ARCHER2 software environment


Teaching: 30 min
Exercises: 10 min
  • What does the ARCHER2 software environment look like and how do I access software?

  • How can I find out what software is available?

  • How can I request, install or get help with software on ARCHER2?

  • Know how to access different software on ARCHER2 using software modules.

  • Know how to find out what is installed and where to get help.

Using software modules on ARCHER2

ARCHER2 software modules use the Lmod system to provide access to different software and versions on the system. The modules and versions available will change across the lifetime of the service.

Software modules are provided by both HPE and the ARCHER2 CSE team at EPCC.

What modules are loaded when you log into ARCHER2?

All users start with a default set of modules loaded into their environment. These include:

You can see what modules you currently have loaded with the module list command:

auser@ln01:~> module list

Currently Loaded Modules:
  1) cce/11.0.4              6) perftools-base/21.02.0                     11) bolt/0.7
  2) craype/2.7.6            7) xpmem/2.2.40-  12) epcc-setup-env
  3) craype-x86-rome         8) cray-mpich/8.1.4                           13) load-epcc-module
  4) libfabric/   9) cray-libsci/
  5) craype-network-ofi     10) PrgEnv-cray/8.0.0


Getting back if you purge or make a mistake

Unlike many other HPC systems you may have used, you should not generally use the module purge command before starting to use the system. Some of the modules loaded by default are required for you to be able to use the system correctly and so many things will not work if you use module purge. If you need to change the setup, you will generally use the module load command instead.

If you do find yourself with a broken environment you can usually fix things by using the module restore command or by logging out and logging back in again.

Finding out what software is available

You can query which software is provided by modules with the module avail command:

auser@ln01:~> module avail

------------------------------- /work/y07/shared/archer2-lmod/python/core -------------------------------
   matplotlib/3.4.3    netcdf4/1.5.7    seaborn/0.11.2

-------------------------------- /work/y07/shared/archer2-lmod/libs/core --------------------------------
   adios/1.13.1                                 gmp/6.2.1            parmetis/4.0.3
   arpack-ng/3.8.0                              gsl/2.7              petsc/3.14.2
   boost/1.72.0                                 hypre/2.18.0         scotch/6.1.0
   eigen/3.4.0                                  libxml2/2.9.7        slepc/3.14.1
   epcc-cray-hdf5-parallel/      (D)    matio/1.5.18         superlu-dist/6.4.0
   epcc-cray-hdf5-parallel/             metis/5.1.0          superlu/5.2.2
   epcc-cray-netcdf-hdf5parallel/ (D)    mkl/19.5-281         trilinos/12.18.1
   epcc-cray-netcdf-hdf5parallel/        mkl/21.2-2883 (D)
   glm/                                  mumps/5.3.5

-------------------------------- /work/y07/shared/archer2-lmod/apps/core --------------------------------
   castep/20.11                    gromacs/2021.3     (D)    openfoam/com/v2106
   code_saturne/7.0.1-cce12        lammps/29_Sep_2021        openfoam/org/v8.20200901
   code_saturne/7.0.1-gcc11 (D)    namd/2.14-nosmp           openfoam/org/v9.20210903 (D)
   cp2k/cp2k-8.1            (D)    namd/2.14          (D)    quantum_espresso/6.8
   cp2k/cp2k-8.2                   nektar/5.0.3              vasp/5/5.4.4.pl2-vtst
   elk/elk-7.2.42                  nwchem/7.0.2              vasp/5/5.4.4.pl2         (D)
   gromacs/2021.3+plumed           onetep/            vasp/6/6.2.1

------------------------------- /work/y07/shared/archer2-lmod/utils/core --------------------------------
   bolt/0.7     (L)    epcc-reframe/0.2         genmaskcpu/1.0    other-software/1.0    visidata/2.1
   cdo/1.9.9rc1        epcc-setup-env    (L)    gnuplot/5.4.2     reframe/3.8.2         vmd/1.9.3-gcc10
   cmake/3.21.3        gct/v6.2.20201212        ncl/6.6.2         usage-analysis/1.1    xthi/1.2

---------------- /opt/cray/pe/lmod/modulefiles/mpi/crayclang/10.0/ofi/1.0/cray-mpich/8.0 ----------------
   cray-hdf5-parallel/ (D)    cray-parallel-netcdf/ (D)
   cray-hdf5-parallel/        cray-parallel-netcdf/

---------------------------- /opt/cray/pe/lmod/modulefiles/perftools/21.02.0 ----------------------------
   perftools         perftools-lite-events    perftools-lite-hbm      perftools-preload
   perftools-lite    perftools-lite-gpu       perftools-lite-loops

---------------------- /opt/cray/pe/lmod/modulefiles/comnet/crayclang/10.0/ofi/1.0 ----------------------
   cray-mpich-abi/8.1.4 (D)    cray-mpich-abi/8.1.9    cray-mpich/8.1.4 (L,D)    cray-mpich/8.1.9

------------------------------- /opt/cray/pe/lmod/modulefiles/net/ofi/1.0 -------------------------------
   cray-openshmemx/11.2.0 (D)    cray-openshmemx/11.3.3

---------------------------- /opt/cray/pe/lmod/modulefiles/cpu/x86-rome/1.0 -----------------------------
   cray-fftw/ (D)    cray-fftw/

------------------------- /opt/cray/pe/lmod/modulefiles/compiler/crayclang/10.0 -------------------------
   cray-hdf5/ (D)    cray-hdf5/

--------------------------------- /usr/share/lmod/lmod/modulefiles/Core ---------------------------------
   lmod    settarg

---------------------------------- /opt/cray/pe/lmod/modulefiles/core -----------------------------------
   PrgEnv-aocc/8.0.0 (D)      cray-ccdb/4.11.1      (D)      cray-stat/4.11.5
   PrgEnv-aocc/8.1.0          cray-ccdb/4.12.4               craype/2.7.6           (L,D)
   PrgEnv-cray/8.0.0 (L,D)    cray-cti/2.13.6       (D)      craype/2.7.10
   PrgEnv-cray/8.1.0          cray-cti/2.15.5                craypkg-gen/1.3.14     (D)
   PrgEnv-gnu/8.0.0  (D)      cray-dsmml/0.1.4      (D)      craypkg-gen/1.3.18
   PrgEnv-gnu/8.1.0           cray-dsmml/0.2.1               gcc/9.3.0
   aocc/2.2.0                 cray-jemalloc/          gcc/10.2.0             (D)
   aocc/      (D)      cray-libpals/1.0.17            gcc/10.3.0
   aocc/3.0.0                 cray-libsci/ (L,D)    gcc/11.2.0
   atp/3.13.1        (D)      cray-libsci/          gdb4hpc/4.12.5         (D)
   atp/3.14.5                 cray-pals/1.0.17               gdb4hpc/4.13.5
   cce/11.0.4        (L,D)    cray-pmi-lib/6.0.10   (D)      iobuf/2.0.10
   cce/12.0.3                 cray-pmi-lib/6.0.13            papi/           (D)
   cpe-cuda/21.09             cray-pmi/6.0.10       (D)      papi/
   cpe/21.04         (D)      cray-pmi/6.0.13                perftools-base/21.02.0 (L,D)
   cpe/21.09                  cray-python/   (D)      perftools-base/21.09.0
   cray-R/    (D)      cray-python/            valgrind4hpc/2.11.1    (D)
   cray-R/             cray-stat/4.10.1      (D)      valgrind4hpc/2.12.4

------------------------- /opt/cray/pe/lmod/modulefiles/craype-targets/default --------------------------
   craype-accel-amd-gfx908    craype-hugepages256M    craype-network-none
   craype-accel-amd-gfx90a    craype-hugepages2G      craype-network-ofi  (L)
   craype-accel-host          craype-hugepages2M      craype-network-ucx
   craype-accel-nvidia70      craype-hugepages32M     craype-x86-milan
   craype-accel-nvidia80      craype-hugepages4M      craype-x86-rome     (L)
   craype-hugepages128M       craype-hugepages512M    craype-x86-trento
   craype-hugepages16M        craype-hugepages64M
   craype-hugepages1G         craype-hugepages8M

------------------------------------- /usr/local/share/modulefiles --------------------------------------
   load-epcc-module (L)

----------------------------------------- /opt/cray/modulefiles -----------------------------------------
   libfabric/                                                        (L)
   xpmem/2.2.40-                                    (L)

------------------------------------------- /opt/modulefiles --------------------------------------------
   aocc/2.2.0    aocc/    aocc/3.0.0    cray-R/    gcc/8.1.0    gcc/9.3.0    gcc/10.2.0

   L:  Module is loaded
   D:  Default Module

Use "module spider" to find all possible modules and extensions.
Use "module keyword key1 key2 ..." to search for all possible modules matching any of the "keys".


The output lists the available modules and their versions. It also shows you which modules are loaded by default (marked with (D)) when there are multiple versions available and you do not specify the version when you load. An (L) next to a module marks one that is currently loaded in your environment.

Licensed software

Some of the software installed on ARCHER2 requires the user to have their licence validated before they can use it on the service. More information on gaining access to licensed software through the SAFE is provided below.

Not all of the software modules on the system are listed using the module avail command when you are first logged in. Some modules may not be available to load until prerequisite modules are loaded. For example, you cannot see (using module avail) or load the cray-netcdf module until the cray-hdf5 module has been loaded. If you want to search all modules (including those hidden by default) then you can use the module spider command, e.g.:

auser@ln01:~> module spider cray-netcdf
     Other possible modules matches:
        cray-netcdf-hdf5parallel  epcc-cray-netcdf-hdf5parallel

  To find other possible module matches execute:

      $ module -r spider '.*cray-netcdf.*'

  For detailed information about a specific "cray-netcdf" package (including how to load the modules) use the module's full name.
  Note that names that have a trailing (E) are extensions provided by other modules.
  For example:

     $ module spider cray-netcdf/

If you specify the paritcular module version number to the module spider command then it will also tell you which modules need to be loaded in order to be able to load the specified module, e.g.:

auser@ln01:~> module spider cray-netcdf/

  cray-netcdf: cray-netcdf/

    You will need to load all module(s) on any one of the lines below before the "cray-netcdf/" module is available to load.

      aocc/2.2.0  cray-hdf5/
      aocc/  cray-hdf5/
      cce/11.0.4  cray-hdf5/
      cce/11.0.4  cray-hdf5/
      gcc/10.2.0  cray-hdf5/
      gcc/10.2.0  cray-hdf5/
      gcc/10.3.0  cray-hdf5/
      gcc/10.3.0  cray-hdf5/
      gcc/11.2.0  cray-hdf5/
      gcc/11.2.0  cray-hdf5/
      gcc/9.3.0  cray-hdf5/
      gcc/9.3.0  cray-hdf5/
      Release info:  /opt/cray/pe/netcdf/

This output states that you need to have one of the compiler modules available (this should always be the case) and that you need to load cray-hdf5 before you can load (or see using module avail) the cray-netcdf module.

Loading and switching modules

Lets look at our environment before we change anything. As you may recall, to see just our loaded modules we use the module list command:

auser@ln01:~> module list

Currently Loaded Modules:
  1) cce/11.0.4              6) perftools-base/21.02.0                     11) bolt/0.7
  2) craype/2.7.6            7) xpmem/2.2.40-  12) epcc-setup-env
  3) craype-x86-rome         8) cray-mpich/8.1.4                           13) load-epcc-module
  4) libfabric/   9) cray-libsci/
  5) craype-network-ofi     10) PrgEnv-cray/8.0.0

You load modules with the module load command. For example, to load the gromacs module:

auser@ln01:~> module load gromacs

Lmod is automatically replacing "cce/11.0.4" with "gcc/10.2.0".

Lmod is automatically replacing "PrgEnv-cray/8.0.0" with "PrgEnv-gnu/8.0.0".

Now, lets list our loaded modules again with module list (you can also use ml as a shortcut for module list or module load if it has an argument):

auser@ln01:~> ml

Currently Loaded Modules:
  1) craype-x86-rome         5) epcc-setup-env     9) cray-libsci/  13) cpe/21.09
  2) libfabric/   6) load-epcc-module  10) cray-mpich/8.1.9       14) gromacs/2021.3
  3) craype-network-ofi      7) PrgEnv-gnu/8.1.0  11) craype/2.7.10
  4) bolt/0.7                8) cray-dsmml/0.2.1  12) gcc/11.2.0


You can see that the default gromacs module (gromacs/2021.3) has been loaded (loading this module has also swapped some other modules to match the environment that was used to compile GROMACS, it has swapped the Cray compilers for the Gnu compilers and updated the versions of some other modules).

Licensed software

Some of the software installed on ARCHER2 requires a user to have a valid licence agreed with the software owners/developers to be able to use it (for example, VASP). Although you will be able to load this software on ARCHER2 you will be barred from actually using it until your licence has been verified.

You request access to licensed software through the EPCC SAFE (the web administration tool you used to apply for your account and retrieve your initial password) by being added to the appropriate Package Group. To request access to licensed software:

  1. Log in to SAFE
  2. Go to the Menu Login accounts and select the login account which requires access to the software
  3. Click New Package Group Request
  4. Select the software from the list of available packages and click Select Package Group
  5. Fill in as much information as possible about your license; at the very least provide the information requested at the top of the screen such as the licence holder’s name and contact details. If you are covered by the license because the licence holder is your supervisor, for example, please state this.
  6. Click Submit

Your request will then be processed by the ARCHER2 Service Desk who will confirm your license with the software owners/developers before enabling your access to the software on ARCHER2. This can take several days (depending on how quickly the software owners/developers take to respond) but you will be advised once this has been done.

Getting help with software

You can find more information on the software available on ARCHER2 in the ARCHER2 Documentation at:

This includes information on the software provided by Cray and the software provided by the ARCHER2 CSE Service at EPCC.

If the software you require is not currently available or you are having trouble with the installed software then please contact the ARCHER2 Service Desk and they will be able to assist you.

Key Points

  • Software is available through modules.

  • The CSE service can help with software issues.