Charliecloud: Unprivileged Containers for User-Defined Software Stacks

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In this video from the 2018 Swiss HPC Conference, Michael Jennings from LANL presents: Charliecloud ~ Unprivileged Containers for User-Defined Software Stacks.

“Today’s software landscape in HPC is vast and varied. The challenges of maintaining supporting software stacks of combinatorial complexity — M compilers times N MPI implementations times O parallelizers times P optimizers times… — are well known and well understood, but even the best solutions in the world today (e.g., Spack/EasyBuild, Lmod) cannot induce consensus among all the scientists we serve.

But what if I told you there was a way to allow your customers and colleagues to run their HPC jobs inside the Docker containers they’re already creating? or an easily learned, easily employed method for consistently reproducing a particular application environment across numerous Linux distributions and platforms?

There is. In this talk/tutorial session, we’ll explore the problem domain and all the previous solutions, and then we’ll discuss and demo Charliecloud, a simple, streamlined container runtime that fills the gap between Docker and HPC — without requiring HPC Admins to lift a finger!”

Michael Jennings is a Scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Michael Jennings has been a UNIX/Linux Systems Administrator and a C/Perl developer for over 20 years and has been author of or contributor to numerous open source software projects including Eterm, Mezzanine, RPM, Warewulf, and TORQUE. Additionally, he co-founded the Caos Foundation, creators of CentOS, and has been lead developer on 3 separate Linux distributions. He currently works as a Scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory and is the primary author/maintainer for the LBNL Node Health Check (NHC) project. He is also the Vice President of HPCXXL, the extreme-scale HPC users group.

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