[Beowulf] Singularity 1.0 is out

Jeffrey Layton laytonjb at gmail.com
Sun Apr 17 06:53:44 PDT 2016

I just wanted to pile in here a little bit. Singularity is great! I've
tried to use containers before but I've found them to be something of a
pain in the neck (probably it's just me). But Singularity is very simple to
use even with MPI codes! I've run a few sort of "medium level" MPI codes
without issues ("medium" means a single large node with 32GB of memory).
I've tested out the cross-platform capability and found it to work well
(there are a couple of gotchas - email the singularity list if you need
help). I built a Singularity container (called a .sapp file) on a CentOS 6
system and run it on a Linux Mint system without issues.

I wrote an article for HPC Admin Magazine about it - it should appear this
coming week sometime. It's a simple introduction article, but does include
an example MPI code. I hope to write a couple of follow-on articles that
explain a little more.

Singularity is very easy to use and works really well. I highly recommend
you try it out (it's not difficult to build or use). I'm going to start
using it much more often.



On Fri, Apr 15, 2016 at 1:20 PM, Douglas Eadline <deadline at eadline.org>

> This is a very cool project. From the announcement:
> Singularity is a container platform built around the notion of "Mobility
> of Compute". With Singularity you can build executable containers based on
> your host system and define what happens when that container is launched.
> Processes inside the container can be single binaries, or a complex of
> binaries, scripts and data.
> While there are several full featured container systems that already
> exist, these container solutions are feature rich as they tend to emulate
> a full hardware virtualization hypervisor. Because of many of these
> features (e.g. user level contexts and ability to escalate to root)
> implementation on large scale multi-user resources is difficult and maybe
> impossible. This is what motivated the development of Singularity; a
> lightweight, non-invasive and easily implementable container system that
> supports existing workflows and focuses on application portability and
> mobility.
> In this release, you can expect the following support:
> * Ability to create Singularity containers based on a package specfile
> * Specfile templates can be generated automatically (singularity specgen
> ...)
> * Support for various automatic dependency resolution
>    * Dynamic libraries
>    * Perl scripts and modules
>    * Python scripts and modules
>    * R scripts and modules
>    * Basic X11 support
>    * Open MPI (v2.1 - which is not yet released)
> * Direct execution of Singularity containers (e.g. ./container.sapp [opts])
> * Access to files in your home directory and a scratch directory
> * Existing IO (pipes, stdio, stderr, and stdin) all maintained through
> container
> * Singularity internal container cache management
> * Standard networking access (exactly as it does on the host)
> * Singularity containers run within existing resource contexts (CGroups
> and ulimits are maintained)
> * Easily integrated into existing schedulers and batch scripts
> * Support for scalable execution of MPI parallel jobs
> * Singularity containers are portable between Linux distributions
> You can download Singularity and obtain more information here:
> http://gmkurtzer.github.io/singularity/
> --
> Doug
> --
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