Containers in Supercomputing Environment

Scientific tools often require installing different dependencies in a controlled environment. Containers allow you to logically package your application together with libraries and other dependencies, providing isolated environments for running your software services. Containerized applications can be run in an isolated runtime environment independent of the actual environment (e.g., private data center, the public cloud, or even a developer’s personal laptop) in which the applications are running in. These are recently gaining popularity as a standard way to distribute, deploy, and run services by developers and system administrators. This course will introduce the basic concepts of containers and their deployment in supercomputing environment at CSC.

Expected learning in this course

Basic understanding of containers is necessary to work with containerized scientific applications. This course will introduce the fundamentals of containers, focusing on their deployment in an HPC environment.

In this course, you will learn:

– The essential concepts of HPC containers
– The basics of building and running containers
– Deploying containerized applications

Please note: This course is aimed to be beginner-friendly and we won’t be focusing on advanced topics such as MPI and GPU. 


One should be comfortable working with the command line environment in Linux, be able to use any common editors (e.g., vi, nano, or emacs, etc.) and have some familiarity with HPC environment.

So, the ideal candidates for this course are:

– Computational scientists from any discipline
– Ones with basic Linux skills and/or basics of HPC environment

Expected way of learning

– Lectures
– Hands-on exercises

We aim to have lecture and exercise material available two weeks before the course.

Practicalities (More information will be updated here)

e-Lena e-learning platform will be used in the course.

This is a three half-day course, from 9 AM to 12 PM

Course Program:
6th, June 2023

– Brief Introduction to CSC HPC systems
– CSC- specific containers (e.g., Tykky)
– Introduction to Singularity/Apptainer

7th, June 2023
– Building Apptainer container images
– Introduction to Docker containers

8th, June 2023
– Conversion of Docker images to Apptainer images on CSC systems
– R and Jupyter notebooks as containers
– High-throughput computing with containers

Registration deadline: 21.05.2023

Course Fee: The course is offered free-of-charge


Laxman Yetukuri and Ari-Matti Saren