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Installing Singularity

Here we will install the latest tagged release from GitHub. If you prefer to install a different version or to install Singularity in a different location, see these Singularity docs.

We’re going to compile Singularity from source code. First we’ll need to make sure we have some development tools and libraries installed so that we can do that. On Ubuntu, run these commands to make sure you have all the necessary packages installed.

$ sudo apt-get update

$ sudo apt-get install -y build-essential libssl-dev uuid-dev libgpgme11-dev \
    squashfs-tools libseccomp-dev wget pkg-config git cryptsetup debootstrap

On CentOS, these commmands should get you up to speed.

$ sudo yum -y update 

$ sudo yum -y groupinstall 'Development Tools'

$ sudo yum -y install wget epel-release

$ sudo yum -y install debootstrap.noarch squashfs-tools openssl-devel \
    libuuid-devel gpgme-devel libseccomp-devel cryptsetup-luks

Singularity v3.0 was completely re-written in Go. We will need to install the Go language so that we can compile Singularity. This procedure consists of downloading Go in a compressed archive, extracting it to /usr/local/go and placing the appropriate directory in our PATH. For more details, check out the Go Downloads page.

$ wget https://dl.google.com/go/go1.13.linux-amd64.tar.gz

$ sudo tar --directory=/usr/local -xzvf go1.13.linux-amd64.tar.gz

$ export PATH=/usr/local/go/bin:$PATH

Next we’ll download a compressed archive of the source code (using the the wget command). Then we’ll extract the source code from the archive (with the tar command).

$ wget https://github.com/singularityware/singularity/releases/download/v3.5.3/singularity-3.5.3.tar.gz

$ tar -xzvf singularity-3.5.3.tar.gz

Finally it’s time to build and install!

$ cd singularity

$ ./mconfig

$ cd builddir

$ make

$ sudo make install

If you want support for tab completion of Singularity commands, you need to source the appropriate file and add it to the bash completion directory in /etc so that it will be sourced automatically when you start another shell.

$ . etc/bash_completion.d/singularity

$ sudo cp etc/bash_completion.d/singularity /etc/bash_completion.d/

If everything went according to plan, you now have a working installation of Singularity. Simply typing singularity will give you a summary of all the commands you can use. Typing singularity help <command> will give you more detailed information about running an individual command.

You can test your installation like so:

$ singularity run library://godlovedc/funny/lolcow

You should see something like the following.

INFO:    Downloading library image
/ Excellent day for putting Slinkies on \
\ an escalator.                         /
        \   ^__^
         \  (oo)\_______
            (__)\       )\/\
                ||----w |
                ||     ||

Your cow will likely say something different (and be more colorful), but as long as you see a cow your installation is working properly.

This command downloads and “runs” a container from Singularity Container Library. (We’ll be talking more about what it means to “run” a container later on in the class.)

In a following exercise, we will learn how to build a similar container from scratch. But right now, we are going to use this container to execute a bunch of basic commands and just get a feel for what it’s like to use Singularity.

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