[Beowulf] Software installation across cluster

Skylar Thompson skylar.thompson at gmail.com
Tue May 26 17:49:46 PDT 2015

We also use Environment Modules. One of the great things about Modules
is that the modulefiles are written in Tcl, which means you can make
them arbitrarily complex. We have a common header that's sourced for all
of our module files that automatically sets common environment variables
based on the install path of a piece of software. By keeping consistent
install paths, this lets us keep our module files quite short (sometimes
only a couple lines):


For instance:


This lets us support any number of platforms, and having each component
of a platform at a common location makes it easy to parse out in the
modules header. All of our module-installed software is accessible over
NFS from any cluster node. NFS works fine for almost any piece of
software; the exception being R due to the huge number of files it has.
Fortunately no one expects R to perform well...

Regardless of how you manage software, I strongly recommend you not let
it provide users with a "default" software version. That necessarily
changes over time, and will surprise users who decide to use it. It's
far better to force users to choose versions explicitly than to let them
shoot themselves in the foot.


On 05/26/2015 02:45 PM, Trevor Gale wrote:
> Hello all,
> I was wondering what solutions other use for easy software installation across clusters. Is there any method that is generally accepted to be the most effective for making sure that all the software is consistent across each node?
> Thanks,
> Trevor
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