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ColdFront - Resource Allocation System

Documentation Status

ColdFront is an open source resource allocation system designed to provide a central portal for administration, reporting, and measuring scientific impact of HPC resources. ColdFront was created to help HPC centers manage access to a diverse set of resources across large groups of users and provide a rich set of extensible meta data for comprehensive reporting. ColdFront is written in Python and released under the GPLv3 license.


  • Allocation based system for managing access to resources
  • Collect Project, Grant, and Publication data from users
  • Define custom attributes on resources and allocations
  • Email notifications for expiring/renewing access to resources
  • Integration with 3rd party systems for automation and access control
  • Center director approval system and annual project reviews

Plug-in Documentation

Contact Information

If you would like a live demo followed by QA, please contact us at You can also contact us for general inquiries and installation troubleshooting.

If you would like to join our mailing list to receive news and updates, please send an email to with no subject, and the following command in the body of the message:

subscribe first_name last_name

Installation Demo


Click here for more demos

Quick Install

  1. ColdFront requires Python 3.6, memcached, and redis.

CentOS (7)

Install EPEL then install required packages:

sudo yum install epel-release
sudo yum install python36 python36-devel memcached redis

# Install SQLite >= 3.8.3 from source since it is absent from the CentOS software repositories
tar -xzf sqlite-autoconf-XXXXXXX
cd sqlite-autoconf-XXXXXXX
make install

#Check version
sqlite3 --version

CentOS (8)

Install EPEL then install required packages:

sudo yum install epel-release
sudo yum install python36 python36-devel memcached redis

Ubuntu (16.04)

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:jonathonf/python-3.6
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install python3.6 python3.6-venv memcached redis-server
  1. Clone ColdFront in a new directory and create a Python virtual environment for ColdFront
mkdir coldfront_app
cd coldfront_app
git clone
python3.6 -mvenv venv
  1. Activate the virtual environment and install the required Python packages
source venv/bin/activate
cd coldfront
pip install wheel
pip install -r requirements.txt

  1. Copy coldfront/config/ to coldfront/config/
cp coldfront/config/ coldfront/config/
  1. Copy config/ to config/ and update if desired.
cp coldfront/config/ coldfront/config/
  1. Run initial setup
python initial_setup
  1. OPTIONAL: Add some test data
python load_test_data
  1. Start development server
python runserver
  1. Point your browser to http://localhost:8000

You can log in as admin with password test1234. You can log in as a PI using username cgray with password test1234. You can log in as another PI using username sfoster with password test1234.

Password for all users is also test1234.

Directory structure

  • coldfront
    • core - The core ColdFront application
      • field_of_science
      • grant
      • portal
      • project
      • publication
      • resource
      • allocation
      • user
      • utils
    • libs - Helper libraries
    • plugins - Plugins that can be configured in ColdFront
      • freeipa
      • iquota
      • ldap_user_search
      • mokey_oidc
      • slurm
      • system_monitor

ColdFront Demonstration

Adding a Project

Adding Project

Adding Users

Adding Users

Requesting an Allocation

Requesting an Allocation

Adding a Grant

Adding a Grant

Adding Publications

Adding Publications

Adding a User to an Allocation

Adding a User to Allocation

Managing an Allocation as an Admin

Managing an Allocation as and Admin

Adding a Resource

Adding a Resource

Generate Slurm Association Data

Generate Slurm Association Data


ColdFront is released under the GPLv3 license. See the LICENSE file.

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