Installing Modules on Unix

This document is an overview of building and installing Modules on a Unix system.

Requirements

Modules consists of one Tcl script so to run it from a user shell the only requirement is to have a working version of tclsh (version 8.5 or later) available on your system. tclsh is a part of Tcl (http://www.tcl.tk/software/tcltk/).

To install Modules from a distribution tarball or a clone of the git repository, a build step is there to tailor the modulecmd.tcl and the initialization scripts to the chosen installation configuration and create the documentation files. This build step requires the tools to be found on your system:

  • bash
  • make
  • sed
  • runtest

When also installing Modules Tcl extension library (enabled by default), these additional tools are needed:

  • grep
  • gcc
  • tcl-devel >= 8.5

When installing from a distribution tarball, documentation is pre-built and scripts to configure Modules Tcl extension library build are already generated. Thus no additional software is required. When installing from a clone of the git repository or from a git archive export, documentation and scripts to prepare for compilation have to be built and the following tools are required:

  • autoconf
  • automake
  • autopoint
  • python
  • sphinx >= 1.0

Get Modules

Modules can usually be installed with the package manager of your Unix system. It it is available by default on most Linux distributions, on OS X and FreeBSD either under the name of modules or environment-modules.

If you want to install Modules from sources, tarballs from all Modules' releases can be retrieved from one of the following link:

For instance to download then unpack the last release of Modules:

$ curl -LJO https://github.com/cea-hpc/modules/releases/download/v5.0.1/modules-5.0.1.tar.gz
$ tar xfz modules-5.0.1.tar.gz

Installation instructions

The simplest way to build and install Modules is:

$ ./configure
$ make
$ make install

Some explanation, step by step:

  1. cd to the directory containing the package's source code. Your system must have the above requirements installed to properly build scripts, and documentation if build occurs from a clone of the git repository.
  2. Type ./configure to adapt the installation for your system. At this step you can choose the installation paths and the features you want to enable in the initialization scripts (see Build and installation options section below for a complete overview of the available options)
  3. Type make to adapt scripts to the configuration, build Tcl extension library if enabled and build documentation if working from git repository.
  4. Optionally, type make test to run the test suite.
  5. Type make install to install modulecmd.tcl, initialization scripts and documentation.
  6. Optionally, type make testinstall to run the installation test suite.
  7. You can remove the built files from the source code directory by typing make clean. To also remove the files that configure created, type make distclean.

A default installation process like described above will install Modules under /usr/local/Modules. You can change this with the --prefix option. By default, /usr/local/Modules/modulefiles will be setup as the default directory containing modulefiles. --modulefilesdir option enables to change this directory location. For example:

$ ./configure --prefix=/usr/share/Modules \
              --modulefilesdir=/etc/modulefiles

See Build and installation options section to discover all ./configure option available.

Note

GNU Make is excepted to be used for this build and installation process. On non-Linux systems, the gmake should be called instead of make.

Configuration

Once installed you should review and adapt the configuration to make it fit your needs. The following steps are provided for example. They are not necessarily mandatory as it depends of the kind of setup you want to achieve.

  1. Enable Modules initialization at shell startup. An easy way to get module function defined and its associated configuration setup at shell startup is to make the initialization scripts part of the system-wide environment setup in /etc/profile.d. To do so, make a link in this directory to the profile scripts that can be found in your Modules installation init directory:

    $ ln -s PREFIX/init/profile.sh /etc/profile.d/modules.sh
    $ ln -s PREFIX/init/profile.csh /etc/profile.d/modules.csh
    

    These profile scripts will automatically adapt to the kind of sh or csh shell you are running.

    Another approach may be to get the Modules initialization script sourced from the shell configuration startup file. For instance following line could be added to the end of the ~/.bashrc file if running Bash shell:

    source PREFIX/init/bash
    

    Beware that shells have multiple ways to initialize depending if they are a login shell or not and if they are launched in interactive mode or not.

  2. Define module paths to enable by default. Edit initrc configuration file in the directory designated by the --etcdir option or edit modulespath in the same directory.

    If you use modulespath configuration file, add one line mentioning each modulefile directory:

    /path/to/regular/modulefiles
    /path/to/other/modulefiles
    

    If you use initrc configuration file, add one line mentioning each modulefile directory prefixed by the module use command:

    module use /path/to/regular/modulefiles
    module use /path/to/other/modulefiles
    

    In case both configuration files initrc and modulespath are present, Modules initialization process will first evaluate modulespath then initrc.

    By default, the modulepaths specified on the --with-modulepath installation option are automatically defined for use in initrc (or in modulespath if the --enable-modulespath installation option has been set).

    Note

    If you have set --with-initconf-in to initdir to install the Modules initialization configurations in the configuration directory designated by the --initdir option, the configuration files initrc and modulespath are respectively named modulerc and .modulespath.

  3. Define modulefiles to load by default. Edit initrc configuration file. Modulefiles to load cannot be specified in modulespath file. Add there all the modulefiles you want to load by default at Modules initialization time.

    Add one line mentioning each modulefile to load prefixed by the module load command:

    module load foo
    module load bar
    

    By default, the modules specified on the --with-loadedmodules installation option are automatically defined for load in initrc.

    Alternatively, if users have module collections saved in their HOME directory, you may prefer restoring their default collection when Modules initializes rather loading the default module list:

    if {[is-saved default]} {
        module restore
    } else {
        module load foo
        module load bar
    }
    

    In fact you can add to the initrc configuration file any kind of supported module command, like module config commands to tune module's default behaviors. This configuration way is recommended over directly modifying the shell initialization scripts.

If you go through the above steps you should have a valid setup tuned to your needs. After that you still have to write modulefiles to get something to load and unload in your newly configured Modules setup. In case you want to achieve a specific setup, some additional steps may be required:

  1. In case the configuration you expect cannot be achieved through the initrc configuration file, you may review and tune the initialization scripts. These files are located in the directory designated by the --initdir option. Beware that these scripts could be overwritten when upgrading to a newer version of Modules, so configuration should be done through the initrc file as far as possible.
  2. If you want to alter the way the modulecmd.tcl script operates, the siteconfig.tcl script may be used. This Tcl file is located in the directory designated by the --etcdir option. Every time the module command is called, it executes the modulecmd.tcl script which in turns sources the siteconfig.tcl script during its startup phase. The site-specific configuration script could override default configuration values and more largely could supersede all procedures defined in modulecmd.tcl to obtain specific behaviors.
  3. Prior running the module sub-command specified as argument, the modulecmd.tcl script evaluates the global run-command files. These files are either the rc file in the directory designated by the --etcdir option, the file designated in the MODULERCFILE environment variable or the user-specific RC file located in $HOME/.modulerc. The RC files are modulefiles (limited to a subset of the modulefile Tcl commands) that could define global module aliases, virtual modules or module properties such as tags, forbidding rules, etc.

To learn more about siteconfig and run-command files, see the Modulecmd startup section in module reference manual. You may also look at the available setup recipes to get concrete deployment examples of these files.

Build and installation options

Options available at the ./configure installation step are described below. These options enable to choose the installation paths and the features to enable or disable. You can also get a description of these options by typing ./configure --help.

Fine tuning of the installation directories (the default value for each option is displayed within brakets):

--bindir=DIR

Directory for executables reachable by users [PREFIX/bin]

--datarootdir=DIR

Base directory to set the man and doc directories [PREFIX/share]

--docdir=DIR

Directory to host documentation other than man pages like README, license file, etc [DATAROOTDIR/doc]

--etcdir=DIR

Directory for the executable configuration scripts [PREFIX/etc]

New in version 4.1.

--initdir=DIR

Directory for the per-shell environment initialization scripts [PREFIX/init]

--libdir=DIR

Directory for object code libraries like libtclenvmodules.so [PREFIX/lib]

--libexecdir=DIR

Directory for executables called by other executables like modulecmd.tcl [PREFIX/libexec]

--mandir=DIR

Directory to host man pages [DATAROOTDIR/man]

--modulefilesdir=DIR

Directory of main modulefiles also called system modulefiles [PREFIX/modulefiles]

New in version 4.0.

--prefix=PREFIX

Installation root directory [/usr/local/Modules]

--vimdatadir=DIR

Directory to host Vim addon files [DATAROOTDIR/vim/vimfiles]

New in version 4.3.

Optional Features (the default for each option is displayed within parenthesis, to disable an option replace enable by disable for instance --disable-set-manpath):

--enable-advanced-version-spec

Activate the advanced module version specifiers which enables to finely select module versions by specifying after the module name a version constraint prefixed by the @ character. This option also allows to specify module variants. (default=yes)

New in version 4.4.

Changed in version 5.0: Configuration option default set to yes

--enable-append-binpath

Append rather prepend binary directory to the PATH environment variable when the --enable-set-binpath option is enabled. (default=no)

New in version 4.2.

--enable-append-manpath

Append rather prepend man page directory to the MANPATH environment variable when the --enable-set-manpath option is enabled. (default=no)

New in version 4.2.

--enable-auto-handling

Set modulecmd.tcl to automatically apply automated modulefiles handling actions, like loading the pre-requisites of a modulefile when loading this modulefile. (default=yes)

New in version 4.2.

Changed in version 5.0: Configuration option default set to yes

--enable-avail-indepth

When performing an avail sub-command, include in search results the matching modulefiles and directories and recursively the modulefiles and directories contained in these matching directories when enabled or limit search results to the matching modulefiles and directories found at the depth level expressed by the search query if disabled. (default=yes)

New in version 4.3.

--enable-color

Control if output should be colored by default or not. A value of yes equals to the auto color mode. no equals to the never color mode. (default=yes)

New in version 4.3.

Changed in version 5.0: Configuration option default set to yes

--enable-doc-install

Install the documentation files in the documentation directory defined with the --docdir option. This feature has no impact on manual pages installation. Disabling documentation file installation is useful in case of installation process handled via a package manager which handles by itself the installation of this kind of documents. (default=yes)

New in version 4.0.

--enable-example-modulefiles

Install some modulefiles provided as example in the system modulefiles directory defined with the --modulefilesdir option. (default=yes)

New in version 4.0.

--enable-extended-default

Allow to specify module versions by their starting part, i.e. substring separated from the rest of the version string by a . character. (default=yes)

New in version 4.4.

Changed in version 5.0: Configuration option default set to yes

--enable-implicit-default

Define an implicit default version, for modules with none explicitly defined, to select when the name of the module to evaluate is passed without the mention of a specific version. When this option is disabled the name of the module passed for evaluation should be fully qualified elsewhere an error is returned. (default=yes)

New in version 4.3.

--enable-implicit-requirement

Implicitly define a prereq or a conflict requirement toward modules specified respectively on module load or module unload commands in modulefile. (default=yes)

New in version 4.7.

--enable-libtclenvmodules

Build and install the Modules Tcl extension library which provides optimized Tcl commands for the modulecmd.tcl script. (default=yes)

New in version 4.3.

--enable-mcookie-version-check

Enable check of the version specified right after Modules magic cookie (#%Module) in modulefiles, which defines the minimal version of the Modules tool to use in order to evaluate the modulefile. (default=yes)

New in version 4.7.

--enable-ml

Define the ml command, a handy frontend to the module command, when Modules initializes. (default=yes)

New in version 4.5.

--enable-modulespath, --enable-dotmodulespath

Set the module paths defined by --with-modulepath option in a modulespath file (following C version fashion) within the initialization directory defined by the --etcdir option rather than within the initrc file. Or respectively, if option --with-initconf-in has been set to initdir, in a .modulespath file within the configuration directory defined by the --initdir option rather than within the modulerc file. (default=no)

New in version 4.0.

Changed in version 4.3: Option --enable-modulespath added

--enable-multilib-support

Support multilib systems by looking in modulecmd.tcl at an alternative location where to find the Modules Tcl extension library depending on current machine architecture. (default=no)

New in version 4.6.

--enable-new-features

Enable all new features that are disabled by default due to the substantial behavior changes they imply on Modules 5. This option does not enable other configuration option currently. (default=no)

New in version 4.7.

Changed in version 5.0: Configuration option has been reset following major version change as --enable-auto-handling, --enable-color, --with-icase=search, --enable-extended-default and --enable-advanced-version-spec are set by default on Modules 5.

--enable-quarantine-support

Generate code in module function definition to add support for the environment variable quarantine mechanism (default=no)

New in version 4.1.

Changed in version 5.0: Configuration option default set to no

--enable-set-binpath

Prepend binary directory defined by the --bindir option to the PATH environment variable in the shell initialization scripts. (default=yes)

New in version 4.0.

--enable-set-manpath

Prepend man page directory defined by the --mandir option to the MANPATH environment variable in the shell initialization scripts. (default=yes)

New in version 4.0.

--enable-set-shell-startup

Set when module function is defined the shell startup file to ensure that the module function is still defined in sub-shells. (default=no)

New in version 4.3.

Changed in version 5.0: Configuration option default set to no

--enable-silent-shell-debug-support

Generate code in module function definition to add support for silencing shell debugging properties (default=no)

New in version 4.2.

Changed in version 5.0: Configuration option default set to no

--enable-versioning

Append Modules version to installation prefix and deploy a versions modulepath shared between all versioning enabled Modules installation. A modulefile corresponding to Modules version is added to the shared modulepath and enables to switch from one Modules version to another. (default=no)

--enable-vim-addons

Install the Vim addon files in the Vim addons directory defined with the --vimdatadir option. (default=yes)

New in version 4.3.

--enable-wa-277

Activate workaround for issue #277 related to Tcsh history mechanism which does not cope well with default module alias definition. Note that enabling this workaround solves Tcsh history issue but weakens shell evaluation of the code produced by modulefiles. (default=no)

New in version 4.3.

--enable-windows-support

Install all required files for Windows platform (module, ml and envml command batch file and cmd.cmd initialization script). (default=no)

New in version 4.5.

Optional Packages (the default for each option is displayed within parenthesis, to disable an option replace with by without for instance --without-modulepath):

--with-avail-output=LIST

Specify the content to report on avail sub-command regular output in addition to the available module names. Elements accepted in LIST are: modulepath, alias, dirwsym, sym, tag and key (elements in LIST are separated by :). The order of the elements in LIST does not matter. (default=modulepath:alias:dirwsym:sym:tag:key)

New in version 4.7.

--with-avail-terse-output=LIST

Specify the content to report on avail sub-command terse output in addition addition to the available module names. Elements accepted in LIST are: modulepath, alias, dirwsym, sym, tag and key (elements in LIST are separated by :). The order of the elements in LIST does not matter. (default=modulepath:alias:dirwsym:sym:tag)

New in version 4.7.

--with-bashcompletiondir=DIR

Directory for Bash completion scripts. When this option is not set Bash completion script for Modules is installed in the initialization script directory and is sourced from Modules Bash initialization script. (default=)

New in version 5.1.

--with-bin-search-path=PATHLIST

List of paths to look at when searching the location of tools required to build and configure Modules (default=/usr/bin:/bin:/usr/local/bin)

New in version 4.2.

--with-dark-background-colors=SGRLIST

Default color set to apply if terminal background color is defined to dark. SGRLIST follows the same syntax than used in LS_COLORS. Each element in SGRLIST is an output item associated to a Select Graphic Rendition (SGR) code. Elements in SGRLIST are separated by :. Output items are designated by keys.

Items able to be colorized are: highlighted element (hi), debug information (db), trace information (tr) tag separator (se); Error (er), warning (wa), module error (me) and info (in) message prefixes; Modulepath (mp), directory (di), module alias (al), module variant (va), module symbolic version (sy) and module default version (de).

Module tags can also be colorized. The key to set in the color palette to get a graphical rendering of a tag is the tag name or the tag abbreviation if one is defined for tag. The SGR code applied to a tag name is ignored if an abbreviation is set for this tag thus the SGR code should be defined for this abbreviation to get a graphical rendering. Each basic tag has by default a key set in the color palette, based on its abbreviated string: auto-loaded (aL), forbidden (F), hidden and hidden-loaded (H), loaded (L), nearly-forbidden (nF), sticky (S), super-sticky (sS) and keep-loaded (kL).

For a complete SGR code reference, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ANSI_escape_code#SGR_(Select_Graphic_Rendition)_parameters. (default=hi=1:db=2:tr=2:se=2:er=91:wa=93:me=95:in=94:mp=1;94:di=94:al=96:va=93:sy=95:de=4:cm=92:aL=100:L=90;47:H=2:F=41:nF=43:S=46:sS=44:kL=30;48;5;109)

New in version 4.3.

Changed in version 4.6: Output item for trace information (tr) added

Changed in version 4.7: Output items for module tags auto-loaded (aL), forbidden (F), hidden and hidden-loaded (H), loaded (L), nearly-forbidden (nF), sticky (S) and super-sticky (sS) added

Changed in version 4.8: Output item for module variant (va) added

Changed in version 5.1: Output item for keep-loaded module tag (kL) added

--with-editor=BIN

Name or full path of default editor program to use to open modulefile through the edit sub-command. (default=vi)

New in version 4.8.

--with-fishcompletiondir=DIR

Directory for Fish completion scripts. When this option is not set Fish completion script for Modules is installed in the initialization script directory and is sourced from Modules Fish initialization script. (default=)

New in version 5.1.

--with-icase=VALUE

Apply a case insensitive match to module specification on avail, whatis and paths sub-commands (when set to search) or on all module sub-commands and modulefile Tcl commands for the module specification they receive as argument (when set to always). Case insensitive match is disabled when this option is set to never. (default=search)

New in version 4.4.

Changed in version 5.0: Configuration option default set to search

--with-initconf-in=VALUE

Location where to install Modules initialization configuration files. Either initdir or etcdir (default=etcdir)

New in version 4.1.

Changed in version 5.0: Configuration option default set to etcdir

--with-light-background-colors=SGRLIST

Default color set to apply if terminal background color is defined to light. Expect the same syntax than described for --with-dark-background-colors. (default=hi=1:db=2:tr=2:se=2:er=31:wa=33:me=35:in=34:mp=1;34:di=34:al=36:va=33:sy=35:de=4:cm=32:aL=107:L=47:H=2:F=101:nF=103:S=106:sS=104:kL=48;5;109)

New in version 4.3.

Changed in version 4.6: Output item for trace information (tr) added

Changed in version 4.7: Output items for module tags auto-loaded (aL), forbidden (F), hidden and hidden-loaded (H), loaded (L), nearly-forbidden (nF), sticky (S) and super-sticky (sS) added

Changed in version 4.8: Output item for module variant (va) added

Changed in version 5.1: Output item for keep-loaded module tag (kL) added

--with-list-output=LIST

Specify the content to report on list sub-command regular output in addition to the loaded module names. Elements accepted in LIST are: header, idx, variant, sym, tag and key (elements in LIST are separated by :). The order of the elements in LIST does not matter. (default=header:idx:variant:sym:tag:key)

New in version 4.7.

Changed in version 4.8: Element variant added and set by default

--with-list-terse-output=LIST

Specify the content to report on list sub-command terse output in addition to the loaded module names. Elements accepted in LIST are: header, idx, variant, sym, tag and key (elements in LIST are separated by :). The order of the elements in LIST does not matter. (default=header)

New in version 4.7.

Changed in version 4.8: Element variant added

--with-loadedmodules=MODLIST

Default modulefiles to load at Modules initialization time. Each modulefile in this list should be separated by :. Defined value is registered in the initrc configuration file or in the modulerc file if --with-initconf-in is set to initdir. (default=no)

New in version 4.0.

--with-locked-configs=CONFIGLIST

Ignore environment variable superseding value for the listed configuration options. Accepted option names in CONFIGLIST are extra_siteconfig and implicit_default (each option name should be separated by whitespace character). (default=no)

New in version 4.3.

--with-modulepath=PATHLIST

Default path list to setup as the default modulepaths. Each path in this list should be separated by :. Defined value is registered in the initrc or modulespath configuration file, depending on the --enable-modulespath option. These files are respectively called modulerc and .modulespath if --with-initconf-in is set to initdir. The path list value is read at initialization time to populate the MODULEPATH environment variable. By default, this modulepath is composed of the directory set for the system modulefiles (default=PREFIX/modulefiles or BASEPREFIX/$MODULE_VERSION/modulefiles if versioning installation mode enabled)

New in version 4.0.

--with-moduleshome

Location of the main Modules package file directory (default=PREFIX)

New in version 4.4.

--with-nearly-forbidden-days=VALUE

Define the number of days a module is considered nearly forbidden prior reaching its expiry date. VALUE should be an integer comprised between 0 and 365. (default=14)

New in version 4.6.

--with-pager=BIN

Name or full path of default pager program to use to paginate informational message output (can be superseded at run-time by environment variable) (default=less)

New in version 4.1.

--with-pager-opts=OPTLIST

Settings to apply to default pager program (default=-eFKRX)

New in version 4.1.

--with-python=BIN

Name or full path of Python interpreter command to set as shebang for helper scripts. (default=python)

New in version 4.5.

--with-quarantine-vars=<VARNAME[=VALUE] ...>

Environment variables to put in quarantine when running the module command to ensure it a sane execution environment (each variable should be separated by space character). A value can eventually be set to a quarantine variable instead of emptying it. (default=no)

New in version 4.1.

--with-search-match=VALUE

When searching for a module with avail sub-command, match query string against module name start (starts_with) or any part of module name string (contains). (default=starts_with)

New in version 4.3.

--with-tag-abbrev=ABBRVLIST

Define the abbreviation to use when reporting each module tag. Each element in ABBRVLIST is a tag name associated to an abbreviation string (elements in ABBRVLIST are separated by :). (default=auto-loaded=aL:loaded=L:hidden=H:hidden-loaded=H:forbidden=F:nearly-forbidden=nF:sticky=S:super-sticky=sS:keep-loaded=kL)

New in version 4.7.

Changed in version 5.1: Abbreviation for keep-loaded tag added

--with-tag-color-name=TAGLIST

Define the tags whose graphical rendering should be applied over their name instead of over the name of the module they are attached to. Each element in TAGLIST is a tag name or abbreviation (elements in TAGLIST are separated by :). (default=)

New in version 4.7.

--with-tcl

Directory containing the Tcl configuration script tclConfig.sh. Useful to compile Modules Tcl extension library if this file cannot be automatically found in default locations.

--with-tclinclude

Directory containing the Tcl header files. Useful to compile Modules Tcl extension library if these headers cannot be automatically found in default locations.

--with-tclsh=BIN

Name or full path of Tcl interpreter shell (default=tclsh)

New in version 4.0.

--with-terminal-background=VALUE

The terminal background color that determines the color set to apply by default between the dark background colors or the light background colors (default=dark)

New in version 4.3.

--with-unload-match-order=VALUE

When unloading a module if multiple loaded modules match the request, unload module loaded first (returnfirst) or module loaded last (returnlast) (default=returnlast)

New in version 4.3.

--with-variant-shortcut=SHORTCUTLIST

Define the shortcut characters that could be used to specify variant names. Each element in SHORTCUTLIST is a variant name associated to a shortcut character (e.g., foo=%). Shortcuts cannot exceed a length of 1 character and cannot be alphanumeric characters ([A-Za-z0-9]) or characters with already a special meaning ([+~/@=-]). Elements in SHORTCUTLIST are separated by :. (default=)

New in version 4.8.

--with-verbosity=VALUE

Specify default message verbosity. accepted values are silent, concise, normal, verbose, verbose2, trace, debug and debug2. (default=normal)

New in version 4.3.

--with-zshcompletiondir=DIR

Directory for Zsh completion scripts. When this option is not set Zsh completion script for Modules is installed in the initialization script directory and FPATH is set in Zsh initialization script to point to this location. (default=)

New in version 5.1.