To facilitate running a wide variety of software, we provide all users with the
Sfinx environment. This is a customized environment setup to facilitate different setups for different machines or different applications.
Part of this versatility is implemented through a set of databases: Syscap (containing a list of software, their location and special options) and Envcap (containing environment settings).
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
.bash_profile will be created (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.
Also be careful when creating additional files. E.g., if you create a file named
.tcshrc, it will be used in preference to
.cshrc in the tcsh-shell, bypassing the Sfinx setup.
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, and many astronomical packages.
More information: sfinx scripts
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.
man module for all the specifics. Some useful commands: To get a list of available modules, type:
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.
More information: Sfinx modules
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).
This is currently needed for: iraf(*), miriad, newstar, scisoft, starlink
(*) For iraf, such an initialization is only needed to compile your own iraf tasks. To run iraf, no special setup
is needed, so a casual iraf user can just use
cl to start the program without any further setup.
More information: Sfinx packages