Containers in HPC

  • Date: May 4, 2023
  • Time: 03:30 PM - 04:30 PM (Local Time Germany)
  • Speaker: Members of the MPCDF
  • Location: online via Zoom
  • Host: MPCDF
  • Contact:
The series "Meet MPCDF" offers the opportunity for the users to informally interact with MPCDF staff, in order to discuss relevant kinds of technical topics.
In the recent years, the concept of containers gained more and more popularity as an efficient method for distributing and deploying applications, in particular in the microservice architecture and the cloud infrastructure.
The idea of an immutable system that is easy to deploy, does not change because of user modifications and is abstracted from the host's hardware, quickly gained the interest of the research community, where installing and running software often requires long, tedious work in order to provide all the required software dependencies. Moreover, considering that such dependencies are often specific to the operating system of each cluster and subject to changes during updates, containers offered a way to ship applications encapsulated with all their requirements so that they can run in a reproducible way on several computing systems, with minimal to no changes.
The "bring your own software stack" idea encouraged the development of container engines for high-performance computing centers, where performance, security, portability and reproducibility are the main focus.
In this talk we will explore the use of containers at MPCDF, introducing the general ideas behind the use of containers with a particular focus on the High Performance Computing environment.

We will briefly introduce some of the best-known container engines like Docker, Apptainer (formerly known as Singularity) and CharlieCloud. In a short demo we will explore some of the most basic commands for Apptainer and CharlieCloud that enable users to create, customize and efficiently run containers on our HPC clusters.

Meet MPCDF: A seminar of this series is given on the first Thursday of the month, from 15:30 to 16:30, and features a technical talk (ca. 20-30 minutes) about an AI, HPC or data-related topic given by a staff member of the MPCDF. In addition, this meeting offers the opportunity for the users to informally interact with MPCDF staff, in order to discuss relevant kinds of technical topics. Optionally, questions or requests for specific topics to be covered in more depth can be raised in advance via email to

Target audience are intermediate to advanced users of MPCDF services as well as computational scientists and software developers of the MPG. Users seeking a basic introduction to MPCDF services are referred to our semi-annual online workshop "Introduction to MPCDF services" (see above) which offers a consistent introduction for new users of the MPCDF.

A registration is not necessary, just use the link on the left which directly connects you to the Zoom room of the event. The explicit connection details are

Meeting ID: 936 3550 3145

Passcode: 622791

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