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Perl is a scripting language with cross-platform standardization - scripts developed on one platform should run unchanged on another platform. It is heavily used in place of shell scripting, and is easily extensible, as evidenced by the large number of available modules on the Comprehensive Perl Archive Network.

Versions and Availability

Module Names for perl on philip
Machine Version Module Name
philip 5.20.0 perl/5.20.0/INTEL-15.0.3
▶ Module FAQ?

The information here is applicable to LSU HPC and LONI systems.


A user may choose between using /bin/bash and /bin/tcsh. Details about each shell follows.


System resource file: /etc/profile

When one access the shell, the following user files are read in if they exist (in order):

  1. ~/.bash_profile (anything sent to STDOUT or STDERR will cause things like rsync to break)
  2. ~/.bashrc (interactive login only)
  3. ~/.profile

When a user logs out of an interactive session, the file ~/.bash_logout is executed if it exists.

The default value of the environmental variable, PATH, is set automatically using SoftEnv. See below for more information.


The file ~/.cshrc is used to customize the user's environment if his login shell is /bin/tcsh.


Modules is a utility which helps users manage the complex business of setting up their shell environment in the face of potentially conflicting application versions and libraries.

Default Setup

When a user logs in, the system looks for a file named .modules in their home directory. This file contains module commands to set up the initial shell environment.

Viewing Available Modules

The command

$ module avail

displays a list of all the modules available. The list will look something like:

--- some stuff deleted ---

---------------- /usr/local/packages/Modules/modulefiles/admin -----------------
EasyBuild/1.11.1       GCC/4.9.0              INTEL-140-MPICH/3.1.1
EasyBuild/1.13.0       INTEL/14.0.2           INTEL-140-MVAPICH2/2.0
--- some stuff deleted ---

The module names take the form appname/version/compiler, providing the application name, the version, and information about how it was compiled (if needed).

Managing Modules

Besides avail, there are other basic module commands to use for manipulating the environment. These include:

add/load mod1 mod2 ... modn . . . Add modules
rm/unload mod1 mod2 ... modn  . . Remove modules
switch/swap mod . . . . . . . . . Switch or swap one module for another
display/show  . . . . . . . . . . List modules loaded in the environment
avail . . . . . . . . . . . . . . List available module names
whatis mod1 mod2 ... modn . . . . Describe listed modules

The -h option to module will list all available commands.

Module is currently available only on SuperMIC.


The command to run the interpreter is perl, and it can be used in interactive and scripted modes. The details of the language can be found in the Resources documents.

▶ Executable Scripts FAQ?
Executable Scripts

All shells and most interpreters (i.e. Python, Tcl, gawk, R, etc.) can be used to create executable scripts. This is accomplished through the magic of the shell #! line, which is a special comment line. The line, which must be the first line of the script, specifies the path to the program that can interpret the main contents of the file, which are command lines the language understands. Once the script is written, set it executable with chmod. A few examples should serve to illustrate the general idea.

Executable Bash Script

A simple script to echo out Hello World and do a long ls listing.

echo "Hello World!"
ls -l

If the above is in a file named, it can be made executable for the user (i.e. see man chmod for other possibilities) and run with:

$ chmod u+x
$ ./
Other Scripts

Here are some line usable with other scripting languages. In most cases, options allowed by the command used can be provided on the #! line. Note: that the paths should be verified and not use blindly. In particular command shells tend to reside in different directories.

gawk:  #!/bin/gawk
tcsh:  #!/usr/bin/tcsh
tcl:   #!/usr/local/bin/tcl


Last modified: November 12 2014 09:49:09.