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Binary packages for scientific research on RHEL/CentOS

Binary packages aimed at research computing and HPC are now available for RHEL/CentOS 6 and 7:

These are more or less static package sets with a different prefix for each quarterly build, e.g. /sharedapps/pkg-2017Q1. This layout allows researchers to use the same package versions for the duration of long-term studies (this is critical in many research projects) while newer packages can be deployed alongside them on the same system.

I also posted instructions for our pbulk setup, which uses a pristine OS installation image in a chroot env. Many thanks to everyone who offered advice as I was experimenting with pbulk.

I'm hoping the availability of these packages will spur a new level of interest in pkgsrc within the research computing community. I know for a fact that pkgsrc has enormous potential here, as I've watched many researchers struggle with software installations for the past 17 years, especially on enterprise Linux, which has a virtual monopoly in HPC.

With this infrastructure in place, the work of creating many new scientific packages will now become our primary focus.

Comments and contributions are always welcome!



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