New Python versions on Cheyenne with new script for loading packages

CISL has installed new versions of Python (2.7.14 and 3.6.4) for users of the Cheyenne system, with new functionality for loading NCAR-provided Python packages. Users now load all of the latest packages at once by running a new ncar_pylib script that activates the NCAR package library in a virtual environment. Packages for earlier versions of Python can be loaded only with module load commands.

Implementing virtual environments enables users to quickly access multiple versions of their package-development codes. Users who want to customize their Python environment can simply clone the package environment as a starting point, then make modifications. The new approach also will help users avoid errors when installing their own packages by using the virtual environment rather than home directories on GLADE.

Python 2.7.14 and 3.6.4 and the NCAR package library methodology will become the default on the Cheyenne system in February, on a date to be announced. The CISL Python documentation page has been updated to describe the new procedures.