Child pages
  • Hyak python programming
Skip to end of metadata
Go to start of metadata

Hyak python programming

Anaconda Python

Anaconda is a Python distribution which contains most of the commonly used Python packages in scientific computing.

Use below command to get an interactive build session on ikt.hyak and mox.hyak:

srun -p build --time=3:00:00 --mem=10G --pty /bin/bash 

Use below command to find the latest anaconda module:

module avail anaconda

Use below command to load the ananconda module. (For frequent Python users, it is preferable to install your own copy of Anaconda by using below instructions in the section "Install Anaconda Python".)

module load anaconda2_4.3.1

Ananconda comes with over 200 packages. Most packages which are useful for scientific computing such as matplotlib, numpy and scipy are already installed. If the package that you need is not already installed then you can install it using the pip command. Before installing python packages, check that "module list" does not show any icc modules (e.g. icc_17). If there are any icc modules then unload them (e.g. "module unload icc_17"). Also check that there is no command like "module load icc_17" in your .bashrc or .bash_profile.

For example to install package uvw  use the below pip command.

pip install uvw --user

Note: (a) The option --user ensures that the package is installed to a location to which you have write permission.

         (b) replace uvw by the name of the package that you want to install.

         (c) If you are using Python 3.x then use pip3 instead of pip in above commands.

If above pip install fails then use below steps to clean up:

pip uninstall uvw

cd ~/.cache

rm -rf pip

Some packages may require some additional steps. For example, see below link for how to install mpi4py or cutadapt.




Note that "conda install" is an alternative to "pip install" and conda is preferred by some users. 

However, do not use "pip install" sometimes and "conda install" sometimes. Either use only "pip install" or use only "conda install".

conda environment (optional)

You can create your own conda virtual environment called myenv by below steps:

module load anaconda2_4.3.1

conda create --name myenv pip    

source activate myenv

The prompt will change like below. Now you can install packages via pip without using --user option.

(myenv)$ pip install simplejson

Use below command to exit the myenv virtual envrionment:

(myenv)$source deactivate

 Use below command to delete the myenv virtual environment.

$ conda remove --name myenv --all

Instead of the above "pip install simplejson",  you can also user "conda install simplejson". However as mentioned earlier, do not use "pip install" sometimes and "conda install" sometimes. Either use only "pip install" or use only "conda install". For more details see .

Install Anaconda Python (recommended)

Below xyz is your group name and abc is your userid.

First get an interactive build node as noted above.

On your desktop or laptop go to and click on the Linux penguin. Decide if you want Python 2.7 or Python 3.x. Right click on the 2.7 or 3.x  green button and copy link location (for example

On hyak interactive build node issue command like below:


Install to a location like /gscratch/xyz/abc/anaconda3 or /gscratch/xyz/abc/anaconda2

(The default location is anaconda2 or anaconda3 in your home directory. Since there is a disk quota on your home directory, it is better to install to /gscratch/xyz/abc . However, if your only group is stf then you should install in your home directory since /gscratch/stf is scrubbed periodically and older files are deleted. )

Put this in your .bashrc: (replace abc by your userid and xyz by your group name)

export PATH=/gscratch/xyz/abc/anaconda2/bin:$PATH

Issue below command


Issue below command to verify that you are using the version of Python which you just installed:

which python

Issue below command to find your anaconda version:

conda list anaconda

Intel Python (optional)

Intel Python is also available on Hyak. It is based on Anaconda Python and is optimized for Intel hardware. It already has mpi4py.

Use below command to find the latest Intel Python module:

module avail intel

Use below command to load Intel Python:

module load intel-python2_2017


(1)  Intel Python has most but not all of the modules of Anaconda Python or standard Python. Use below command to find the list of modules:



(2) Intel Python does not have the Standard Python readline module since the readline has a GPL license. Hence, the arrow keys do not work at the Intel Python interactive prompt. You can use Anaconda Python at the interactive prompt and Intel Python to run Python scripts. 

Python multiprocessing module

If your program is using the Python multiprocessing module then use the options "--nodes=1 –-ntasks-per-node=28" with your srun command or sbatch script to ensure that your program can use 28 cores on the node. Note that the Python multiprocessing module only allows single node parallel programs.

Making Python 2.7 behave like Python 3.0

You can use below "from __future__" statements to make Python 2.7 behave like Python 3.0

from __future__ import print_function
from __future__ import division     
from __future__ import absolute_import
from __future__ import unicode_literals

Further details are in

  • No labels