Seminar on capabilities of Singularity containers

Due to the support of the EuroHPC project “National Competence Centers in the framework of EuroHPC” (EuroCC) an online seminar “Singularity Container Capabilities” took place on March 5, 2021.

When using high-performance computing (HPC) resources, it often becomes important to use non-standard software that is not available in the form of installed, ready-to-use software modules. In this situation, you can ask the administrator for help installing the software. But often this does not completely solve the problem:

  • The desired software may not be compatible with the operating system used in the cluster;
  • Many different software packages with specific versions need to be installed;
  • The user may want to use an identical environment on different clusters/workstations.

In the described situation, it is very suitable to use the software in the form of containers – a fully equipped and encapsulated software environment, which allows you to perform your desired calculation tasks on different systems. To use the required software environment (container), all you have to do is copy/obtain the desired container file.

Within this instruction, you will find out more about basic functionality of software containers, comparison of Singularity un Docker, obtaining DockerHub containers, installing Singularity and creating containers from scratch, as well as using containers with GPU-compute capabilities.

The EuroCC project started on September 1, 2020, and Latvia is represented in this project by Riga Technical University’s HPC Center together with the Institute of Numerical Modelling of the University of Latvia. The EuroCC project aims to create a European network of supercomputing competence centres. 33 countries are involved in the project; it will last for 2 years with total funding of more than 56 million EUR.

The task of the competence centres established during the project will be to create a unified support structure to promote the use of supercomputing opportunities in higher education, research, public administration, and industry. The Competence Centres will bring together the competencies, experience, and computing resources available all over the Europe.