Stores simulation data such as fields and particles as ADIOS files or ADIOS staging methods [Huebl2017] .

External Dependencies

The plugin is available as soon as the ADIOS library is compiled in.

.param file

The corresponding .param file is fileOutput.param.

One can e.g. disable the output of particles by setting:

/* output all species */
using FileOutputParticles = VectorAllSpecies;
/* disable */
using FileOutputParticles = MakeSeq_t< >;

.cfg file

You can use --adios.period and --adios.file to specify the output period and path and name of the created fileset. For example, --adios.period 128 --adios.file simData --adios.source 'species_all' will write only the particle species data to files of the form simData_0.bp, simData_128.bp in the default simulation output directory every 128 steps. Note that this plugin will only be available if ADIOS is found during compile configuration.

PIConGPU command line option



Period after which simulation data should be stored on disk.


Relative or absolute fileset prefix for simulation data. If relative, files are stored under simOutput.


Set data transform compression method. See adios_config -m for which compression methods are available. This flag also influences compression for checkpoints.


Set number of I/O aggregator nodes for ADIOS MPI_AGGREGATE transport method.


Set number of I/O OSTs for ADIOS MPI_AGGREGATE transport method.


Further options for transports, see ADIOS manual chapter 6.1.5. Lustre example: random_offset=1;stripe_count=4 (FS chooses OST; user chooses striping factor).


Disable on-the-fly creation of the adios journal file. Allowed values: 0 means write a journal file, 1 skips its generation.


Select data sources to dump. Default is species_all,fields_all, which dumps all fields and particle species.


This plugin is a multi plugin. Command line parameter can be used multiple times to create e.g. dumps with different dumping period. In the case where a optional parameter with a default value is explicitly defined the parameter will be always passed to the instance of the multi plugin where the parameter is not set. e.g.

--adios.period 128 --adios.file simData1 --adios.source 'species_all'
--adios.period 1000 --adios.file simData2 --adios.source 'fields_all' --adios.disable-meta 1

creates two plugins:

  1. dump all species data each 128th time step, do not create the adios journal meta file.

  2. dump all field data each 1000th time step but create the adios journal meta file.


ADIOS supports various on-the-fly compression methods. Typical options:

# single-threaded, slow zlib
--adios.compression zlib

# 6x multi-threaded, fast zstd via blosc, bitshuffle pre-conditioner and compression threshold of 2kB
--adios.compression blosc:threshold=2048,shuffle=bit,lvl=1,threads=6,compressor=zstd

See the ADIOS manual, chapter 8.2 for full details.

See adios_config -m for available compression methods and recompile ADIOS with further dependencies if needed. Typically, ADIOS adds compressors during the configure step with options such as --with-zlib=<ZLIB_DIR> and --with-blosc=<BLOSC_DIR>.

Meta Files

Disabling on-the-fly meta (journal) file creation can improve output performance for large scale runs. After your simulation finished, make sure to run bpmeta <theoretical-meta-fileName> on created ADIOS output.

You also need to create the meta file if you skipped on-the-fly creation in checkpointing and want to restart from such a checkpoint (with ADIOS as IO backend).


ls simOutput/
# bp  checkpoints  [...]

ls simOutput/{bp,checkpoints}
# simOutput/bp:
#   simData_0.bp.dir simData_100.bp.dir [...]
# simOutput/checkpoints:
#   checkpoint_0.bp.dir checkpoint_2000.bp.dir

cd simOutput/bp
bpmeta simData_0.bp
bpmeta simData_100.bp
# [...]
cd ../checkpoints
bpmeta checkpoint_0.bp
bpmeta checkpoint_2000.bp

ls simOutput/{bp,checkpoints}
# simOutput/bp:
#   simData_0.bp simData_0.bp.dir
#   simData_100.bp simData_100.bp.dir [...]
# simOutput/checkpoints:
#   checkpoint_0.bp checkpoint_0.bp.dir
#   checkpoint_2000.bp checkpoint_2000.bp.dir

Memory Complexity


no extra allocations.


as soon as ADIOS is compiled in, one extra mallocMC heap for the particle buffer is permanently reserved. During I/O, particle attributes are allocated one after another.

Additional Tools

See our openPMD chapter.



A. Huebl, R. Widera, F. Schmitt, A. Matthes, N. Podhorszki, J.Y. Choi, S. Klasky, and M. Bussmann. On the Scalability of Data Reduction Techniques in Current and Upcoming HPC Systems from an Application Perspective. ISC High Performance Workshops 2017, LNCS 10524, pp. 15-29 (2017), arXiv:1706.00522, DOI:10.1007/978-3-319-67630-2_2