Installing Other Applications on iceberg and ShARC

 Iceberg and ShARC, being general purpose HPC clusters, we provide and maintain only the most essential and most popular applications on it. 

However, we are aware of our users' need to run applications that are specific to their own subject areas of research. Therefore we have put in place a mechanism for competent users to download and install applications of their own choice on the iceberg and ShARC clusters. 

This option should be seen as a service without support as we will expect such users to be able to tackle the problems encountered during the installation on their own. We will however help make such software available to other iceberg and ShARC users by copying/installing scripts to shared locations. 

Here are a few highlights of this service, which we believe to be the first of its kind in an academic HPC site:

  • Some software installation procedures require running a command called configure that sets up the installation in a default location which is usually a system area where users do not have write access. If you do need to run configure to install a program on iceberg under your area you can use the following parameter to configure to install the software on a specified location.  
    ./configure --prefix /home/csxyz
  • We shall make available an area ( under /usr/local/extras ) with necessary disk space for the work,
  • we shall give the principle installer full access rights to this area for installation work,
  • if and when necessary we shall help install the execution scripts to a commonly accessible area and create module files.

The fact that during the installation there will be no (write access) to some system areas should not present any major problems.

 Here are some technical hints; 

  • Extra libraries that may be needed can be installed under the programs own directory and
  • the LD_LIBRARY_PATH system variable can be altered to add this directory to it;
    i.e.  LD_LIBRARY_PATH=$LD_LIBRARY_PATH:location_of_your_own_library
  • Similarly PATH variable can be altered either by 
    PATH=$PATH:location_of_your_own_executables  
         or 
    by using the addpath locally written command. Just type addpath for further info.
  • the above changes can be inserted into your own .bashrc file to automate it all
  • Finally we can create a module that implements these so that anyone can use the module load command to access the software.

 If you like to take advantage of this option contact research-it@sheffield.ac.uk .