Katana Software Installation Policy


  • Software installation generally done at request of a user.
  • For major software Katana Admins may install it independently of a request.
  • As a guiding principle installing new software should not change how existing software works.
  • Due to the use of module files installing new software on Katana DOES NOT change how existing software works.
  • Installation of a new system library as part of software installation is considered a BAU process and will not be widely communicated.
  • The updating of a currently installed system library is defined as a major change and will be communicated to system users.
  • When a new version of previously installed software is installed it is intended that an email will be sent to people who have used the older versions to let them know of the later software.
  • Software may be installed in the account of an individual if it is decided that that is the best approach.
  • A current list of the software installed on Katana is always available via the module command or on the HPC web site.
  • Software may not be installed if the installation has the potential to affect the stability of the cluster for example requiring updates to core system libraries.

Perl, Python and R Packages

  • If there is a request for a Perl, Python or R package then it will be installed in all current versions if the package has not been previously installed.
  • If the Perl, Python or R package is an update of a previously installed package then it WILL NOT be upgraded in existing versions. It will either be installed as part of a new version of Perl, Python or R or made available just for the requesting user.
  • When Perl, Python or R is installed the latest possible version of every installed package will be installed.


  • Downloaded datasets from the NCBI will generally be updated within a week of release. A news item will be added to the HPC web site.

Major Changes

  • Major changes to Katana (which includes anything that will require a change to an existing workflow) happen on an infrequent basis and will be communicated to all Katana users ahead of time.
  • Changes to existing system libraries will generally occur only as part of a major system update.