Topic: Common User Names/Common Compilers/Standardized Shell Files
Date Received: June 7, 2006

I think this Baseline Configuration effort is great! Please keep up the effort and good work! Joe Crepeau and I install and maintain our Fortran-77 SHAMRC code on a number of different HPC sites. Here are some other areas we would like to see addressed:

  • User names common across all systems. On every system but ARL, I am "hhapp". But at ARL I am "happhj"
  • For architectures that are common, have a common set of Fortran C, and C++ compilers (same company, same version). These common compilers should exist under the same directory structure.
  • It would be good if there were some sort of standardized shell files that would apply to all new users, e.g., a standardized .login and .cshrc file for csh shell users.
  • It would be good to encourage all Fortran vendors to provide a common interface for handling various exceptions, e.g., floating invalid, floating overflow.
  • We use the NCAR Graphics library for our graphics, so it would be good for all sites to have that, and have the software in a common state (e.g., same version number) with all NCAR files located under the same directory structure.
  • It would be good to have the X11 library exist in the same directory structure on all machines. Actually, the same is true for all common libraries.

Addressing all of these would make installing and maintaining our codes much easier. Thanks for your consideration.

BC Team Feedback
Reply Date:
October 16, 2006

Common User Names - HPCMPO's UUID (Uniform User ID) cross-center initiative is tasked to establish consistent "user" names and "group" names on all allocated systems across the Program. To date, the IE system ensures that each user name is unique on all allocated systems available to a user across the Program. Currently, the UUID team is tasked to reduce the number of user names each user has, and also, to address the problem where two or more users have identical user names on different systems or centers (there are about 50 reported instances across the entire Program).

The Baseline Configuration team will closely monitor HPCMPO's UUID developments. If the UUID initiative gets HPCMPO's approval, the Baseline Configuration (BC) and UUID teams will work together in establishing a unified policy on "common user names" across the entire Program.

Beyond UUID activities, all "new" HPCMP users may request a single user name on all systems on their account application forms. Similarly, any "current" HPCMP user is entitled to have a single user name on all allocated systems across the Program.

Common Set of Compilers Across Common Architecture Computers - This topic needs to be addressed by the HPCMPO's Collective Acquisition Team (CAT). The BC Team will recommend that the CAT include a request for a "common set of compilers across common architecture computers" in all future Technology Insertions (TIs) RFQs.

Furthermore, the BC team will do the following:

  • Add all GNU compilers (g77, g95, gcc and g++) to the list of open source software available at all participating sites.
  • Add new environment variables to the BC core set of environment variables to establish paths to the GNU compilers on all computing platforms.

For more details on subsequent work done by the BC Team on common set of compilers, and new feedback received from users, please click on the link additional information.

Consistent Directory Structure for X11 Library - The BC Team will add an environment variable $X11_HOME to its core set of environment variables to establish a path to the X11 library on a particular computing platform.

Consistent Directory Structure for NCAR Graphics Library - The BC Team will add the NCAR Graphics Library to the list of open source libraries available at the six participating sites. The NCAR Graphics Library provides its own environment variable $NCARG_ROOT to establish a path to the software. The BC Team will add the environment variable $NCARG_ROOT to its core set of environment variables.

Standardized Dot Files - The BC Team has discussed and investigated the possibility of having standardized .login and .cshrc files across all accessible computing platforms. The BC Team has concluded that the creation/availability of standardized shell files is part of the process adopted at different sites for creating accounts for new users.

Common Interface for Handling Exceptions in Compilers - This topic falls beyond the scope of the BC Initiative.