Need additional software?

The software of the cluster can be extended. Please note that this involves more that a simple apt-get install like on your desktop, so bear with the administrators if the installation of the software of your choice takes time.

To improve the chance and speed to get additional software, please follow the checklist below. If you determined all the answers, contact the administrators.

1. Do you really need the software?

Make sure that you actually need the software you are asking for – dependencies are often optional and can be switched off. Also, it’s quite useless to install GUI-related packages on the cluster.

2. Is it something that is needed system wide?

If you need a very arcane library that nobody else will ever need, it might be better that you install it in your home directory only. On the other hand, if you think it’s a common software that might be used by other people as well, we should install it system wide.

For instance, to install a PERL package in your home only:
Search in CPAN: http://search.cpan.org/
Download and extract tar.gz

alias perl=/opt/perl/bin/perl
Search in CPAN: http://search.cpan.org/
Download and extract SOMEMODULE.tar.gz- cd SOMEMODULE/
perl Makefile.PL PREFIX=~/SOMEDIR/
make
make install
export PERL5LIB="$HOME/SOMEDIR/lib/site_perl/5.14.2/"

You can put the last line and the alias creation in your ~/.bashrc file

3. Development or computation only?

Determine if you need the software only for post-analysis, support or development and compilation (i.e., debuggers, compilers etc). If yes, we only need to install the software on the submit host s1-0. If not, we will install the software on all the computational nodes.

4. Name, version, link

Determine the exact name and minimal version of the software you need. Where can we get the software (download link)?

Note: If you need an R-package, you can stop after this step. Of course, make sure that the package you are asking for is compatible with the version of R installed on the cluster.

5. Does a package exist already?

It might well be that a package for CentOS 6 (or Red Hat Enterprise Linux, RHEL 6) exists already. If this is the case, installation will be a lot faster. So go find the packet. http://rpm.pbone.net/ is a very good source for finding software packages for RPM-based systems. If you find one, provide the link to the administrators.

Please note that installing software cluster-wide is nothing like what you experience on your desktop computer. We appreciate that you ask for software only if you really need it.
Please note that if there is no existing package, it might take even more than a couple of hours of work to create a software package that can be installed on the cluster.

6. Important information

If you have read all this and you really need the help of a cluster admin to add some software, go to him with the word “scoubidou”.

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