Can I install my own software?

The answer is: yes, (of course) you can. There is a group-specific directory that is made available for this purpose:


Note that version is the current Linux version and group is your own group name. Here, you can install any software you like and maintain it yourself. See here for explanations how to install C, Perl or R packages.

Software of general interest

If you find a software to be of general interest to HPC users, let us know. We can install it and update it on a regular basis. There is one condition: the software of interest needs to be available as an RPM package.

However, if you are dependent on a specific version of a software package and don't want regular updates, we advise you to install it yourself.

How to install your own software

A specific directory is made available for group-specific software to be installed:


C software

You can download your C software of interest and unpack it in this directory. Typically, a pre-installation configuration is done by executing:

./configure --prefix /hpc/local/version/group/package

This will create a "Makefile" which explains to the "make" utility how the software should be compiled. Compiling of the software is done using:


The Makefile will be read, building the application binaries. To install these binaries, use:

make install

That is it! You can check the user documentation of the installed software for details of how to run the application.

Perl libraries

To install CPAN perl libraries, you first have to instruct CPAN which directory to use. You can do this by modifying your CPAN configuration, from within the CPAN shell:

o conf mbuildpl_arg "installdirs=site install_base=/hpc/local/version/group"
o conf makepl_arg "INSTALLDIRS=site INSTALL_BASE=/hpc/local/version/group"
o conf prefer_installer MB
o conf prerequisites_policy follow
o conf commit

After this, CPAN should install all perl libraries in the appropriate directory such that they are available on the entire cluster.

If you later just wish to install packages, you can use the cpan -i command from the command line. No need to startup the CPAN shell.

R packages

Packages can easily be installed inside R by providing a local path:

install.packages( "yourLibrary", lib = "/hpc/local/version/group/path" )
library( "yourLibrary", lib.loc = "/hpc/local/version/group/path" )

Alternatively, you can customize your Linux environment variables and set R_LIBS to /hpc/local/version/group/path. This way, you can leave out the path specification in R.

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Topic revision: r2 - 2013-05-31 - KatrinSameith
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