Enthought Canopy Python Distribution

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Python is a high level programming language that aims to combine remarkable power with very clear syntax. The Enthought Python Distribution is a cross-platform environment for scientific computing in Python, and includes the Canopy IDE and package manager. MSI has installed an academic licensed version that includes hundreds of modules, including tools that enable efficient parallel computations.

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To run this software interactively in a Linux environment run the commands:

module load python-epd

This opens the IPython interpreter and allows interactive execution of Python commands. Instead of IPython, you can open the Canopy graphical development environment by typing the command


Loading the module python-epd makes the Enthought python installation your default python for all python-related commands.

If you would like to run a script, myscript.py, use the following command

module load python-epd
python myscript.py

Programs can be submitted to a queue using PBS script such as the one below.

#PBS -l nodes=1:ppn=1,mem=1gb,walltime=4:00:00
#PBS -m abe
cd /location/of/the/script
module load python-epd
python myscript.py

MSI has installed the MPI module mpi4y, which allows large parallel computations using MPI. A program using mpi4py to run on ten nodes with 8 cores per node would be submitted to a queue using PBS script such as this:

#PBS -l nodes=10:ppn=8,pmem=1gb,walltime=4:00:00
#PBS -m abe
cd /location/of/the/script
module load python-epd
mpirun python mpi_program.py

Note that this installation is linked against the Intel Math Kernel Library, so many math operations using NumPy or SciPy will be automatically parallelized to use all available CPU cores on the machine.

Enthought python makes use of virtual environments, a technology that enables the creation of multiple, lightweight, independent Python environments. Using a command like

module load python-epd
venv -s ~/mypython

will create a virtual environment that inherits all the capabilities of the main Canopy installation in your home directory, where you can modify it or build your own python modules. The command

source ~/mypython/bin/activate

would then make this local python directory your default in that terminal until you log out or type the command deactivate.

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