Skip to content

HPC Workspace Data and Software Tools


HPC Workspace modules provides support for user-friendly file system access, custom software stacks in HPC Workspaces, and SLURM accounting. The module can also be used to set up HOME for a custom software stack.

Furthermore, there are modules provided to load a working Workspace and additionally a software stacks from another Workspace, see Additional software stacks

Workspace module

The Workspace module adjust the environment to work in a specific HPC Workspace.

module load Workspace
sets the following environment variables (Shortcuts) and Software stacks

There are the following possibilities:

  • you belong to no Workspace: load module load Workspace_Home to use your software stack in your HOME directory and set $WORKSPACE and $SCRATCH variables to your private directories.
  • you belong to one Workspace: this Workspace gets loaded when module load Workspace
  • you belong to multiple Workspaces: you need to specify the Workspace to load using the variable $HPC_WORKSPACE. If not specified, the module presents the possible options, e.g.:
    $ module load Workspace
    Workspaces are available:
        HPC_SW_test, hpc_training, 
    Please select and load ONE of the following:
        HPC_WORKSPACE=HPC_SW_test module load Workspace
        HPC_WORKSPACE=hpc_training module load Workspace
    • Thus you load a specific Workspace using:
      HPC_WORKSPACE=<WorkspaceName> module load Workspace
      There are also ways to load an additional Workspace for an additional software stack, see Additional Software Stacks below.


The workspace module provides the following variables:

$WORKSPACE full path to the Workspace. Thus, you can access the workspace using: cd $WORKSPACE
$SCRATCH full path to the Workspace SCRATCH directory. Thus you can access it using: cd $SCRATCH

SLURM Account

by loading the Workspace module by default the Workspace account is selected. Thus all jobs submitted without a specified --account will be submitted to this Workspace account.

Additional Settings

the module provides the following settings for a more user-friendly usage of applications. You may not need to use them directly, but tools like SLURM, Singularity, Python, and R will use them.

sets the SLURM account to the Workspace account. Thus all submitted jobs with that module are accounted to the Workspace account automatically. No need to set it in the sbatch script
$SINGULARITY_BINDPATH using singularity, the Workspace directory will be bind into the container without manual specification. The WORKSPACE variable as well as the SCRATCH variable will also be ported into the container. Thus, you can specify locations with $WORKSPACE or $SCRATCH within the container.
$PYTHONPATH if Python or Anaconda is loaded beforehand, it is set to: $WORKSPACE/PyPackages/lib/pythonXXX/site-packages where XXX is the Python major and minor version. And also add the bin directory to $PATH.
$PYTHONPACKAGEPATH if Python or Anaconda is loaded beforehand, it is set to: $WORKSPACE/PyPackages. This can be used for e.g. pip install --prefix $PYTHONPACKAGEPATH
$CONDA_ENVS_PATH therewith conda environments can be created and shared within the Workspace
$R_LIBS therewith additional R packages can be installed and searched in the shared Workspace. The directory need to be created first. See R page

Software stacks

Beside, a set of software packages we provide for our different CPU architecture, the Workspace module provides tools to install custom software stacks within your Workspace. Especially with EasyBuild shortcuts are provided to install and use custom software stacks easily build for all architectures.

For installing packages with EasyBuild, see EasyBuild description. Manual package can also be installed in the similar manner. Adding a Modulefile provides the users to load packages as used to. Please see Installing Custom Software.

As a result all users of the Workspace can use the software packages by loading the Workspace module and the software product module.

Python packages

The Workspace module provides support to install and use Python packages in a shared manner, by installing them into the Workspace. Please see Python Additional Packages

First load Python/Anaconda3

Python or Anaconda3 module need to be loaded before loading the Workspace module, since variables to be set depend on Python version. Workspace module can also be reloaded, e.g.:

HPC_WORKSPACE=HPC_SW_test module load Workspace
module load Python
module load Workspace

Conda environments

The Workspace module provides support for creating and using conda environments in the shared Workspace. See Anaconda Conda environments.

R packages

The Workspace module provides support for installing and using additional R packages in the shared Workspace. Thus a package once installed by one user can be used by all Workspace members. See R installing packages.


The Workspace module sets the umask to 002. Thus files and directories get group-writeable, e.g.:

-rw-rw-r-- 1 user group 0 Mar 15 15:15 /path/to/file

Additional Software Stacks

The module Workspace_SW_only provide the access to a software stack of an HPC Workspace B while working in an HPC Workspace A.

This could be that a common software stack is provided for multiple (data) Workspaces or that you are trying software packages in your HOME

As an example you could load:

HPC_WORKSPACE=A module load Workspace
HPC_WORKSPACE=B module load Workspace_SW_only

When you want to load packages from your HOME while working in A, you can

HPC_WORKSPACE=$HOME module load Workspace_SW_only
HPC_WORKSPACE=A module load Workspace

Note that the variable HPC_WORKSPACE is cleared after each loading of a Workspace*module. The currently loaded Workspace names are stored in $HPC_WORKSPACE_LOADED for the Workspace module and $HPC_WORKSPACE_SW_ONLY for the Workspace_SW_only module.


The Workspace modules are configured to “remember” the selected Workspace you once loaded in the current session, even after unload the Workspace module. Therefore, environment variables are set in the current session, $HPC_WORKSPACE for the Workspace module, and $HPC_WORKSPACE_SW_ONLY for the Workspace_SW_only module.

If you belong to multiple Workspaces and you want to list the available Workspaces you need to unset HPC_WORKSPACE before loading the Workspace module. If you already know the name, you can switch into another Workspace (here Workspace foo) by:

module unload Workspace
HPC_WORKSPACE=foo module load Workspace

When you are creating a new module, there are cases where you need to reload a Workspace module, e.g. for a Python packages. This can be obtained using e.g. the following lua modulefile syntax:

if mode() == 'load' then
  if not ( isloaded("Python") ) then
    if ( isloaded("Workspace") ) then
    if ( isloaded("Workspace_SW_only") ) then
    if ( isloaded("Workspace_HOME") ) then

Assuming we want to create a module for an additional Python package. In this example we not only verify that Python is loaded, but also that the Workspace Python settings (incl. PYTHONPATH and PYTHONPACKAGEPATH) are set properly by reloading the Workspace module.

Last update: 2023-11-17