Configuration legacy

Kenneth Hoste edited this page Oct 21, 2014 · 1 revision
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Configuring EasyBuild is done by providing a configuration file.

EasyBuild expects the configuration file to contain valid Python code, because it executes its contents (using exec). The rationale is that this approach provides a lot of flexibility for configuring EasyBuild. However, we are going to move away from this path, and use the default python configuration format as parsed by configparser This new format is already available, you can see it showing up in eb --help (all the configfile section names) and use it using the --configfiles option, or put a configfile in $HOME/.easybuild/config.cfg This new format is usable, but it is not yet documented here.

EasyBuild will use the file that is provided by the path/filename in the following order of preference:

  • path/filename specified on the EasyBuild command line (using --config),
  • path/filename obtained from the environment variable EASYBUILDCONFIG (if it is defined)
  • $HOME/.easybuild/ (as of EasyBuild v1.1)
  • the (default) configuration file at <path where EasyBuild was installed>/easybuild/

Configuration variables

The configuration file must define the following five variables: build_path, install_path, source_path, repository, and log_format. If one of them is not defined, EasyBuild will complain and exit.

### Build path (required)

The build_path variable specifies the directory in which EasyBuild builds its software packages.

Each software package is (by default) built in a subdirectory of the build_path under <name>/<version>/<toolkit><versionsuffix>.

Note that the build directories are emptied by EasyBuild when the installation is completed (by default).

### Install path (required)

The install_path variable specifies the directory in which EasyBuild installs software packages and the corresponding module files.

The packages themselves are installed under install_path/software in their own subdirectory aptly named <name>/<version>-<toolkit><versionsuffix> (by default), where name is the package name. The corresponding module files are installed under install_path/modules.


After the configuration, you need to make sure that MODULEPATH environment variable is extended with the modules/all subdirectory of the install_path, i.e.:

export MODULEPATH=<install_path>/modules/all:$MODULEPATH

It is probably a good idea to add this to your (favourite) shell .rc file, e.g., .bashrc, and/or the .profile login scripts, so you do not need to adjust the MODULEPATH variable every time you start a new session.

### Source path (required)

The source_path variable specifies the directory in which EasyBuild looks for software source and install files.

Similarly to the configuration file lookup, EasyBuild looks for the installation files as given by the sources variable in the .eb easyconfig file, in the following order of preference:

  • <source_path>/<name>: a subdirectory determined by the name of the software package
  • <source_path>/<letter>/<name>: in the style of the easyblocks/easyconfigs directories: in a subdirectory determined by the first letter (in lower case) of the software package and by its full name
  • <source_path>: directly in the source path

Note that these locations are also used when EasyBuild looks for patch files in addition to the various easybuild/easyconfigs directories that are listed in the PYTHONPATH.

### Easyconfigs repository (required)

EasyBuild has support for keeping track of (tested) .eb easyconfigs. These files are build specification files for software package installation. After successfully installing a software package using EasyBuild, the corresponding .eb file is uploaded to a repository defined by the repository configuration variable.

Currently, EasyBuild supports the following repository types:

  • FileRepository('path', 'subdir/path')): a plain flat file repository; path is the path where files will be stored.
  • GitRepository('path', 'path/in/repository': a non-empty bare git repository (created with git init --bare or git clone --bare); path is the path to the git repository (can also be a URL), path/in/repository is a path inside the repository where to save the files
  • SvnRepository('path'): an SVN repository; path contains the subversion repository location, again, this can be a directory or a URL

You need to set the repository variable inside the config like so:

repository = FileRepository(path)

Or, optionally a subdir argument can be specified:

repository = FileRepository(repositoryPath, subdir)

You don't have to worry about importing these classes, EasyBuild will make them available to the config file.

Using git requires the GitPython Python modules, using svn requires the pysvn Python module (see Dependencies).

If access to the easyconfigs repository fails for some reason (e.g., no network or a required Python module), EasyBuild will issue a warning. The software package will still be installed, but the (successful) easyconfig will not be automatically added to the repository.

### Log format (required)

The log_format variable contains a tuple specifying a log directory name and a template string. In both of these values, using the following fields is supported:

  • name: the name of the software package to install
  • version: the version of the software package to install
  • date: the date on which the installation was performed (in YYYYMMDD format, e.g. 20120324)
  • time: the time at which the installation was started (in HHMMSS format, e.g. 214359)

Example :

log_format = ("easylog", "easybuild-%(name)s.log")
### Software and modules install path suffixes

(supported since v1.1.0)

By default, EasyBuild will use the install path suffix software for the software installations, and the suffix modules for the generated module files.

These defaults can be adjusted by defining the software_install_suffix and/or modules_install_suffix variables in the configuration file, e.g.:

import os
software_install_suffix = os.path.join('easybuild', 'installs')
modules_install_suffix = os.path.join('easybuild', 'modules')

Note: EasyBuild will still use the additional all and base suffixes for the module install paths, along with a directory for every module class that's being used.

## Example configuration

This is a simple example configuration file, that specifies the user's home directory as the install_path and that uses /tmp/easybuild as the build_path. Additionally, it states that the .eb repository resides in $HOME/ebfiles and that it stores flat files:

import os

home = os.getenv('HOME')

build_path = "/tmp/easybuild"
install_path = home
source_path = os.path.join(home, "sources")

repository_path = os.path.join(home, "ebfiles")
repository = FileRepository(repository_path)

log_format = ("easybuildlogs", "%(name)s-%(version)s.log")

module_classes = ['base', 'bio', 'chem', 'compiler', 'lib', 'phys', 'tools']

Default configuration

The default configuration file that comes with EasyBuild (easybuild/ can be used as a starting point if you create your own configuration file, see here.


In the default configuration file, the prefix for the build, install and source directories is obtained from the EASYBUILDPREFIX environment variable. If this variable was not defined, the prefix is set to $HOME/.local/easybuild/

If for some reason HOME is not defined, the configuration file falls back to using /tmp/easybuild as the prefix for the various paths.

These paths are then defined as follows:

  • build_path: <prefix>/easybuild/build
  • install_path: <prefix>/easybuild
  • source_path: <prefix>/easybuild/sources

Easyconfigs repository

The repository_path is specified as <prefix>/ebfiles_repo, and repository is set to FileRepository

Log format

The default log format uses all fields available:

("easybuildlog", "easybuild-%(name)s-%(version)s-%(date)s.%(time)s.log")

Reconfiguration using environment variables

You can (temporarily) override both the build_path, source_path and install_path settings by defining the EASYBUILDBUILDPATH, EASYBUILDSOURCEPATH and EASYBUILDINSTALLPATH environment variables.

Overriding the configuration file is commonly done when testing new easyblocks.