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General Appearance

The first release of the CERNLIB libraries and packages for the IBM PC was presented about two years ago [1,2,3]. The number of requests for this release and the many positive references underline the usefulness of this work and suggest that the CERN libraries should be maintained and distributed for PCs as for other platforms.

This initial release was made using the NDP compilers from MicroWay Inc. This resulted in a number of problems and restrictions, the most important of which are listed below.

  1. The compilers are expensive (about $1500 per computer).
  2. The lack of graphics facilities.
  3. The poor and slow exploitation of the virtual memory management features of i386/486 central processors.

Since this release, a new software generation has been developed by the Free Software Foundation Inc. In addition, recent ``free'' kits of GNU tools for MS DOS have included all of the components that are necessary to manage large HEP Fortran and C sources codes.

The following ``free'' tools have been adopted for building CERNLIB on the PC since 93B:


A public-domain C compiler which runs on on many platforms and is supported by the Free Software Foundation, Inc.
A special DOS Extender and port of the GNU gcc/g++ compiler for the 386/DOS platform. This allows 32-bit protected applications to be run under MS DOS with full virtual memory support. Various libraries and utilities are provided also.
A Fortran to C converter [4].

Hardware Requirements

An 80386-based IBM compatible PC or PS/2, approximately 4-5MB of space on a hard disk and 512K RAM. Extended (or expanded under VCPI) memory and coprocessor are strongly recommended.

The PAW package, for example, occupies 2279936 bytes on hard disk. An additional 10-12 MB are required to store the complete CERN libraries (see Table gif).


The following environments are supported.

Note that multiprocessing (fork()) is not supported

Table gif shows the result of using different optimisation modes with the combination of f2c+gcc or the NDP compiler using a Whetstone benchmark on an IBM PC AT 486/25 computer.


The following table (see Table gif) gives timing results for various CERN HBOOK tests on different systems.


The time to process a single event using GEANT example 1 is given below.

The libraries and modules such as PAW (without network facilities) and interactive GEANT for MSDOS have been distributed with the standard CERNLIB release since 92B. MSDOS and IBM PC features are tagged using in Patchy using the IF=MSDOS construct.

next up previous
Next: Conclusions Up: Using CERNLIB and Previous: Using CERNLIB and

Janne Saarela
Tue May 16 13:43:26 METDST 1995