Installing SPEC ACCEL Under Microsoft Windows

(To check for possible updates to this document, please see )


Installation Steps

1. Review Pre-Requisities

2. Open a command prompt window

3. Pick destination. Have enough space, avoid space.

4. Go to the benchmark distribution

5. Run install.bat

6. Edit shrc.bat

7. Use your shrc.bat

8. Pick a config file to start with. Modify as needed.

9. Build a benchmark

10. Run one benchmark with the test dataset

11. Try a real dataset

12. Try a full (reportable) run

13. Learn more

Appendix 1: the DVD drive is on system A, but I want to install on system B. What do I do?

a. Network mount

b. Tar file

Appendix 2: Uninstalling SPEC ACCEL

Appendix 3: Useful Tips and Techniques

a. About Temporary Space (%temp%)

b. About Text Files and Windows/Unix Compatibility

Note: links to SPEC ACCEL documents on this web page assume that you are reading the page from a directory that also contains the other SPEC ACCEL documents. If by some chance you are reading this web page from a location where the links do not work, try accessing the referenced documents at one of the following locations:


The SPEC ACCEL suite has been tested under Unix and Linux. It has not been tested on Mac OS X or Windows systems. But because of shared tools with other SPEC CPU benchmarks (e.g., SPEC CPU2006), it should be possible to install the benchmark on Mac OS X and Windows systems. Your benchmark distribustion can be installed under many operating systems.

Reminder: the SPEC license allows you to install on multiple systems as you may wish within your institution; but you may not share the software with the public.

This document covers the installation procedure for SPEC ACCEL under Microsoft Windows. Many of the benchmarks require more than 4 GB of memory, so you must use an operating system which allows more than 32-bits of address space.

Note: Unless otherwise specified, refererences to "Windows" in this document apply to Windows XP or later.

Installation Steps

This section describes the installing ACCEL under Microsoft Windows step-by-step. The steps are described in some detail here, with brief examples.

1. Review Pre-Requisities

Review the hardware and software requirements, in system-requirements.html

In particular, please notice in the requirements document that SPEC does not recommend installation under Windows/Unix compatibility environments. SPEC recommends that such products be removed from your path.

The steps that follow assume that your benchmark distribution is on the same system as where you wish to install. If it is on a different system, please see Appendix 1.

2. Open a Command Prompt Window

Open a Command Prompt window (formerly known as an "MSDOS Window"). Typically, this is done by selecting:
Start-->All Programs-->Accessories-->Command Prompt.

Adjust the properties to allow you to see plenty of lines scrolled off the top (for example, 9000). Click the upper left corner of the Command Prompt window, scroll down to "Properties", click the "Layout" tab, and in the section labeled "Screen Buffer Size" enter a new value for "Height".

3. Pick destination. Have enough space.

Decide where you want to install the ACCEL suite. You should make sure that your chosen destination disk has at least 10GB free. (For more information on disk usage, see system-requirements.html.) For the following examples, we will assume that your destination is on drive C:, in the directory \accel.

Please make sure that there are no spaces in the path. Installing to a location that includes a directory or subdirectory named something like "My Benchmarks" is asking for trouble. Even if you make it through the installation, there may be other programs from SPEC (or from your compiler) that expect space to be an argument delimiter, not part of a path name, and which therefore fail with odd and hard to understand error messges.

4. Go to the benchmark distribution

Go to where you have put the benchmark distribution.

5. Run install.bat

You're now ready to run the installer. The format for this command is

install.bat destination_drive:\destination_directory

For example, if your DVD is in drive D:, and you want to install ACCEL on drive C: in a folder named accel, you could type:

D:\> install.bat  C:\accel

You should see a message similar to the following:

D:\>install.bat c:\accel
Installing FROM source: D:\

  If the source is NOT correct, hit Control-C and
  run install.bat from the correct benchmark tree.

Press any key to continue . . . 

If you see a message similar to the above, just press return. If you see error messages, check to be sure that you are in the correct directory and that %temp% is defined (see below).

Next, the install procedure will ask you to confirm the destination folder.

You should see a message similar to the following:

Installing TO destination: "c:\accel"

   If the destination is NOT correct, hit Control-C and
   specify the desired installation path as a parameter.
   For example:

   D:\install.bat  D:\SPEC\accel

Press any key to continue . . . 

If you see a message similar to the above, just press return, and the installation begins.

As it proceeds, the install procedure will inform you that the benchmarks are being unpacked. Please be patient - although only a few messages are printed, thousands of files are installed:

Installing from "D:\"
Installing to "c:\accel\"

 Depending on the speed of the drive holding your installation media
 and the speed of your destination disk, this may take more than 15 minutes.
 Please be patient.

Unpacking ACCEL base files (.... MB)
Unpacking ....
.     (lines omitted) 
Testing the tools installation (this may take a minute)

Runspec tests completed successfully!
Installation completed!


The installation will consume around 10GB on your destination disk.

After this step completes, you will find yourself in the destination directory that you selected.

6. Edit shrc.bat

Read the comments in the file


and make the appropriate edits for your compiler paths.

Caution: you may find that the lines are not correctly formatted (the text appears to be all run together) when you edit this file. If so, see the section below: About Text Files and Windows/Unix Compatibility.

You will have to uncomment one of two lines:

rem set SHRC_PRECOMPILED=yes  



by removing "rem" from the beginning of the desired line.

If you uncomment the first line, you must have pre-compiled binaries for the benchmarks

If you uncomment the second line, you will have to follow the instructions (a few lines below further along in shrc.bat) to set up the environment for your compiler, either (A) by calling a vendor-supplied batch setup file or (B) by entering the path yourself:

  1. It is usually better to call a vendor-supplied batch setup file, because the file may set additional needed variables, such as INCLUDE and LIB. Examples of vendor files, such as iclvars, vcvars, and vsvars, are in the comments within shrc.bat. Do not assume that any of those examples will work on your system: you need to check first. The names and locations of these files change from compiler to compiler, from version to version, and even from system to system (if you choose a non-default installation directory).

  2. If you enter a path directly:

No matter how your path gets set, in general it is a good idea to understand what is in your path, and that you have only what you truly need. If you have non-standard versions of commonly used utilities in your path, you may avoid unpleasant surprises by taking them out. By default, shrc.bat will print the path after it is done. If you would prefer that it not do so, you can set SHRC_QUIET=yes in your environment.

7. Use your shrc.bat

Set the environment, using your edited shrc. For example:

C:\accel> shrc.bat

From this point forward, we are testing basic abilities of the ACCEL kit, including compiling benchmarks and running them. You may skip the remaining steps if all of the following are true:

  1. You are confident that the previous steps have gone smoothly.
  2. You will not be compiling the benchmarks.
  3. Someone else has given you pre-compiled binaries.

Warning: even if someone else supplies binaries, you remain responsible for compliance with SPEC's Fair Use rule and the ACCEL Run Rules.

8. Pick a config file to start with. Modify as needed.

SPEC benchmarks are supplied as source code. They need to be compiled, under the control of a "config file". Example config files can be found in %SPEC%\config. For an introduction to config files, see "About Config Files" in runspec.html.

For example, on a Windows system with the Intel C++ compiler installed, a user might do something similar to the following:

C:\accel> cd %SPEC%\config
C:\accel> copy Example-windows-x64-icl.cfg mine.cfg

Although an example config file in the kit can help you get started, you still need to look at it and understand at least the basics of what it is doing for you. The following paragraphs walk through using the above config file on a particular System Under Test (SUT). Your SUT will probably differ, but a similar config file analysis will be useful.

This example config file says at the top:

#      Operating system version:    Windows 7 (64-bit)                                                               
#      Compiler name/version:       Intel Compiler 12  , MS VS 2008                                                         
#      Other software:              SmartHeap library

The user notices that the example SUT has only two of the four software items mentioned above:

9. Build a benchmark

Now that you have edited your config file, try building a benchmark:

C:\accel> runspec --action=build --tune=base ^
More? --config=mine.cfg

(In the examples, "^" (often called "hat" or "carat") indicates line continuation.)

The --tune=base indicates that we want to use only the simple tuning, if the config file contains more than one kind of tuning.

10. Run one benchmark with the test dataset

Test that you can run a benchmark, using the minimal input set - the "test" workload.

C:\accel> runspec --size=test --iterations=1 --noreportable ^
More? --tune=base --config=mine.cfg 110.fft

The --noreportable ensures that the tools will allow us to run just a single benchmark instead of the whole suite.

11. Try a real dataset

Test that you can run a benchmark using the real input set - the "reference" workload. For example:

C:\accel> runspec --size=ref --iterations=1 --noreportable ^
More? --tune=base --config=mine.cfg 110.fft

12. Try a full (reportable) run

If everything has worked up to this point, you may wish to start a full run, perhaps leaving your computer to run overnight. The extended test will demand significant resources from your machine, including computational power and memory of several types. In order to avoid surprises, before starting the reportable run, you should review the section About Resources, in system-requirements.html.

To run a reportable test with simple (baseline) tuning:

C:\accel> runspec --tune=base --config=mine.cfg opencl

13. Learn more

Please have a look at runspec.html to learn more about using runspec.

Appendix 1: the DVD drive is on system A, but I want to install on system B. What do I do?

If the title of this section describes your situation, you basically have two choices.

  1. Network mount: You can mount the device over the network and do the installation remotely.
  2. Tar file: You can install from the tar file

Appendix 1.a. Network mount

You might be able to mount the DVD on one system and use network services to make it available on other systems.

Please note that the SPEC ACCEL license agreement does not allow you to post the DVD on any public server. If your institution has a SPEC ACCEL license, then it's fine to post it on an internal server that is accessible only to members of your institution.

Whether you attempt a network mount will probably depend on:

If your network environment allows easy cross-system mounting, you can use a network mount for the installation. Otherwise, you can fall back on the tar file.

Note: if you insert the DVD on a system running Unix or Linux, you may need to share it using nfs commands. This Windows installation guide does not attempt to give hints about how to do Unix nfs commands, although you will find some hints in the corresponding appendix of install-guide-unix.html. Instead, let's assume that you are using two Windows systems. System A is a Windows system with a DVD drive; System B is a Windows system where you would like to do the installation.

To do the installation:

  1. At System A, insert the DVD.

  2. Then, bring up a Windows Explorer window (for example, by double clicking on the My Documents icon). Click the plus sign next to My Computer and you should see the DVD drive. Let's suppose that it is drive F:.

  3. Right-click on the DVD drive and select "Sharing and Security..."

  4. In the box that comes up, under the "Sharing" tab, you may see a warning To protect your computer from unauthorized access, sharing the root of a drive is not recommended. If you understand the risk but still want to share the root of the drive, click here. This most informative warning is displayed for your consideration and you can proceed to consider it. If you decide that it is safe to share your DVD drive, then click where indicated.

  5. Select "Share this folder"

  6. Now, move to System B.

  7. Bring up a Windows Explorer window (for example, by double clicking on the My Documents icon). Select Tools -> Map Network Drive. The Drive letter may offer a default, such as Z:. In the box for Folder, type two backslashes, the name of system A, a backslash, and its shared drive letter - for example \\SystemA\F

  8. Continue with Step 2 above. When you get to Steps 5 and 6, remember to use the drive letter as it is known on System B - from the dialog box of a moment ago - for example

    D:\Documents and Settings\Saturos\> Z:
    Z:\> install.bat  C:\accel

Appendix 1.b. Tar file

If the DVD drive is on a system other than the one where you wish to do the installation, and if you do not wish to try to get a network mount working, then the final fallback is to use the compressed tarfile. If you choose this option, please carefully observe the warnings.

  1. Go to the system with the DVD drive ("System A"). Insert the SPEC ACCEL DVD.

  2. From a command window (aka terminal window), cd to the top level directory on the DVD.

  3. You are going to retrieve five things from the DVD. First, find the large tarfile and its corresponding md5 file:

    cd install_archives 
    dir accel.tar.xz*

    or, if System A is a Unix system, then:

    cd install_archives 
    ls -l accel.tar.xz*

    In either case, you should see one moderately large file > 200MB, accel.tar.xz, and a small file associated with it that contains a checksum, accel.tar.xz.md5.

    If you don't see the above files, try looking for accel*tar*. The name might change if, for example, a maintenance update of ACCEL changes the name slightly to indicate an updated version.

    Do whatever is required in order to transfer both files intact to the system where you wish to do the installation ("System B"). If you use ftp, do not forget to use image (binary) mode. For example:

    ftp> bin   <-------- important
    200 Type set to I.
    ftp> put accel.tar.xz
    ftp> put accel.tar.xz.md5

    Please note that the SPEC ACCEL license agreement does not allow you to post the above file on any public ftp server. If your institution has a SPEC ACCEL license, then it's fine to post it on an internal server that is accessible only to members of your institution.

  4. Next, you are going to retrieve specxz.exe, specmd5sum.exe, and spectar.exe from the DVD on System A and copy them install on System B

    Please do not use Windows Zip utilities, as these will not preserve line endings and will cause difficult-to-diagnose benchmark miscompares.

    Please do not use other tar utilities, as these may not handle long path names. Many commonly-supplied tar utilities cannnot.

    If you have GNU tar and the genuine xz, then you can use those; otherwise, look around on the DVD to find the SPEC-supplied versions, like so:

    F:\> cd tools
    F:\tools> cd bin
    F:\tools\bin> dir
     Volume in drive F is SPEC_ACCEL
     Volume Serial Number is 5699-379E
     Directory of F:\tools\bin
    05/09/2012  11:23 AM    <DIR>          .
    05/09/2012  12:06 PM    <DIR>          ..
    05/09/2012  11:23 AM    <DIR>          aix5L-ppc64
    05/09/2012  11:23 AM    <DIR>          hpux11iv3-ipf
    05/09/2012  11:23 AM    <DIR>          linux-debian6-armv6
    05/09/2012  11:23 AM    <DIR>          linux-redhat72-ia32
    05/09/2012  11:23 AM    <DIR>          linux-rhas4r4-ia64
    05/09/2012  11:23 AM    <DIR>          linux-suse10-amd64
    05/09/2012  11:23 AM    <DIR>          macosx
    05/09/2012  11:23 AM    <DIR>          solaris-sparc
    05/09/2012  11:23 AM    <DIR>          solaris-x86
    05/09/2012  11:23 AM    <DIR>          solaris10-sparc
    05/09/2012  11:23 AM    <DIR>          solaris10-x86
    05/09/2012  11:23 AM    <DIR>          windows-i386
                   0 File(s)              0 bytes
                  12 Dir(s)               0 bytes free
    F:\tools\bin> cd windows-i386
    F:\tools\bin\windows-i386> dir
     Volume in drive F is SPEC_ACCEL
     Volume Serial Number is 5699-379E
     Directory of F:\tools\bin\windows-i386
    05/09/2011  02:12 PM    <DIR>          .
    05/09/2011  09:51 AM    <DIR>          ..
    08/19/2011  02:49 PM               261 description
    08/19/2011  02:49 PM                16 order
    08/19/2011  02:12 PM           104,061 specmd5sum.exe
    08/19/2011  02:12 PM           500,673 spectar.exe
    08/19/2011  02:12 PM           183,822 specxz.exe
    08/19/2011  02:12 PM        11,914,184 tools-windows-i386.tar.xz
                   6 File(s)     12,702,756 bytes
                   2 Dir(s)               0 bytes free

    Once you've found these versions of specxz.exe, specmd5sum.exe, and spectar.exe, transfer them to system B using the same methods that you used for the big tarfile.

  5. On system B, use specmd5sum to check that the file transfer worked correctly. In this example, we assume that you have placed all 5 of the files mentioned above in the \kits\ directory on drive C::

    C:\kits\> specmd5sum -c accel.tar.xz.md5
    accel.tar.xz: OK
  6. Pick a disk with 12 GB free, go there, and unpack the tarfile, like so:

    C:\kits\> H:
    H:\> mkdir accel
    H:\> cd accel
    H:\accel\> C:\kits\specxz -d C:\kits\accel.tar.xz 
    H:\accel\> C:\kits\spectar -xf C:\kits\accel.tar 

    Be patient: it will take bit of time to unpack! It might take 15 minutes, depending on the speed of your processor and disks. Go for a coffee break.

  7. Now, type install, without any arguments afterwards. That is, unlike the instructions in step 6 above, you do not need to mention a device or directory if you are installing from the tarfile.

  8. Continue with step 6, editing the shrc.bat file, above.

Appendix 2: Uninstalling SPEC ACCEL

At this time, SPEC does not provide an uninstall utility for SPEC ACCEL. Confusingly, there is a file named in the top directory, but it does not remove the whole product; it only removes the SPEC tool set, and does not affect the benchmarks (which consume the bulk of the disk space).

To remove SPEC ACCEL on Windows systems, select the top directory in Windows Explorer and delete it.

To remove SPEC ACCEL on Unix systems, use rm -Rf on the directory where you installed the suite, for example:

  rm -Rf /home/cs3000/saturos/spec/accel

If you have been using the output_root feature, you will have to track those down separately. Therefore, prior to removing the tree,, you might want to look for mentions of output root, for example:

    cd %SPEC%\config
    findstr output_root *cfg

    cd $SPEC/config
    grep output_root *cfg

Note: instead of deleting the entire directory tree, some users find it useful to keep the config and result subdirectories, while deleting everything else.

Appendix 3: Useful Tips and Techniques

Appendix 3.a. About Temporary Space (%temp)

It has occasionally been reported that installation attempts fail if there is not a directory that can be used to hold temporary files. To check this point, print the %temp% environment variable, and try writing a small file to it, like this:

C:\Users\kumar> echo %temp%

C:\Users\kumar> echo "hi" > %temp%\test-hi.txt

C:\Users\kumar> type %temp%\test-hi.txt

C:\Users\kumar> del %temp%\test-hi.txt

If %temp% is not set, the first echo command above will just print:
If %temp% is set to a directory that is not writeable, the second command will print:
    Access is denied
If either of these happen, you should set it to the full path (with drive letter) of a directory that can be used as scratch space. For example, if Kumaran would like to use a temporary directory underneath his directory on drive K:, he could type:

C:\> set temp=K:\KUMARAN\TEMP

Appendix 3.b. About Text Files and Windows/Unix Compatibility

There are many files in the SPEC ACCEL kit that contain text. Unfortunately, Unix systems and Windows systems have different conventions for storing text files. Sometimes, a text file formatted for Windows will appear on Unix as if it has extra Control-M characters. Sometimes, a text file formatted for Unix will appear on Windows as if all the lines were joined together.

There are at least three ways for Windows users to correctly view and edit text files that originated on a Unix system:

  1. Use WordPad. WordPad can commonly be found by
    Start-->All Programs-->Accessories-->WordPad

  2. Use the MS-DOS Editor. Open a Command Prompt and type "Edit". This alternative does not work on 64-bit Windows systems. The program only recognizes files with 8 characters or fewer, a dot, and then 3 characters or fewer. If you are trying to use it with a longer file name, you can discover that there is an "8 dot 3" synonym for it by typing: "dir /x".

  3. Use the editor "vi". Although vi originated on Unix systems, there are also Windows versions. "UNIX Compatibility" products for Windows often include a version of vi, and there are independently-distributed versions, such as "Vi IMproved" (at

Note that SPEC does not "endorse" any of these solutions, although it is hoped that at least one of them will be useful for you.

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