What is Charliecloud?¶
Charliecloud provides user-defined software stacks (UDSS) for high-performance computing (HPC) centers. This “bring your own software stack” functionality addresses needs such as:
software dependencies that are numerous, complex, unusual, differently configured, or simply newer/older than what the center provides;
build-time requirements unavailable within the center, such as relatively unfettered internet access;
validated software stacks and configuration to meet the standards of a particular field of inquiry;
portability of environments between resources, including workstations and other test and development system not managed by the center;
consistent environments, even archivally so, that can be easily, reliably, and verifiably reproduced in the future; and/or
usability and comprehensibility.
How does it work?¶
Charliecloud uses Linux user namespaces to run containers with no privileged operations or daemons and minimal configuration changes on center resources. This simple approach avoids most security risks while maintaining access to the performance and functionality already on offer.
Container images can be built using Docker or anything else that can generate a standard Linux filesystem tree.
How do I learn more?¶
GitHub repository: https://github.com/hpc/charliecloud
Low-traffic mailing list for announcements: https://groups.io/g/charliecloud
We wrote an article for USENIX’s magazine ;login: that explains in more detail the motivation for Charliecloud and the technology upon which it is based: https://www.usenix.org/publications/login/fall2017/priedhorsky
A more technical resource is our Supercomputing 2017 paper: https://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=3126925
Who is responsible?¶
Richard Berger <email@example.com>
Lucas Caudill <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Rusty Davis <email@example.com>
Hunter Easterday <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Oliver Freyermuth <email@example.com>
Shane Goff <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Michael Jennings <email@example.com>
Christoph Junghans <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Dave Love <email@example.com>
Jordan Ogas <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Kevin Pelzel <email@example.com>
Megan Phinney <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reid Priedhorsky <email@example.com>, co-founder and project lead
Tim Randles <firstname.lastname@example.org>, co-founder
Benjamin “The Storm” Stormer <email@example.com>
Meisam Tabriz <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Matthew Vernon <email@example.com>
Peter Wienemann <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Lowell Wofford <email@example.com>
How can I participate?¶
Use our GitHub page: https://github.com/hpc/charliecloud
Bug reports and feature requests should be filed as “Issues”. Questions, comments, support requests, and everything else should use our “Discussions”. Don’t worry if you put something in the wrong place; we’ll be more than happy to help regardless.
We also have a mailing list for announcements: https://groups.io/g/charliecloud
Patches are much appreciated on the software itself as well as documentation. Optionally, please include in your first patch a credit for yourself in the list above.
We are friendly and welcoming of diversity on all dimensions.
How do I cite Charliecloud?¶
If Charliecloud helped your research, or it was useful to you in any other context where bibliographic citations are appropriate, please cite the following open-access paper:
Reid Priedhorsky and Tim Randles. “Charliecloud: Unprivileged containers for user-defined software stacks in HPC”, 2017. In Proc. Supercomputing. DOI: 10.1145/3126908.3126925.
Note: This paper contains out-of-date number for the size of Charliecloud’s code. Please instead use the current number in the FAQ.
Copyright and license¶
Charliecloud is copyright © 2014–2022 Triad National Security, LLC and others.
This software was produced under U.S. Government contract 89233218CNA000001 for Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), which is operated by Triad National Security, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy/National Nuclear Security Administration.
This is open source software (LA-CC 14-096); you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the Apache License, Version 2.0. A copy is included in file LICENSE. You may not use this software except in compliance with the license.
The Government is granted for itself and others acting on its behalf a nonexclusive, paid-up, irrevocable worldwide license in this material to reproduce, prepare derivative works, distribute copies to the public, perform publicly and display publicly, and to permit others to do so.
Neither the government nor Triad National Security, LLC makes any warranty, express or implied, or assumes any liability for use of this software.
If software is modified to produce derivative works, such derivative works should be clearly marked, so as not to confuse it with the version available from LANL.
This documentation is for Charliecloud version 0.32 and was built 2023-03-24 16:50 -0600.