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Shifter - Containers for HPC

Shifter enables container images for HPC. In a nutshell, Shifter allows an HPC system to efficiently and safely allow end-users to run a docker image. Shifter consists of a few moving parts 1) a utility that typically runs on the compute node that creates the run time environment for the application 2) an image gateway service that pulls images from a registry and repacks it in a format suitable for the HPC system (typically squashfs) 3) and example scripts/plugins to integrate Shifter with various batch scheduler systems.

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Mailing List

For updates and community support, please subscribe to the email list at!forum/shifter-hpc.

Release Cycle

Shifter has had two major releases (16.08 and 18.03) and several minor release within those over the past few years. Milestone tags will be labelled like YYYY.MM.vv (i.e. 2015.12.00) where vv is a minor release incremented with each snapshot generated. We plan to release new major versions biannually with point releases as required.


If you want to contribute code or documentation, please join our slack chat channel at to coordinate efforts. Code can be presented for inclusion with the shifter project by providing Pull Requests against the shifter master branch on github from your own forked repo.

Change Log

See NEWS for a history of CHANGES