ACES: Introduction to Containers (Charliecloud) Tutorial


Instructor: Richard Lawrence

Time: Tuesday, April 23, 2024 — 10:00AM-12:30PM CT

Location: Online using Zoom

Prerequisites: Current ACCESS ID, basic Linux/Unix skills

This course introduces the use of Containers using the Charliecloud software suite. Exercises will be performed using the ACES cluster, a composable accelerator testbed at Texas A&M University. This workshop will provide participants with background and a hands-on experience to use basic Charliecloud containers for HPC applications. We will discuss what containers are, why they matter for HPC, and how they work. We'll give an overview of Charliecloud, the unprivileged container solution from Los Alamos National Laboratory's HPC Division. Participants will build toy containers and containerize real HPC applications, and then run them in parallel on a cluster. This will be a highly interactive workshop with lots of Q&A.

Course Materials

Presentation slides

The presentation slides are available as downloadable PDF files.

  • Charliecloud Tutorial Prelude (Spring 2023): PDF
  • Charliecloud Tutorial (Spring 2023): PDF
  • Charliecloud Tutorial (Fall 2023): PDF


This session will address the following topics:

  • “What are containers” ? / “Why charliecloud” ?
  • pushing, pulling images (GitLab?)
  • running images
  • building images
  • build cache
  • SquashFS workflow
During class, students will log into the ACES cluster to follow along with practice material and exercises.