicitpar, -f, -misalign, -native, -parallel, -r8, -xarch=a, -xcache=c, -xchip=c, -xF, -xtarget=t, -xtypemap, -ztext

Linking Mixed Fortran 95 and Fortran 77 Compilations

As a general rule, if any of the object files that make up a program were compiled with f95, then the final link step must be done with f95. Use f77 to produce the executable file only if none of the .o object files were compiled with f95. See also Appendix , Compatibility with FORTRAN 77.

Unrecognized Command-Line Arguments

Any arguments on the command-line that the compiler does not recognize are interpreted as being possibly linker options, object program file names, or library names.

The basic distinctions are:

For example:

demo% f95 -bit move.f           <-  -bit is not a recognized f95 option
f95: Warning: Option -bit passed to ld, if ld is invoked, ignored 
demo% f95 fast move.f           <-   The user meant to type -fast
ld: fatal: file fast: cannot open file; errno=2
ld: fatal: File processing errors.  No output written to a.out

Note that in the first example, -bit is not recognized by f95 and the option is passed on to the linker (ld), who tries to interpret it. Because single letter ld options may be strung together, the linker sees -bit as -b -i -t, which are all legitimate ld options! This may (or may not) be what the user expects, or intended.

In the second example, the user intended to type the f77/f95 option -fast but neglected the leading dash. The compiler again passes the argument to the linker which, in turn, interprets it as a file name.

These examples indicate that extreme care should be observed when composing compiler command lines!

Modules (Fortran 95)

f95 automatically creates module information files for each MODULE declaration encountered in the source files, and searches for modules referenced by a USE statement. For each module encountered (MODULE module_name), the compiler generates a corresponding file, module_name.mod, in the current directory. For example, f95 generates the module information file list.mod for the MODULE list unit found on file mysrc.f95 .

The compiler searches the current directory for module files referenced in USE statements. Module files must be compiled before compiling any source file referencing a MODULE in a USE statement. Directories can be added to the search path with the -M command-line option. However, individual .mod files cannot be specified directly on the command line.


Use a source code directive, a form of Fortran comment, to pass specific information to the compiler regarding special optimization or parallelization choices. Compiler directives are also sometimes called pragmas. The compilers recognize a set of general directives and parallelization directives. Fortran 95 also processes OpenMP shared memory multiprocessing directives.

Directives unique to f95 are described in Appendix C. A complete summary of all the directives recognized by f77 and f95 appears in Appendix E.

Note – Directives are not part of the Fortran standard.

General Directives

The various forms of a general Sun Fortran directive are:

C$PRAGMA keyword ( a [ , a ] ... ) [ , keyword ( a [ , a ] ... ) ] ,... 
C$PRAGMA SUN keyword ( a [ , a ] ... ) [ , keyword ( a [ , a ] ... ) ] ,... 
C$PRAGMA SPARC keyword ( a [ , a ] ... ) [ , keyword ( a [ , a ] ... ) ] ,... 

The variable keyword identifies the specific directive. Additional arguments or suboptions may also be allowed. (Some directives require the additional keyword SUN or SPARC, as shown above.)

A general directive has the following syntax:

Observe the following restrictions:

The Fortran compilers recognize the following general directives:

TABLE 2-2   Summary of General Fortran Directives  
C Directive C$PRAGMA C(list)
Declares a list of names of external functions as C language routines.
Advises the compiler that the following loop can be unrolled to a length n.
WEAK Directive C$PRAGMA WEAK(name[=name2])
Declares name to be a weak symbol, or an alias for name2.
Set optimization level for a subprogram to n.
Assert dependency in loop between iterations n apart.
Request compiler generate prefetch instructions for references to name. (Requires -xprefetch option.)

The C Directive

The C() directive specifies that its arguments are external functions. It is equivalent to an EXTERNAL declaration except that unlike ordinary external names, the Fortran compiler will not append an underscore to these argument names. See the C-Fortran Interface chapter in the Fortran Programming Guide for more details.

The C() directive for a particular function should appear before the first reference to that function in each subprogram that contains such a reference.

Example - compiling ABC and XYZ for C:


The UNROLL Directive

The UNROLL directive requires that you specify SUN after C$PRAGMA.

The C$PRAGMA SUN UNROLL=n directive instructs the compiler to unroll loops n times during its optimization pass. (The compiler will unroll loops only when its analysis regards such unrolling as appropriate.)

n is a positive integer. The choices are:

If any loops are actually unrolled, the executable file becomes larger. For further information, see the Fortran Programming Guide chapter on performance and optimization.

Example - unrolling loops two times:


The WEAK Directive

The WEAK directive defines a symbol to have less precedence than an earlier definition of the same symbol. This pragma is used mainly in sources files for building libraries. The linker does not produce an error message if it is unable to resolve a weak symbol.

C$PRAGMA WEAK (name1 [=name2])

WEAK (name1) defines name1 to be a weak symbol. The linker does not produce an error message if it does not find a definition for name1.

WEAK (name1=name2) defines name1 to be a weak symbol and an alias for name2.

If your program calls but does not define name1, the linker uses the definition from the library. However, if your program defines its own version of name1, then the program's definition is used and the weak global definition of name1 in the library is not used. If the program directly calls name2, the definition from library is used; a duplicate definition of name2 causes an error. See the Solaris Linker and Libraries Guide for more information.

The OPT Directive

The OPT directive requires that you specify SUN after C$PRAGMA.

The OPT directive sets the optimization level for a subprogram, overriding the level specified on the compilation command line. The directive must appear immediately before the target subprogram, and only applies to that subprogram. For example:

        SUBROUTINE smart(a,b,c,d,e)

When the above is compiled with an f77 command that specifies -O4, the directive will override this level and compile the subroutine at -O2. Unless there is another directive following this routine, the next subprogram will be compiled at -O4.

The routine must also be compiled with the -xmaxopt=n option for the directive to be recognized. This compiler option specifies a maximum optimization value for PRAGMA OPT directives: if a PRAGMA OPT specifies an optimization level greater than the -xmaxopt level, the -xmaxopt level is used.

(SPARC Only) The PIPELOOP=n Directive

The PIPELOOP=n directive requires that you specify SUN after C$PRAGMA.

This directive must appear immediately before a DO loop. n is a positive integer constant, or zero, and asserts to the optimizer a dependence between loop iterations. A value of zero indicates that the loop has no inter-iteration dependencies and can be freely pipelined by the optimizer. A positive n value implies that the I-th iteration of the loop has a dependency on the (I-n)-th iteration, and can be pipelined at best for only n iterations at a time.

C    We know that the value of K is such that there can be no
C    cross-iteration dependencies (E.g. K>N)
      DO I=1,N
       A(I)=A(I+K) + D(I)
       B(I)=B(I) + A(I)
      END DO

For more information on optimization, see the Fortran Programming Guide.

(SPARC Only) PREFETCH Directives

The -xprefetch option flag, page 109, enables a set of PREFETCH directives that advise the compiler to generate prefetch instructions for the specified data element. Prefetch instructions are only available on UltraSPARC platforms.


See also the C User's Guide, or the SPARC Architecture Manual, Version 9 for further information about prefetch instructions.

Parallelization Directives

Parallelization directives explicitly request the compiler attempt to parallelize the DO loop or the region of code that follows the directive. The syntax differs from general directives. Parallelization directives are only recognized when compilation options -parallel or -explicitpar are used. Details regarding Fortran parallelization can be found in the Fortran Programming Guide.

Note – Fortran parallelization features require a Sun WorkShop HPC license.

The Fortran compilers support three styles of parallelization directives, Sun, Cray, and OpenMP.

Sun style parallelization directives are the default (explicitly selected with the compiler option -mp=sun). Sun directives have the directive sentinel $PAR.

Alternatively, Cray style parallelization directives, enabled by the -mp=cray compiler option, have the sentinel MIC$. Interpretations of similar directives differ between Sun and Cray styles. See the chapter on parallelization in the Fortran Programming Guide for details.

Fortran 95 also accepts OpenMP parallelization directives, described in the next section.

Sun/Cray parallelization directives have the following syntax:

Each parallelization directive has its own set of optional qualifiers that follow the keyword.

Example: Specifying a loop with a shared variable:

C$PAR DOALL SHARED(yvalue)    Sun style
CMIC$ DOALL SHARED(yvalue)    Cray style

See Appendix E for a summary, and the Fortran Programming Guide for details about parallelization and these directives.

OpenMP Directives

The Sun WorkShop 6 Fortran 95 compiler recognizes the OpenMP Fortran shared memory multiprocessing API as specified by the OpenMP Architecture Review Board. See the OpenMP website for details:

You must compile with the command-line option --mp=openmp, or -openmp, to enable OpenMP directives.

A summary of OpenMP directives appears in Appendix E.

OpenMP directives can be used in conjunction with either Sun or Cray style parallelization directives, as long as these different directives are not nested within each other. To enable OpenMP with Sun or Cray directives, use -mp=openmp,sun or -mp=openmp,cray (no spaces), respectively.

Compiler Usage Tips

The next sections suggest a number of ways to use the Sun Fortran compilers efficiently. A complete compiler options reference follows in the next chapter.

Determining Hardware Platform

Some compiler flags allow the user to tune code generation to a specific set of hardware platform options. The utility command fpversion displays the hardware platform specifications for the native processor:

demo% fpversion
A SPARC-based CPU is available.
 CPU's clock rate appears to be approximately 467.1 MHz.
 Kernel says CPU's clock rate is 480.0 MHz.
 Kernel says main memory's clock rate is 120.0 MHz.
 Sun-4 floating-point controller version 0 found.
 An UltraSPARC chip is available.
 FPU's frequency appears to be approximately 492.7 MHz.
 Use "-xtarget=ultra2i -xcache=16/32/1:2048/64/1" code-
generation option.
 Hostid = hardware_host_id.

The values printed depend on the load on the system at the moment fpversion is called.

See fpversion(1) and the Numerical Computation Guide for details.

Using Environment Variables

You can specify options by setting the FFLAGS or OPTIONS variables.

Either FFLAGS or OPTIONS can be used explicitly in the command line. When you are using make files implicit compilation rules, FFLAGS is used automatically by the make program.

Example: Set FFLAGS: (C Shell)

demo% setenv FFLAGS '-fast -Xlist'

Example: Use FFLAGS explicitly:

demo% f95 $FFLAGS any.f

When using make, if the FFLAGS variable is set as above and the makefile's compilation rules are implicit, that is, there is no explicit compiler command line, then invoking make will result in a compilation equivalent to:

f77 -fast -Xlist files...

make is a very powerful program development tool that can easily be used with all Sun compilers. See the make(1) man page and the Program Development chapter in the Fortran Programming Guide.

Note – Default implicit rules assumed by make may not recognize files with extensions .f95 and .mod (Fortran 95 Module files). See the Fortran Programming Guide and the Fortran 95 README for details.

Memory Size

A compilation may need to use a lot of memory. This will depend on the optimization level chosen and the size and complexity of the files being compiled. On SPARC platforms, if the optimizer runs out of memory, it tries to recover by retrying the current procedure at a lower level of optimization and resumes subsequent routines at the original level specified in the -On option on the command line.

A workstation should have at least 24 megabytes of memory; 32 megabytes are recommended. Memory usage depends on the size of each procedure, the level of optimization, the limits set for virtual memory, the size of the disk swap file, and various other parameters.

Compiling a single source file containing many routines could cause the compiler to run out of memory or swap space.

If the compiler runs out of memory, try reducing the level of optimization, or split multiple-routine source files into files with one routine per file, using fsplit(1).

Swap Space Limits

The command, swap -s, displays available swap space. See swap(1M).

Example: Use the swap command:

demo% swap -s 
total: 40236k bytes allocated + 7280k reserved = 47516k used, 
1058708k available

To determine the actual real memory:

demo% /usr/sbin/dmesg | grep mem 
mem = 655360K (0x28000000)
avail mem = 602476544

Increasing Swap Space

Use mkfile(1M) and swap(1M) to increase the size of the swap space on a workstation. You must become superuser to do this. mkfile creates a file of a specific size, and swap -a adds the file to the system swap space:

demo# mkfile -v 90m /home/swapfile 
/home/swapfile 94317840 bytes 
demo# /usr/sbin/swap -a  /home/swapfile

Control of Virtual Memory

Compiling very large routines (thousands of lines of code in a single procedure) at optimization level -O3 or higher may require additional memory that could degrade compile-time performance. You can control this by limiting the amount of virtual memory available to a single process.

Example: Limit virtual memory to 16 Mbytes:

demo$ ulimit -d 16000

Example: Limit virtual memory to 16 Mbytes:

demo% limit datasize 16M

Each of these command lines causes the optimizer to try to recover at 16 Mbytes of data space.

This limit cannot be greater than the system's total available swap space and, in practice, must be small enough to permit normal use of the system while a large compilation is in progress.

Be sure that no compilation consumes more than half the space.

Example: With 32 Mbytes of swap space, use the following commands:

In a sh shell:

demo$ ulimit -d 1600

In a csh shell:

demo% limit datasize 16M

The best setting depends on the degree of optimization requested and the amount of real and virtual memory available.

In 64-bit Solaris environments, the soft limit for the size of an application data segment is 2 Gbytes. If your application needs to allocate more space, use the shell's limit or ulimit command to remove the limit. For csh use:

demo% limit datasize unlimited

or for sh or ksh:

demo$ ulimit -d unlimited

See the Solaris 64-bit Developer's Guide for more information.

Sun Microsystems, Inc.
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