Introduction to Singularity¶
There are no specific skills needed beyond a basic comfort with the command line and using a text editor. Prior experience installing Linux applications could be helpful but is not required.
Important: Singularity is compatible with Docker, but they do have distinct differences.
- Inside a Docker container the user has escalated privileges, effectively making them root on that host system. This privilege is not supported by most administrators of High Performance Computing (HPC) centers. Meaning that Docker is not, and will likely never be, installed natively on your HPC.
- Same user inside as outside the container
- User only has root privileges if elevated with sudo when container is run
- Can run (and modify!) existing Docker images and containers
These key differences allow Singularity to be installed on most HPC centers. Because you can run virtually all Docker containers in Singularity, you can effectively run Docker on an HPC.
Singularity uses a ‘flow’ whereby you (1) create and modify images on your dev system, (2) build containers using recipes or pulling from repositories, and (3) execute containers on production systems.
2. Singularity Installation¶
Sylabs Singularity homepage: https://www.sylabs.io/docs/
While Singularity is more likely to be used on a remote system, e.g. HPC or cloud, you may want to develop your own containers first on a local machine or dev system (See figure above).
Singularity exits as two major versions - 2 and 3. In this workshop we will be using version 3
2.1 Install Singularity on Laptop¶
To Install Singularity on your laptop or desktop PC follow the instructions from Singularity: https://www.sylabs.io/guides/3.0/user-guide/installation.html#installation
Load the Singularity module on a HPC
If you are interested in working on HPC, you may need to contact your systems administrator and request they install Singularity. Because singularity ideally needs setuid, your admins may have some qualms about giving Singularity this privilege. If that is the case, you might consider forwarding this letter to your admins.
Most HPC systems are running Environment Modules with the simple command module. You can check to see what is available:
$ module avail singularity
If Singularity is installed:
$ module load singularity/3/3.1
2.3 Atmosphere Cloud¶
CyVerse staff have deployed an Ansible playbooks called
ez installation which includes Singularity that only requires you to type a short line of code.
Start a featured instance on Atmosphere <../cyverse/boot.html>_.
Type in the following:
$ ezs -r 3.1.0 DEBUG: set version to 3.1.0 * Updating ez singularity and installing singularity (this may take a few minutes, coffee break!) Cloning into '/opt/cyverse-ez-singularity'... remote: Enumerating objects: 6, done. remote: Counting objects: 100% (6/6), done. remote: Compressing objects: 100% (5/5), done. remote: Total 24 (delta 1), reused 4 (delta 1), pack-reused 18 Unpacking objects: 100% (24/24), done. * singularity was updated successfully You shouldn't need to use ezs again on this system, unless you want to update singularity itself To test singularity, type: singularity run shub://vsoch/hello-world Hint: it should output "RaawwWWWWWRRRR!!")
2.4 Check Installation¶
Singularity should now be installed on your laptop or VM, or loaded on the HPC, you can check the installation with:
$ singularity pull shub://vsoch/hello-world WARNING: Authentication token file not found : Only pulls of public images will succeed 62.32 MiB / 62.32 MiB [===============================================================================================] 100.00% 30.61 MiB/s 2s
Singularity’s command line interface allows you to build and interact with containers transparently. You can run programs inside a container as if they were running on your host system. You can easily redirect IO, use pipes, pass arguments, and access files, sockets, and ports on the host system from within a container.
The help command gives an overview of Singularity options and subcommands as follows:
$ singularity --help USAGE: singularity [global options...] <command> [command options...] ... GLOBAL OPTIONS: -d|--debug Print debugging information -h|--help Display usage summary -s|--silent Only print errors -q|--quiet Suppress all normal output --version Show application version -v|--verbose Increase verbosity +1 -x|--sh-debug Print shell wrapper debugging information GENERAL COMMANDS: help Show additional help for a command or container selftest Run some self tests for singularity install CONTAINER USAGE COMMANDS: exec Execute a command within container run Launch a runscript within container shell Run a Bourne shell within container test Launch a testscript within container CONTAINER MANAGEMENT COMMANDS: apps List available apps within a container bootstrap *Deprecated* use build instead build Build a new Singularity container check Perform container lint checks inspect Display container's metadata mount Mount a Singularity container image pull Pull a Singularity/Docker container to $PWD COMMAND GROUPS: image Container image command group instance Persistent instance command group CONTAINER USAGE OPTIONS: see singularity help <command> For any additional help or support visit the Singularity website: http://singularity.lbl.gov/
Information about subcommand can also be viewed with the help command.
$ singularity help pull Pull a container from a URI Usage: singularity pull [pull options...] [output file] <URI> Description: The 'pull' command allows you to download or build a container from a given URI. Supported URIs include: library: Pull an image from the currently configured library library://[user[collection/[container[:tag]]]] docker: Pull an image from Docker Hub docker://user/image:tag shub: Pull an image from Singularity Hub to CWD shub://user/image:tag Options: --docker-login interactive prompt for docker authentication -F, --force overwrite an image file if it exists -h, --help help for pull --library string the library to pull from (default "https://library.sylabs.io") --nohttps do NOT use HTTPS, for communicating with local docker registry Examples: From Sylabs cloud library $ singularity pull alpine.sif library://alpine:latest From Docker $ singularity pull tensorflow.sif docker://tensorflow/tensorflow:latest From Shub $ singularity pull singularity-images.sif shub://vsoch/singularity-images For additional help or support, please visit https://www.sylabs.io/docs/
3. Downloading pre-built images¶
The easiest way to use a Singularity is to
pull an existing container from one of the Registries.
- library - images hosted on Sylabs Cloud
- shub - images hosted on Singularity Hub
- docker - images hosted on Docker Hub
- localimage - images saved on your machine
- yum - yum based systems such as CentOS and Scientific Linux
- debootstrap - apt based systems such as Debian and Ubuntu
- arch - Arch Linux
- busybox - BusyBox
- zypper - zypper based systems such as Suse and OpenSuse
3.1 Pulling an image from Singularity Hub¶
Similar to previous example, in this example I am pulling a base Ubuntu container from Singularity-Hub:
$ singularity pull shub://singularityhub/ubuntu WARNING: Authentication token file not found : Only pulls of public images will succeed 88.58 MiB / 88.58 MiB [===============================================================================================] 100.00% 31.86 MiB/s 2s
You can rename the container using the –name flag:
$ singularity pull --name ubuntu_test.simg shub://singularityhub/ubuntu WARNING: Authentication token file not found : Only pulls of public images will succeed 88.58 MiB / 88.58 MiB [===============================================================================================] 100.00% 35.12 MiB/s 2s
The above command will save the alpine image from the Container Library as
3.2 Pulling an image from Docker Hub¶
This example pulls an
ubuntu:16.04 image from DockerHub and saves it to the working directory.
$ singularity pull docker://ubuntu:16.04 WARNING: Authentication token file not found : Only pulls of public images will succeed INFO: Starting build... Getting image source signatures Copying blob sha256:7b722c1070cdf5188f1f9e43b8413157f8dfb2b4fe84db3c03cb492379a42fcc 41.51 MiB / 41.51 MiB [====================================================] 1s Copying blob sha256:5fbf74db61f1459176d8647ba8f53f8e6cf933a2e56f73f0e8da81213117b7e9 847 B / 847 B [============================================================] 0s Copying blob sha256:ed41cb72e5c918bdbd78e68f02930a3f1cf1d6079402b0a5b19de8508e67b766 526 B / 526 B [============================================================] 0s Copying blob sha256:7ea47a67709ebea8efed59fbda703dbd00a0d2cae7e2808959744bfa30bfc0e9 168 B / 168 B [============================================================] 0s Copying config sha256:288b5aca25f70512e5874c289a8a216b60808ecc47f687fa502fd848e5c3f875 2.42 KiB / 2.42 KiB [======================================================] 0s Writing manifest to image destination Storing signatures INFO: Creating SIF file... INFO: Build complete: ubuntu_16.04.sif
Pulling Docker images reduces reproducibility. If you were to pull a Docker image today and then wait six months and pull again, you are not guaranteed to get the same image. If any of the source layers has changed the image will be altered. If reproducibility is a priority for you, try building your images from the Container Library.
3.3 Pulling an image from Sylabs cloud library¶
Let’s use an easy example of
alpine.sif image from the container library
$ singularity pull library://alpine:latest WARNING: Authentication token file not found : Only pulls of public images will succeed INFO: Downloading library image 2.08 MiB / 2.08 MiB [==================================================================================================] 100.00% 5.06 MiB/s 0s
You can use
singularity search alpine command to locate groups, collections, and containers of interest on the Container Library
4 Interact with images¶
You can interact with images in several ways such as
For these examples we will use a
lolcow_latest.sif image that can be pulled from the Container Library like so.
$ singularity pull library://sylabsed/examples/lolcow
shell command allows you to spawn a new shell within your container and interact with it as though it were a small virtual machine.
$ singularity shell lolcow_latest.sif Singularity lolcow_latest.sif:~>
The change in prompt indicates that you have entered the container (though you should not rely on that to determine whether you are in container or not).
Once inside of a Singularity container, you are the same user as you are on the host system.
$ Singularity lolcow_latest.sif:~> whoami upendra_35 Singularity lolcow_latest.sif:~> id uid=14135(upendra_35) gid=10013(iplant-everyone) groups=10013(iplant-everyone),100(users),119(docker),10000(staff),10007,10054,10064(atmo-user),10075(myplant-users),10083(tito-admins),10084(tito-qa-admins),10092(geco-admins),10100(sciteam)
shell also works with the library://, docker://, and shub:// URIs. This creates an ephemeral container that disappears when the shell is exited.
4.2 Executing commands¶
The exec command allows you to execute a custom command within a container by specifying the image file. For instance, to execute the
cowsay program within the lolcow_latest.sif container:
$ singularity exec lolcow_latest.sif cowsay container camp rocks ______________________ < container camp rocks > ---------------------- \ ^__^ \ (oo)\_______ (__)\ )\/\ ||----w | || ||
exec also works with the library://, docker://, and shub:// URIs. This creates an ephemeral container that executes a command and disappears.
4.3 Running a container¶
Singularity containers contain runscripts. These are user defined scripts that define the actions a container should perform when someone runs it. The runscript can be triggered with the
run command, or simply by calling the container as though it were an executable.
singularity run lolcow_latest.sif _________________________________________ / You will remember, Watson, how the \ | dreadful business of the Abernetty | | family was first brought to my notice | | by the depth which the parsley had sunk | | into the butter upon a hot day. | | | \ -- Sherlock Holmes / ----------------------------------------- \ ^__^ \ (oo)\_______ (__)\ )\/\ ||----w | || ||
# Exercise - 1¶
Now that you know how to run containers from Docker, I want you to run a Singular container from simple-script Docker image that you create on Day 1 of the workshop.
If you don’t have
simple-script you can use my image on docker hub - https://hub.docker.com/r/upendradevisetty/simple-script-auto
Here are the brief steps:
- Go to Docker hub and look for the Dockerhub image that you built on Day 1
singularity pullcommand to pull the Docker image onto your working directory on the Atmosphere
singularity runcommand to launch a container from the Docker image and check to see if you get the same output that as you get from running
4.3 Running a container on HPC¶
For running a container on HPC, you need to have Singularity module available on HPC. Let’s first look to see if the Singularity module is available on HPC or not
The following instructions are from running on UA HPC. It may or may not work on other HPC. Please refer to HPC documentation to find similar commands
$ module avail singularity ---------------------------------------------------------- /cm/shared/uamodulefiles ----------------------------------------------------------- singularity/2/2.6.1 singularity/3/3.0.2 singularity/3/3.1
You can see that there are three different versions of Singularity are available. For this workshop, we will use
singularity/3/3.1. Let’s load it now
$ module load singularity/3/3.1
4.3.1 Running fastqc
Let’s run fastqc on UA HPC
$ mkdir fastqc && cd fastqc $ wget https://de.cyverse.org/dl/d/A48695A7-69A7-46C1-B6BB-E036F4922EB2/test.R1.fq.gz
Write a pbs script (
fastqc_job.sh) for job submission
#!/bin/bash # Your job will use 1 node, 1 core, and 1gb of memory total. #PBS -q standard #PBS -l select=1:ncpus=2:mem=1gb:pcmem=6gb ### Specify a name for the job #PBS -N fastqc ### Specify the group name #PBS -W group_list=nirav ### Used if job requires partial node only #PBS -l place=pack:shared ### CPUtime required in hhh:mm:ss. ### Leading 0's can be omitted e.g 48:0:0 sets 48 hours #PBS -l cput=0:15:0 ### Walltime is created by cputime divided by total cores. ### This field can be overwritten by a longer time #PBS -l walltime=0:15:0 date module load singularity/3/3.1 cd /extra/upendradevisetty/fastqc singularity pull docker://quay.io/biocontainers/fastqc:0.11.8--1 singularity exec fastqc_0.11.8--1.sif fastqc test.R1.fq.gz date
Submit the job now to UAHPC
$ qsub fastqc_job.sh
After the job is submitted, expect to get these outputs
-rwxr-xr-x 1 upendradevisetty nirav 260M Mar 8 09:29 fastqc_0.11.8--1.sif -rw------- 1 upendradevisetty nirav 3.4K Mar 8 09:30 fastqc.e1875372 -rw-r--r-- 1 upendradevisetty nirav 434K Mar 8 09:30 test.R1_fastqc.zip -rw-r--r-- 1 upendradevisetty nirav 625K Mar 8 09:30 test.R1_fastqc.html -rw------- 1 upendradevisetty nirav 241 Mar 8 09:30 fastqc.o1875372
# Exercsise -2¶
- For those of you, who have access to HPC, try to run the container from
simple-scriptDockerhub on HPC.