Python is a widely used high-level programming language for general-purpose programming.

User instructions

Python version 2.7.13 is installed on all workstations from the repository and is the default version you get by simply typing python. Version 3.5.3 is also installed from the repositories and this version can be executed by typing python3.

To make python package modules available you should first load the module corresponding to the version of python it was compiled with. For example

$ module load python/3.5.3

Will make a number of python packages compiled with python3 available. The majority of python packages have been made available both as python2 and python3 versions.

Additionally, we have a full SciPy stack with the latest version of python and many packages installed as a single module and compiled with Intel compilers and MKL libraries as the CMTH SciPy Stack.

Virtual Environments

Virtual environments allow you to create a directory of python packages associated with a particular python version, over which you have full control.

From python3.5 on, virtual environments can be created and activated without any additional software by eg:

$ mkdir my_env
$ python3 -m venv my_env
$ . my_env/bin/activate

You’ll notice a change in your prompt to indicate the environment is active. To deactivate it, use the deactivate command.

While active, the python command will point to whichever version of python you used to create the environment. And using e.g. pip install numpy will install the latest version of numpy to your environment, and make it available to any python code you run. I suggest keeping any virtual environments on workspace as they can easily exceed several hundred megabytes in size once a handful of packages are installed.


PSF License (Python Software Foundation). From version 2.2 on this is GPL compatible.

Admin notes

We just have the python versions from the Debian repositories currently.

The python modules don’t load any binaries or libraries, they simply make different sets of compiled modules available.