Accessing Software With Environment Modules

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Various pieces of software (3rd party applications, alternative versions of software, compilers, libraries, etc.) are available to Linux systems using the Environment Modules software.

This takes care of setting up all the path and environment variables required by a specific application. For example, the command:

module load matlab

Will set up all the required variables to use the matlab software, and you can then launch the software with:


There are many options which can be used with the module command (see man module for full details). Some of the most common options are listed below.

Module commands can be added to your login files (~/.cshrc / ~/.bashrc), so that your environment is always set up as desired.

Currently Loaded Modules

module list

This will display which modules you have loaded in your current session.

Available Modules

module avail

This will display modules available on the system. This command will accept a search parameter, for example to search for for available version of matlab:

% module av matlab
matlab/2011a          matlab/2013a          matlab/2016a          matlab/2017a(default)

av can be used as shorthand for available.

The command:

module whatis

will display all of the available modules on the system, along with a short summary.

Module Information

More information about a particular module can be displayed with the module help command, followed by the name of the module of interest:

% module help matlab

----------- Module Specific Help for 'matlab/2017a' ---------------

Data analysis and visualisation


  Matlab is a language designed for the rapid analysis
  and display of data. It can run commands interactively
  or be used to build more complicated programs.

  Homepage :

Information about what variables will be set by a particular module can be found with the module show command, for example:

module show matlab

Loading Modules

The command:

module load

can be used to load up a particular module or modules. For example:

module load matlab

will set all required variables to use matlab, and this command:

module load matlab R

would set the required variables to use both matlab and R.

If there are multiple versions of a particular module available, a specific version can be loaded by using the full version, as display in the module avail output, for example:

module load matlab/2016a

Unloading A Module

The command module rm can be used to unload a module, for example:

module rm matlab

Linux - Tux

Topic revision: r4 - 29 Oct 2017 - earrr
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