Singularity is container software written at Lawrence Berkeley Labs.

If you need a specialized computing environment, you can use a Singularity container on Bridges.   Your Singularity container will execute on Bridges's compute nodes and can use other Bridges resources, including pylon filesystems. Within your container you can use a different Unix operating system and any software you need. You can set up your Singularity container without any intervention from PSC staff.

 If you have questions about using Singularity containers on Bridges send email to 




You can use the Singularity containers that are installed on Bridges or you can bring your own. Execute the container on Bridges' compute nodes; containers cannot be executed on the front end nodes.


Singularity containers installed on Bridges

Many Singularity containers from the NVIDIA GPU Cloud (NGC), a GPU-accelerated cloud platform optimized for deep learning and scientific computing, are available on Bridges. NVIDIA optimizes the containers for Volta, including rigorous quality assurance.

The containers on the NGC Registry are Docker images, but we have converted many of them to Singularity for you to use on Bridges-AI. These containers may be run on Bridges-AI nodes or on Bridges’ NVIDIA Tesla P100 GPUs, but they are not compatible with Bridges’ Tesla K80 GPUs.

NVIDIA requests that you create an account at if you will use any of these containers.

This table lists the containers are installed on Bridges. Multiple versions of each are available, which vary in the versions of the software in them.  

For details on which containers are installed and the software each contains, see Singularity images on Bridges.


PackagePath on BridgesNVIDIA Documentation
Caffe /pylon5/containers/ngc/caffe
Caffe2 /pylon5/containers/ngc/caffe2
CNTK /pylon5/containers/ngc/cntk
DIGITS /pylon5/containers/ngc/digits
 Inference Server /pylon5/containers/ngc/inferenceserver
MXNet /pylon5/containers/ngc/mxnet
PyTorch /pylon5/containers/ngc/pytorch
TensorFlow /pylon5/containers/ngc/tensorflow
TensorRT /pylon5/containers/ngc/tensorrt
TensorRT Inference Server /pylon5/containers/ngc/tensorrtserver
Theano /pylon5/containers/ngc/theano
Torch /pylon5/containers/ngc/torch



Bring your own Singularity container

Singularity containers cannot be built on Bridges. There are several ways to get a Singularity container onto Bridges. 

  • You can build a Singularity container on your local system and copy it to Bridges.
  • You can convert a Docker container to Singularity on your local system and copy it to Bridges.
  • You can copy a Docker container to Bridges and convert it to Singularity.
  • You can copy a Singularity container from a container registry to Bridges. 

Build a container on your local system

 You can build your Singularity container on your local system, installing the singularity program if you need to.  For more information on how to do this, see the Singularity web site.   Copy your container to Bridges using the usual file transfer methods. See the Transferring files section of this User Guide for more information.

Convert a Docker container

Bridges does not support Docker. If you have a Docker container you can convert it to a Singularity container and use that on Bridges.

On your local system, you can use a utility like docker2singularity to convert a Docker container.  Copy your single file to Bridges using the usual file transfer methods. See the Transferring files section of this User Guide for more information.

On Bridges, you can convert a Docker container in an interactive session or batch job by loading the Singularity module and using the singularity build command.

Copy a container from a registry

An alternative to creating your own container and then copying it to Bridges is to use the singularity pull command on Bridges to copy a pre-existing container from a container registry.  If you use the singularity pull command to copy a Docker container, it will be converted to Singularity during the pull process.

To copy a container from a registry:

  1. Log in to Bridges
  2. Load the singularity module with
    module load singularity
  3. Copy the container you want with the singularity pull command.

More details on this can be found in the Singularity User Guide.

One example of a container registry is


Execute your Singularity container 

Once your container is on Bridges you can run it. Containers must run on Bridges' compute nodes, not on the front ends.  Use either the interact or sbatch command to get access to a compute node.  See the Running Jobs section of this User Guide for more information on SLURM and using Bridges' compute nodes.

Inside your interactive session or your batch job  you must first issue the command

module load singularity

Then you can use the singularity commands to execute your container.

Common Singularity commands

Some common commands are listed here. For more information about Singularity, see the Singularity web site

Start a shell within your container using the operating system you have set up your container to use.
Run a single command within your container.
Run a recipe script you have set up within your container. Using a recipe script forces users of your container to use a pre-established workflow.
Provides help on Singularity

User Information

Connect to PSC systems:
Technical questions:

Send mail to or call the PSC hotline: 412-268-6350.