This page documents the “miniconda” installation on ShARC. This is the recommended way of using Python, and the best way to be able to configure custom sets of packages for your use.
“conda” a Python package manager, allows you to create “environments” which are sets of packages that you can modify. It does this by installing them in your home area. This page will guide you through loading conda and then creating and modifying environments so you can install and use whatever Python packages you need.
Using conda Python¶
After connecting to ShARC (see Establishing a SSH connection), start an interactive session
Conda Python can be loaded with:
module load apps/python/conda
root conda environment (the default) provides Python 3 and no extra
modules, it is automatically updated, and not recommended for general use, just
as a base for your own environments. There is also a
which is the same but with a Python 2 installation.
Quickly Loading Anaconda Environments¶
There are a small number of environments provided for everyone to use, these are
python2 environments as well as various versions
of Anaconda for Python 3 and Python 2.
The anaconda environments can be loaded through provided module files:
module load apps/python/anaconda2-4.2.0 module load apps/python/anaconda3-4.2.0
anaconda2 represents Python 2 installations and
represents Python 3 installations.
These commands will also load the
apps/python/conda module and then
activate the anaconda environment specified.
Anaconda 2.5.0 and higher are compiled with Intel MKL libraries which should result in higher numerical performance.
Using conda Environments¶
Once the conda module is loaded you have to load or create the desired conda environments. For the documentation on conda environments see the conda documentation.
You can load a conda environment with:
source activate python2
python2 is the name of the environment, and unload one with:
which will return you to the
It is possible to list all the available environments with:
conda env list
Provided system-wide are a set of anaconda environments, these will be installed with the anaconda version number in the environment name, and never modified. They will therefore provide a static base for derivative environments or for using directly.
Creating an Environment¶
Every user can create their own environments, and packages shared with the
system-wide environments will not be reinstalled or copied to your file store,
they will be
symlinked, this reduces the space you need in your
directory to install many different Python environments.
To create a clean environment with just Python 2 and numpy you can run:
conda create -n mynumpy python=2.7 numpy
This will download the latest release of Python 2.7 and numpy, and create an
Any version of Python or list of packages can be provided:
conda create -n myscience python=3.5 numpy=1.8.1 scipy
If you wish to modify an existing environment, such as one of the anaconda
installations, you can
clone that environment:
conda create --clone anaconda3-4.2.0 -n myexperiment
This will create an environment called
myexperiment which has all the
anaconda 4.2.0 packages installed with Python 3.
Avoiding large Conda environments filling up your home directory¶
If you want to create one or more large Conda environments (e.g. containing bulky Deep Learning packages such as TensorFlow or PyTorch) then there’s a risk you’ll quickly use up your home directory’s 10GB storage quota.
First, tell conda where to look for a config file:
echo "export CONDARC=$HOME/.condarc-sharc.yml" >> ~/.bashrc
Next, create a
.condarc-sharc.yml file in your home directory,
copy in the contents of your
.condarc file if you have one,
then ensure that the first line beneath
envs_dirs: in that file is:
envs_dirs: - /data/te1st/.conda-sharc
making sure to replace
te1st with your username.
Installing Packages Inside an Environment¶
Once you have created your own environment you can install additional packages
or different versions of packages into it. There are two methods for doing
pip, if a package is available through conda it is
strongly recommended that you use conda to install packages. You can search for
packages using conda:
conda search pandas
then install the package using:
conda install pandas
if you are not in your environment you will get a permission denied error when trying to install packages, if this happens, create or activate an environment you own.
If a package is not available through conda you can search for and install it using pip, i.e.:
pip search colormath pip install colormath
Using Python with MPI¶
There is an experimental set of packages for conda that have been compiled by the RSE and RCG teams, which allow you to use a MPI stack entirely managed by Conda. This allows you to easily create complex evironments and use MPI without worrying about other modules or system libraries.
To get access to these packages you need to run the following command to add the repo to your conda config:
conda config --add channels file:///usr/local/packages/apps/conda/conda-bld/
you should then be able to install the packages with the
which currently include
conda create -n my_mpi_env python=3.5 openmpi mpi4py
Currently, this channel provides Conda packages for:
openmpi) for Python 3.4, 3.5, 3.6 and 2.7
hdf5) with MPI support for Python 3.5 and 2.7
The build scripts for these packages can be found in this GitHub repository.
These are primarily for administrators of the system.
The conda package manager is installed in
was installed using the miniconda
It is important to regularly update the
root environment to keep the conda
package manager up to date. To do this login as a
sa_ account (with write
/usr/local/packages/apps/conda) and run:
$ conda update --all $ conda update conda
Between updates, remove write permissions on certain dirs/files to prevent sysadmins from accidentally installing central conda envs instead of local ones / encountering errors when trying to create local envs:
chmod ugo-w /usr/local/packages/apps/conda /usr/local/packages/apps/conda/envs chmod -R ugo-w /usr/local/packages/apps/conda/pkgs
Installing a New Version of Anaconda¶
Run the following as a
sa_ user (with write permissions to
$ conda create -n anaconda3-<VERSION> python=3 anaconda=<VERSION> $ conda create -n anaconda2-<VERSION> python=2 anaconda=<VERSION>
Then copy the modulefile for the previous version of anaconda to the new
version and update the name of the environment. Also you will need to append
the new module to the
conflict line in