Bridges User Guide: Containers

Containers are stand-alone packages holding the software needed to create a very specific computing environment. If you need a very specialized environment, you can create  your own container or use one that is already installed on Bridges. Singularity is the only type of container supported on  Bridges.

However, in many cases, Bridges has all the software you will need.  Before creating a container for your work, check the extensive list of software that has been installed on Bridges.   While logged in to Bridges, you can also get a list of installed packages by typing

module avail

If you need a package that is not available on Bridges, you can request that it be installed by emailing  You can also install software packages in your own file spaces and, in some cases, we can provide assistance if you encounter difficulties.

Containers available on Bridges

We have installed many containers from the NVIDIA GPU Cloud (NGC) on Bridges.  These containers are fully optimized, GPU-accelerated environments for AI, machine learning and HPC.  They can be used on the Bridges-AI (Volta 16 and DGX-2) nodes and on some RM-GPU nodes (P100 GPU only).

See the Singularity images installed on Bridges

See the PSC documentation on Singularity for more details on Singularity use on Bridges.

Creating a container

Singularity is the only container software supported on Bridges.  You can create a Singularity container, copy it to Bridges and then execute your container on Bridges, where it can use Bridges’ compute nodes and filesystems. In your container you can use any software required by your application: a different version of CentOS,  a different Unix operating system, any software in any specific version needed. You can install your Singularity container without any intervention from PSC staff.

See the PSC documentation on Singularity for more details on producing your own container and Singularity use on Bridges.