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Alternative installation methods

This page describes the alternative installation methods:

Do take into account the list of (required) dependencies (see Dependencies).

Standard installation of latest release

Usually, you just want to install the latest (stable) version of each of the EasyBuild packages (framework, easyblocks, easyconfigs).

Python provides a couple of ways to do that. Every version of the EasyBuild packages is released via PyPi.

Installing EasyBuild without admin rights

If you do not have EasyBuild installed yet, or if you just want to install the most recent version of each of the EasyBuild packages, you can use one of the following simple commands:

  • using easy_install (old tool, but still works):

    easy_install --prefix $HOME/EasyBuild easybuild


    If you already have easybuild installed, you may need to instruct easy_install to install a newer version, using --upgrade or -U.

  • using pip (more recent and better installation tool for Python software):

    pip install --install-option "--prefix=$HOME/EasyBuild" easybuild

    The --prefix $HOME/EasyBuild part in these commands allows you to install EasyBuild without admin rights into $HOME/EasyBuild.


    For pip v8.0 and newer, pip install --prefix=$HOME/EasyBuild easybuild works too.

Adjusting $PATH and $PYTHONPATH environment variables

After installing EasyBuild with either easy_install or pip like this, you will need to update the $PATH and $PYTHONPATH environment variable to make sure the system can find the main EasyBuild command eb. On (most) Linux distributions, the command for doing this is:

export PATH=$HOME/EasyBuild/bin:$PATH
export PYTHONPATH=$HOME/EasyBuild/lib/python2.7/site-packages:$PYTHONPATH


To determine the path that should be added to the $PYTHONPATH environment variable for a given installation prefix, you can use the following command:

python -c "import distutils.sysconfig; print distutils.sysconfig.get_python_lib(prefix='$HOME/EasyBuild/');"

Install with admin rights

If you do have admin rights on the system where you want to install EasyBuild, you can simply omit the --prefix $HOME/EasyBuild/ to have EasyBuild installed system-wide. In that case, you do not need to touch the $PATH or $PYTHONPATH environment variables since the eb command will be installed in one of the default paths.

Alternatives to --prefix

As an alternative to --prefix when you do not have admin rights, you can specify that EasyBuild should be installed in your $HOME directory using the --user option.

The full list of commands to install EasyBuild in your $HOME directory using pip would be:

pip install --user easybuild
export PATH=$HOME/.local/bin:$PATH


In our experience, using --user creates more problems than it solves. We have run into unexpected behavior with Python software installed in your home directory using --user, for example it always being preferred over versions installed somewhere else. Hence, we strongly discourage using --user to install EasyBuild (or other Python software).

Installing the EasyBuild packages separately

Each of the EasyBuild packages can also be installed separately:

pip install --install-option "--prefix=$HOME/EasyBuild" easybuild-framework
pip install --install-option "--prefix=$HOME/EasyBuild" easybuild-easyblocks
pip install --install-option "--prefix=$HOME/EasyBuild" easybuild-easyconfigs

This is the exact same sequence of steps as they will be performed when running pip install --install-option "--prefix=$HOME/EasyBuild" easybuild.

Installation from downloaded sources

To install one of the EasyBuild packages from a downloaded source tarball, use the following steps:

tar xfvz easybuild-framework-1.0.tar.gz
cd easybuild-framework-1.0
pip install --install-option "--prefix=$HOME/EasyBuild" .

Do note that when an EasyBuild package is being installed without having the EasyBuild packages that it depends upon available, both easy_install and pip will try and pull in the latest available version of those packages from PyPi.

Thus, to have full control over the EasyBuild installation, you need to respect the following installation order: easybuild-framework, easybuild-easyblocks, easybuild-easyconfigs. The easyblocks package depends on the framework package; the easyconfigs package depends on both the framework and easyblocks packages.

If you do not have pip or easy_install available, you can also fall back to using the script directly:

python --prefix $HOME/EasyBuild install

Installation of latest release from GitHub

To install the latest (stable) release of an EasyBuild package directly from GitHub, use the following command:

pip install --install-option "--prefix=$HOME/EasyBuild"

Again, the order in which the EasyBuild packages are installed is important to have full control over the installation process, see previous section.

Installation of latest development version

To install the latest development version of an EasyBuild package from GitHub, you can simply adjust the command from the previous section to install from the develop branch (or any of the available feature branches in any EasyBuild repository for that matter):

pip install --install-option "--prefix=$HOME/EasyBuild"


You should use this only if you are interested in developing for EasyBuild. Although it is well tested, the development version of the EasyBuild repositories may be unstable at a given point in time.

Installation of latest development version using provided script

After you have forked each of the EasyBuild repositories on GitHub (+ vsc-base), you can set up a development version of EasyBuild using the script.

This script will clone the different EasyBuild repositories from GitHub:

It can be used as follows:

# pick an installation prefix (adjust as you like)
INSTALL_PREFIX=$(mktemp -d $HOME/EasyBuild-XXXXXX)
# download script
curl -O
# run downloaded script, specifying *your* GitHub username and the installation prefix
# update $MODULEPATH via 'module use', and load the module
module use $INSTALL_PREFIX/modules
module load EasyBuild-develop
eb --version  ## This should ensure you have a reasonable instance of EasyBuild


The above creates a module file which you can load/inspect at will.

The interesting aspect about it is that it is pointing to an EasyBuild installation directly on local git repositories, which allows you to customise it easily. Remember to commit/push or otherwise save your changes, if you intend to use them later.