If you’re looking to try out asimov on your own laptop or workstation you’ll quickly run into a bit of a limitation: asimov, and the codes it works with, are designed to run on a large computing cluster. However, we can get around this by installing a lightweight version of the software used on clusters on your own machine before we try to run asimov.

In a future version asimov will have solutions which don’t require you to go through these steps, but these are very much still in development.

The software we need to install is called htcondor. It’s designed to be run on a cluster of machines which can spread a large computing workload over a very large number of processors. While asimov is designed to take full advantage of this, it can also run on a much smaller scale on a single computer.

In this tutorial I’ll set things up to run on my own laptop using asimov and htcondor.

If you’ve encountered htcondor before then you may be a little worried about the amount of work required to get things set up, but it’s actually pretty straight-forward, and you can generally get up and running with a single command line on a modern linux installation.

You can find a guide here, and it would be wise to look over that before running any of the code I’ll write about here. That said, I’m going to press ahead and explain how I got things running on an ubuntu installation on a laptop. (If we’re being exact here, it’s actually a WSL installation, so this is technically running on Windows, however everything’s going to behave as if it’s pure linux).

To install htcondor we’ll need to run

$ curl -fsSL https://get.htcondor.org | sudo /bin/bash -s -- --no-dry-run

which will install all of the required components for htcondor. We can then start the htcondor process by running

$ sudo condor_master

You can check that everything’s working by running

$ condor_q

-- Schedd: IGRlaptop106. : < @ 03/10/23 11:00:45

Total for query: 0 jobs; 0 completed, 0 removed, 0 idle, 0 running, 0 held, 0 suspended
Total for daniel: 0 jobs; 0 completed, 0 removed, 0 idle, 0 running, 0 held, 0 suspended
Total for all users: 0 jobs; 0 completed, 0 removed, 0 idle, 0 running, 0 held, 0 suspended

This shows the job queue for condor, and if it looks something like this then we’re all set to move ahead with installing asimov and getting a job going.

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