Installing software by yourself

Installing languages extensions

With scripting languages, even if the interpreter is installed globally, you have the possibility to install additional packages locally in your home directory.


For python include the --user option to pip install, e.g.:

$ pip install --user numpy

will install the numpy package in your home directory $HOME/.local/. Once that is done, you will need to make sure:

  • $HOME/.local/bin is in your PATH variable and
  • $HOME/.local/lib/pythonx.y/site-packages/ is in your PYTHONPATH.

Make sure to replace the x.y part with the actual version of Python you are using. For instance:

$ export PATH=$HOME/.local/bin:$PATH
$ export PYTHONPATH=$HOME/.local/lib/python2.7/site-packages/:$PYTHONPATH


R will do the job for you but you can use the environment variable R_LIBS_USER for more control.


With Octave you can use pkg prefix.


For Perl can be used the local::lib module and the cpanm tool:

For cpanm to install modules locally, you need to setup the environment according to the output of the perl -Mlocal::lib command. You can set it interactively with

eval $(perl -Mlocal::lib)

and/or set it once and for all with

perl -Mlocal::lib >> ~/.bash_profile

Then you can simply run

cpanm Algorithm::Numerical::Shuffle

to install the Algorithm::Numerical::Shuffle module.

By default, this will install the modules in the ~/perl5 directory. Should you want to install them to another place, give that path as argument to the local::lib module. For instance:

perl -Mlocal::lib=mylibs/perl >> ~/.bash_profile

to install in the mylibs/perl directory.

Installing with Yum or Aptitude

Installing with Yum (RedHat, Fedora, etc.) or Aptitude (Ubuntu, Debian, etc.) or any other packager manager is not possible for users. Things like sudo apt-get install <name of package> will fail because all clusters run the CentOS distribution that does not use the Aptitude packager manager, and users are not allowed to use sudo (See below).

If your program can only be installed with apt-get, then you will need to use Singularity.

Use of the sudo command

Do not try to use the sudo command; it will fail. Only local system administrators are able to gain root-level privileges. Regular users are not allowed to, simply because they would continuously break each other’s configuration, or potentially destroy the whole system. There is therefore no way root-level privileges will ever be granted to users.