Environment Modules

The Environment Modules software is used to manage the user’s environment, dynamically modifying the user’s environment to allow the execution of various software packages. Both the Cray software and the ASKAP specific software uses this approach. Typically, modules will alter the user’s PATH and/or LD_LIBRARY_PATH, and other environment variables that may be necessary to execute some software package.

You can browse all software packages that can be loaded using this mechanism with the following command:

module avail

In order for the ASKAP specific modules to appear in this list you must have already executed the following command. However this command should have been added to your .bashrc file per the instructions in the section Central Processor Platform:

module use /group/askap/modulefiles

The ASKAP modules appear in their own section in the output from the module avail command:

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- /group/askap/modulefiles -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
aces/0.5(default)                     acesops/r48219(default)               askappipeline/0.21.0                  askapsoft/0.20.1                      bbcp/
aces/0.5b                             aoflagger/2.10.0                      askappipeline/0.21.1                  askapsoft/0.20.3                      casa/4.7.0-el6
aces/0.6                              aoflagger/2.12.0(default)             askappipeline/0.21.2                  askapsoft/0.21.0                      casa/5.0.0-218.el6
aces/0.7                              ashell                                askappipeline/0.22.0                  askapsoft/0.22.0                      casa/5.1.1-5.el6
acesops/r47210                        askap-cray/current                    askappipeline/0.22.2                  askapsoft/0.22.1                      casa/5.1.1-5.el7
acesops/r47349                        askapcli/current(default)             askappipeline/0.23.0(default)         askapsoft/0.23.0(default)             casa/5.3.0-143.el7(default)
acesops/r47921                        askapdata/current(default)            askappipeline/0.23b                   askapsoft/0.23b                       chgcentre/1.4(default)
acesops/r47932                        askappipeline/0.19.7                  askappipeline/fullscaletest           askapsoft/fullscaletest               continuum_validation_env/0.2(default)
acesops/r48017                        askappipeline/0.20.0                  askapservices/0.15.0(default)         askapsofthook                         karma/1.7.25(default)
acesops/r48032                        askappipeline/0.20.1                  askapsoft/0.19.7                      askaputils                            tmux/1.8(default)
acesops/r48064                        askappipeline/0.20.3                  askapsoft/0.20.0                      askapvis/current(default)

These modules are:

  • askapsoft - The ASKAPsoft Central Processor applications binaries and libraries

  • askapdata - Measures data for ASKAPsoft

  • askappipeline - Pipeline scripts for processing ASKAP/BETA observations

  • askaputils - General utility scripts (pshell for data transfer - see Commissioning Archive Platform, plus other utility scripts)

  • askap-cray - Required for building ASKAPsoft, but not for running any of the tools.

  • askapcli - Command-Line-Interface to the online systems (scheduling block service, FCM and footprint are perhaps the most commonly-used).

  • continuum_validation_env - Python environment for running the continuum validation script

  • casa - NRAO’s CASA software package (see Visualisation and using CASA)

  • bbcp - BBCP Fast file copy (see External Data Transfer)

  • ashell - Connection to the commissioning archive (see Commissioning Archive Platform)

  • aces - A python virtualenv that can used with the ACES tools (see ACES wiki page).

  • acesops - A tagged version of the ACES subversion repository, designed to give a static set of ACES tools to enable reproducibility of processing.

  • aoflagger - An alternative flagging tool, written by Andre Offringa. Available as a pipeline option.

You can use the module whatis command to obtain a description of the module:

$ module whatis askapdata
askapdata            : Measures data for ASKAPsoft

You can use the module list command to view already loaded modules, and you will note many Cray modules already loaded. A given module can be loaded like so:

module load askapsoft

And can be unloaded just as simply:

module unload askapsoft

Notice the askapsoft module has multiple versions, with the version number indicated, for instance askapsoft/0.8.0. You will also see one is tagged “(default)””. If you execute the “module load askapsoft” command you will load the default version. You can load a specific version by specifying the version in the module load command:

module load askapsoft/0.19.0

Often it is useful to understand exactly how a module will modify your environment. The module display command can be used to determine this. For instance:

$ module display askapsoft

module-whatis    ASKAPsoft software package
prepend-path     PATH /group/askap/askapsoft/0.19.7/bin
prepend-path     LD_LIBRARY_PATH /group/askap/askapsoft/0.19.7/lib64

The above shows that the askapsoft module will prepend the ASKAPsoft bin directory to your PATH environment variable, and the lib64 directory to your LD_LIBRARY_PATH. Likewise the askapdata module can be inspected:

$ module display askapdata

module-whatis   Measures data for ASKAPsoft
setenv          AIPSPATH /group/askap/askapdata/current

This shows that the AIPSPATH will be set to point to the directory containing measures data.