2. The module system in Taito

Managing the software environment of a cluster with big user base is a complicated task. One have to take into account several, often contradictory, requirements set by different applications, compilers and libraries. For example, it is often necessary to have access to older versions of an application, or to have a library configured with different options for different applications. Setting up a working environment for the user is very difficult when you have several versions of hundreds of applications and libraries. The situation is also difficult for the users looking for a particular application or library.

Environment modules provide a convenient way to dynamically change the user's environment so that different compiler suites and application versions can be used more easily. Modules system modifies the environment variables of the user's shell so that the correct versions of executables are in the path and linker can find the correct version of needed libraries. For example, the command mpicc points to different compilers depending of the loaded module. Modules system also provides extensive search commands that can be used to find suitable software modules from the list of installed packages.

Taito uses a recently developed version of environment modules called Lmod. It is developed at Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) and it is implemented using Lua programming language. More technical details can be found from the Lmod homepage. Those who are familiar with the environment modules systems used in Sisu should note that the Lmod significantly differs from Sisu's implementation.


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