Understanding Modules

Audience: Faculty, Postdocs, Researchers, Staff and Students

This KB Article References: High Performance Computing
This Information is Intended for: Faculty, Postdocs, Researchers, Staff, Students
Last Updated: June 28, 2018

To manage the complexity of the software environment, SeaWulf uses environment modules. Each module encapsulates particular software packages that are made available to users. For example, there are many different flavors of MPI toolchains and libraries -- mpicc, mpicxx, and mpif90 being the compiler wrappers and mpirun being the launcher. Each flavor of MPI is wrapped up in its own module.

The main command to interact with modules is the module command. To get an overview, execute the command:

module --help

The commands used most often are:

module list (returns a list of all the currently loaded modules)

module avail (returns a list of the available modules)

module [load | add] (adds module to the current environment)

module [unload | rm] (removes a module from the current environment)

module initadd (adds modulefile(s) so they start up automatically when logging in)

IMPORTANT: Some of the modules are listed as local while the others are listed as shared. Local modules are local to the login node. Shared modules are used throughout the entire machine. Before loading any modules, also load the shared module by running module load shared.


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