User Tools

Site Tools


Sfinx environment at Institute Lorentz

One of the reasons to have the IL computers on the same Linux version as the Sterrewacht, is to make available the Sfinx environment. This is a customized environment setup to facilitate different setups for different machines or different applications.


To install the Sfinx environment on your account, run


This will install all the setup files (and if old files existed, these will be renamed with a .old extension). Most importantly, .bashrc and .bash_profile will be created (and .cshrc and .login as well, to allow running tcsh as shell). Feel free to modify those files, but be careful not to overwrite them or replace the environment setup altogether. It is also possible to leave our default files untouched, and put your own customizations in .bash_settings which will be read from the Sfinx .bashrc if it exists.

Application startup scripts

Many applications are available on the /software disk and can be started simply by typing their name, without any further setup. This includes applications like IDL and Mathematica. In some cases it may be necessary to remove custom setups made previously in users' own setup. If you run into incompatibilities, please contact support.

Environment modules

A major part of the Sfinx setup, are the environment modules. These are configurations to modify the shell's environment for running a particular application. This allows having several versions of applications (e.g compilers) installed, and allow the user to choose. Also, this prevents all kinds of nasty incompatibilities between packages, which previously made it difficult to offer certain applications. See man module for all the specifics. Some useful commands: To get a list of available modules, type:

module avail

To load a module (or the version marked default if multiple versions exist), use:

module load packagename

A loaded module can be unloaded as well using module unload packagename, a very useful feature if you want to compare different environments, e.g. to try different compilers.


For some software, the environment module alone is not sufficient. In these cases, a package command is available to initialize the environment and do further setup (eg software that needs to create files on startup, something that cannot be done by the environment modules). TO DO: provide list of these packages (mostly astronomical software)

institute_lorentz/sfinx.txt · Last modified: 2015/03/31 16:04 by