Compute Canada

How do I run pre-installed software?

Please note: The FAQ pages at the HPCVL website are continuously being revised. Some pages might pertain to an older configuration of the system. Please let us know if you encounter problems or inaccuracies, and we will correct the entries.

The SunFire grid has a lot of software installed on it. Some of this software requires specific license agreements, other programs are freely accessible. With the use command, most of them can be set up with a single line such as "use fluent" in your shell's startup file. If the software you want to run is not included in our usepackage list, please contact us, and we can include it. If you are using very specific software that is not accessed by other users, you might have to do the setup manually.

Here is a few steps to follow in that case.

a) Check out the documentation for the specific program, including users' manuals and home pages.

b) Inform yourself about licensing. Some software requires each individual user to hold a license, some is covered by a collective license agreement, some does not require a license at all. For example, the computational-fluid-dynamics code "Fluent" requires all users to be covered by their own license, whereas the license agreement for the electronic-structure code "Gaussian" is site-bound, and covers all users for a specific machine. Finally, code such as "Gamess" (another quantum-chemistry program) are free to use by all users, although the distributor encourages registration.

c) Set the proper environment variables. This can usually be done in your shell setup files, since you'll be running the same code on most occasions you log on. These variables might include the PATH, but also variables specific for the program in question. Which ones to set you will be able to find out in most cases from the program documentation. Remember that this is only necessary if no entry exists in the usepackage

configuration file, which can be checked by running "use -l".