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Unit 0.3.2 Operating system

We assume you have access to some variant of the Linux operating system on your computer.

Subsubsection Linux

If you are on a computer that already uses Linux as its operating system, you are all set. (Although... It has been reported that some linux installations don't automatically come with the gcc compiler, which you will definitely need.)

Subsubsection Windows

Sorry, we don't do Windows... But there are options.

Subsubsection Mac OS-X

Mac OS-X comes with Darwin, an open-source Unix-like operating system (

A complication on the Max OS-X operating system is that the gcc compiler defaults to their clang compiler, which does not by default include the ability to use OpenMP directives.

There are a few tools that you will want to install to have the compete toolchain that we will use. We will walk you through how to set this up in Unit 0.3.3

Again, alternatively you may want to use a Virtual Machine (see below).

Subsubsection Virtual box alternative

Non-Linux users can also install a Linux virtual machine onto both Windows and macOS using VirtualBox from Oracle, which is free to download.

Essentially, you can run a Linux OS from within Windows / macOS without having to actually install it on the hard drive alongside Windows / macOS, and (for Windows users) without having to go through Microsoft Store.

The basic process looks like this:

  • Install VirtualBox.

  • Download a .iso image for some Linux OS (I recommend Ubuntu MATE but really it can be any distribution).

  • Create a virtual machine in VirtualBox, allocating sufficient memory and hard drive space.

  • Start up the virtual machine and select the downloaded .iso image for the chosen Linux distro.

  • Go through the distro's installation process.

  • Install any additional software needed (blis, a text editor, etc.)

Then the user can access the virtual machine as a self-contained contained Linux OS.