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On most systems (NixOS/nixpkgs and Guix being the notable exceptions), software is simply upgraded in-place.  However, for scientific computing, we must be able to install multiple versions of the same software (together with their dependencies, of course).  For instance, users may want to test a new version or use features not available in previous versions, but must also be able to use old versions to continue and re-run previous analyses.  On the other hand, upgrading system software such as that in /bin and /sbin is necessary for security reasons.  We currently resolve these issues by providing a collection of environment modules (modules for short), although arguably use of lightweight containers (Singularity/Apptainer, Docker, Podman, etc.) or a Nixpkgs-like installation is a better solution.

Currently, (August 2022) we have Ubuntu 20.04 (focal) installed, and our science software available via modules resides here: