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Everything you need to know about Discovery HPC

Discovery is a HPC cluster which DBIC users can utilize to run heavy computation. Discovery Overview and pages within provide official generic information about Discovery - what it provides and how to use it. This section provides additional, typically DBIC users specific information and hints.

Getting Access


  • Please be considerate about the nodes you are using. When you login, you are on a login-node, but no work should be done here! Instead, use an interactive node x01, scheduling node, s01, or if you have permission, the fancy IT node ndoli.
  • Home dir limited 50gigs for large datasets, use /dartfs/rc/lab/D/DBIC/DBIC/
# .bashrc

# Source global definitions
if [ -f /etc/bashrc ]; then
        . /etc/bashrc

# User specific aliases and functions

# Install conda
source /optnfs/common/miniconda3/etc/profile.d/

# use DBIC-installed git-annex
echo $PATH | grep -q "$ANNEX_BIN_PATH" || export PATH="$ANNEX_BIN_PATH:$PATH"

export TERM=xterm
export EDITOR=vim

alias dog="pygmentize -g"

Installing Software

Make sure datalad --version > 0.19.3


Notes for why and how to use containers on Discovery can be found in the Research ITC containers repo.



TODO: brief intro into modules - the system used a collection of available environments.

For the purpose of using DataLad, please use python/3.7-Anaconda-datalad module which you can enable via module load python/3.7-Anaconda-datalad:

[d31548v@discovery7 ~]$ which datalad
/usr/bin/which: no datalad in (/dartfs-hpc/admin/opt/el7/intel/...
[d31548v@discovery7 ~]$ module load python/3.7-Anaconda-datalad 
[d31548v@discovery7 ~]$ which datalad

POSIXy filesystem(s) for git-annex/DataLad inspired


Installing Data

TODO limit of home dir, DBIC, and the ACL

Unfortunately the filesystem used on discovery by default does not support smooth git-annex and thus DataLad operation. If you use datalad install or datalad clone as instructed above, you would likely to endup in "adjusted" git-annex branch which would complicate your interactions with the data, etc. We recommend to use new feature of git-annex allowing for custom protection of data on discovery.

For that:

Step 1: make sure you are using recent git-annex

Make sure that you are using recent (at least as of January 2023) version of git-annex. For that you could use the version we provide and just adjust your ~/.bashrc with the following content:

echo $PATH | grep -q "$ANNEX_BIN_PATH" || export PATH="$ANNEX_BIN_PATH:$PATH"

(TODO note that setting this needs to be after the venv activation)

So whenever you re-login (or open a new bash) and type git annex version you should get version past above date.

Step 2: configure git-annex to use custom data protection

Adjust you global ~/.gitconfig with the following section

thawcontent-command = /dartfs/rc/lab/D/DBIC/DBIC/archive/bin-annex/thaw-content %path
freezecontent-command = /dartfs/rc/lab/D/DBIC/DBIC/archive/bin-annex/freeze-content %path

which also could be done via running commands

git config --global annex.thawcontent-command '/dartfs/rc/lab/D/DBIC/DBIC/archive/bin-annex/thaw-content %path'
git config --global annex.freezecontent-command '/dartfs/rc/lab/D/DBIC/DBIC/archive/bin-annex/freeze-content %path'

Step 3: make sure that directory has group ACL to remove children

It is the D ACE Permission: if folder lacks it, then git-annex will be unable to move read-only file under .git/annex. So, if you get a "Permission error" while trying to git annex add or datalad save, you might need to add that to the group permissions. Use /dartfs/rc/lab/D/DBIC/DBIC/archive/bin-annex/fix-dir-group-perm script with the folder under which you want to create/clone repo to add that D.

Now, after these 3 steps, whenever you datalad install data from rolando you should end up in master branch. If that doesn't happen - file an issue.

Parallel get - multiple passwords

If you are geting data to discovery, to non-POSIX compliant filesystem, then you must provide option -J1 to datalad get to prevent parallel downloads and multiple password prompts.