Modules, provides dynamic modification of a user's environment
The Modules package is a tool that simplify shell initialization and lets users easily modify their environment during the session with modulefiles.
Each modulefile contains the information needed to configure the shell for an application. Once the Modules package is initialized, the environment can be modified on a per-module basis using the module command which interprets modulefiles. Typically modulefiles instruct the module command to alter or set shell environment variables such as PATH, MANPATH, etc. modulefiles may be shared by many users on a system and users may have their own collection to supplement or replace the shared modulefiles.
Modules can be loaded and unloaded dynamically and atomically, in an clean fashion. All popular shells are supported, including bash, ksh, zsh, sh, csh, tcsh, fish, as well as some scripting languages such as tcl, perl, python, ruby, cmake and r.
Modules are useful in managing different versions of applications. Modules can also be bundled into metamodules that will load an entire suite of different applications.
Here is an example of loading a module on a Linux machine under bash.
$ module load gcc/6.1.1 $ which gcc $ /usr/local/gcc/6.1.1/linux-x86_64/bin/gcc
Now we'll switch to a different version of the module
$ module switch gcc gcc/6.3.1 $ which gcc /usr/local/gcc/6.3.1/linux-x86_64/bin/gcc
And now we'll unload the module altogether
$ module unload gcc $ which gcc gcc not found
Now we'll log into a different machine, using a different shell (tcsh).
% module load gcc/6.3.1 % which gcc /usr/local/gcc/6.3.1/linux-aarch64/bin/gcc
Note that the command line is exactly the same, but the path has automatically configured to the correct architecture.
Getting things running
To learn how to install modules see
INSTALL.txt for Unix system or
INSTALL-win.txt for Windows
To have things running efficiently you will need a lot of additional setup.
For an example take a look at
doc/example.txt which explains how things
have been setup at the University of Minnesota computer science department.
- Tcl >= 8.4
Modules is distributed under the GNU General Public License version 2 (GPL
v2). Read the file
COPYING.GPLv2 for details.
NEWS for summarized information regarding the changes brought
by each released version. Look at
ChangeLog for detailed information
doc directory contains both the paper and man pages describing the
user's and the module writer's usage. To generate the documentation files,
like the man pages (you need Sphinx >= 1.0 to build the documentation), just
$ ./configure $ make -C doc all
The following man pages are provided:
Regression testing scripts are available in the
testsuite directory (you
need dejagnu to run the test suite):
$ ./configure $ make test
Once modules is installed after running
make install, you have the
ability to test this installation with:
$ make testinstall
Transition from v3.2
Starting from v4.0, the Modules project provides the
module command based
on the native Tcl implementation as main version instead of the traditional
C version. The full Tcl rewrite of the Modules package, previously called
Modules-Tcl, was started in 2002 and has now reached maturity to take over
the binary version in order to push forward the module concept.
All new releases are in fact double-releases as they also ship the latest
stable version of the traditional C flavor of modulecmd. This compatibility
version is labeled 3.2.11 as it is based on 3.2.10 with addition of widely
used patches. The compatibility version builds and installs by default
along with the new main version (v4 or later). Same initialization scripts
are shared between compatibility and new main versions and a
shell function enables to swap from one module flavor to another.
If you are moving from Modules 3.2 to 4.0 or later, please look at the MIGRATING document. It provides an outlook of what has changed between the 2 versions. Both v3.2 and >=v4.0 are quite similar and transition to the new major version should be smooth. Slights differences may however be noticed in a few use-cases and the migration guide provides details about them.
GitHub source respository:
GitHub Issue tracking system:
SourceForge project page:
Current core developers and maintainers are:
The following people have notably contributed to Modules and Modules would not be what it is without their contributions:
- Mark Lakata
- Harlan Stenn
- Leo Butler
- Robert Minsk
- Jens Hamisch
- Peter W. Osel
- John L. Furlani