Skip to content

Installing Software on Instances

An important part of managing instances is the installation of software. This page assumes you have a working instance and can SSH into it. This page assumes you are using an Ubuntu image.

We highly recommend building your research software stack into a Container. While there is a learning curve and some setup time, containers make replicating and sharing environments simpler. Everything you develop is packaged into a self-contained unit that can be run on virtually any modern Linux system.

A particular command sudo will be used extensively. Be warned that sudo grants any commands used administrator privileges. If you use sudo with untrustworthy software, you may be allowing an attacker to compromise your system.


The sudo command should be used carefully and judiciously, as it creates security risks. Use with caution.

Before Installing Software

Before installing software, good practice is updating and upgrading operating system packages. For some software this is required. These updates often include critical security and bug fixes. To update the instance operating system, enter the following at the command line.

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade

Installing Software

Most common software packages and NVIDIA drivers are available as apt packages. Some packages are available using custom installers. Be sure the website and installer author are trustworthy before installing!

Finding Packages

  1. Try using Google to locate the name of the package with something like ubuntu apt <keywords>
  2. Try using
  3. Try apt-cache search <keyword>
  4. Ask Support for help

Installing Packages

If the software is available via apt then use sudo apt install <package>. An example would be sudo apt install git to install git software.

If the software uses a custom installer, then follow the instructions provided by the software's documentation. An example would be Miniconda, where a shell script is downloaded and then executed using bash

Common Examples

Installing NVidia Drivers

  1. Run the commands in Before Installing Software.
  2. sudo apt install ubuntu-drivers-common
  3. ubuntu-drivers devices
  4. Find the line with "recommended" and install the package on that line with sudo apt install nvidia-driver-###
  5. Reboot the instance

Installing Miniconda

We recommend installing Miniconda on cloud.rc instances, as opposed to Anaconda, to conserve storage space.

  1. Run the commands in Before Installing Software.
  2. wget
  3. bash


Consider installing Mamba to speed up environment installation.

Installing Singularity

Follow the instructions located at under "Debian-based systems".

  1. Run the commands in Before Installing Software.
  2. Run the following

    sudo apt-get install -y \
    build-essential \
    libseccomp-dev \
    pkg-config \
    squashfs-tools \
  3. Install Go language using the following

    export VERSION=1.17.2 OS=linux ARCH=amd64 && \  # Replace the values as needed
    wget$VERSION.$OS-$ARCH.tar.gz && \ # Downloads the required Go package
    sudo tar -C /usr/local -xzvf go$VERSION.$OS-$ARCH.tar.gz && \ # Extracts the archive
    rm go$VERSION.$OS-$ARCH.tar.gz    # Deletes the ``tar`` file
    echo 'export PATH=/usr/local/go/bin:$PATH' >> ~/.bashrc && \
    source ~/.bashrc
  4. Download SingularityCE

    export VERSION=3.9.5 && # adjust this as necessary \
    wget${VERSION}/singularity-ce-${VERSION}.tar.gz && \
    tar -xzf singularity-ce-${VERSION}.tar.gz && \
    cd singularity-ce-${VERSION}
  5. Compile SingularityCE

    ./mconfig && \
    make -C builddir && \
    sudo make -C builddir install


For other versions of the Singularity documentation, visit

Last update: June 9, 2022