Talks by Dr. Robert McLay on Thu Jan 29th 2015

On Thursday January 29th 2015, we're happy to welcome Dr. Robert McLay (Texas Advanced Computing Center, The University of Texas at Austin, US).

During his visit, Dr. McLay will be giving two talks on the projects he has been working on recently: one on TACC Stats, an automated resource-usage monitoring and analysis package, with a focus on the XALT component, a job-level tracker, and another on Lmod, a modern alternative to the well-known environment modules system.

During the HUST-14 workshop co-organised by HPC-UGent, papers were presented related to each of these projects, which are available via

Registration is requested for practical purposes.


  • Thursday January 29th 2015, 10am - 12pm, 1pm - 5pm (lunch will be provided for registered attendees)
  • UGent campus Sterre (Krijgslaan 281, 9000 Gent), building S9, multimedia room (ground floor)


If you're planning to attend these events, please register before Monday January 26th 2015.

An Introduction to XALT and TACC Stats

Thursday January 29th 2015, 10am - 12pm

In this talk, Dr. Robert McLay will introduce XALT and TACC Stats.

XALT is a job level tracker and census taker. It records what executables and libraries that user run on your cluster. Those libraries and executables can be tracked back to the environment modules that they came from. The recorded data can be used to know what programs and libraries are used or not used. This can make managing a system easier.

TACC Stats continuously collects and analyses resource usage data for every job run on a system and differs significantly from conventional profilers because it requires no action on the part of the user or consultants -- it is always collecting data on every node for every job. TACC Stats is open source and downloadable, configurable and compatible with general Linux-based computing platforms, and extensible to new CPU architectures and hardware devices. It is meant to provide a comprehensive resource usage monitoring solution.

This talk will be mainly intended for people that regularly use system administration tools and/or are involved in supporting HPC infrastructure. Interested users are of course also welcome.

EasyBuild and Lmod hands-on workshop

Thursday January 29th 2015, 1pm - 5pm

EasyBuild is a software build and installation framework that allows you to manage (scientific) software on HPC systems in an efficient way. The EasyBuild project was started by the HPC-UGent team in 2009, and is currently being used by several HPC sites around the world.

Lmod is a modern alternative to the well-established environment modules tool that empowers users to control their working environment on HPC systems. It is based on the Lua programming language, is actively developed by Dr. Robert McLay, and features several interesting and useful capabilities that are missing in the traditional environment modules tool, including support for hierarchical module trees, caching of module files, the ml shorthand command, support for module families and properties, user-definable module collections, etc.

After an introduction to both EasyBuild and Lmod attendees will be invited to experiment with the tools on the HPC-UGent infrastructure, with support from the developers, and participate in discussions regarding features, usage and further development of the tools.

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