Supported platforms

The connect client is currently fully supported on Red Hat Enterprise Linux6, including CentOS and Scientific Linux. Other Linux distributions are supported on a best effort basis, but there should be no major compatibility problems. The client has been tested on Mac OS X 10.9 and higher, but OSX is also best-effort supported. Expect these and other operating systems to become more fully supported in the future.

Tools you will need

To perform an installation of the Connect Client, you will need the following software. These might or might not be present on your computer already:

  • a terminal emulation program
  • Python 2.7 (python 2.6 works, with caveats; see below)
  • Python 2.7 development libraries and headers
  • Pip
  • Git
  • GCC or Clang (a C compiler)
  • OpenSSL development libraries and headers

Abbreviated summary

The following steps will prepare a pristine CentOS 6 installation to compile and install Connect Client. You must have administrator access to install these packages! Your site might already have what you need, however. The explanations below will help you check. If you have admin rights and just want to be certain, though, follow these steps.

As root (if you do not have sudo):

$ yum -y install sudo

As a user with sudo rights:

$ sudo yum -y install
$ sudo yum -y install python27 python27-pip python27-devel openssl-devel git gcc

Terminal emulator

Every computer has something to suffice. On Linux, your usual command prompt is fine. If installing on a MacOS system, use or iTerm as your terminal emulator.


Virtually all operating systems today come with a copy of Python. Python 2.7 is recommended for the Connect Client. Python 2.6 might work under some conditions, but is not supported; this is due to a known problem with Python that is fixed in Python 2.7. If you need to run the client under Python 2.6, let us know and we'll try to help you get around these issues.

To determine what version of Python you have installed, run: python --version. Python 3 is not currently supported.

If you are on a remote login system that uses environment modules, see below for special considerations.

Ways to install Python 2.7

Linux: If you're on a Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 derivative, you will need to be able to install software system-wide using sudo yum. Python 2.7 is not distributed from the standard repositories on any EL6 distribution, but the IUS Community has supplemental software repositories that are safe to add to your system. Once those are installed, you can use yum install python27 to install a python27 executable. See specific commands above.

MacOS: Mac OS X ships Python 2.7 by default. You can also use the Python that comes with MacPorts.

Anaconda: Alternatively, you can install Anaconda. Many users in scientific disciplines prefer this ready-to-run distribution.

Source: If you must build from source, follow the guidelines here: . This is not a recommended option; installing from source requires some considerable expertise.


Many Python installations already have pip. To check, run: pip --version. If you need to install pip, see the directions at . These instructions should work across all platforms.


To find out whether you have git already, open a terminal window and type: git. You should see a bunch of output starting like this:

usage: git [--version] [--help] [-C <path>] [-c name=value]

If not, you need to install git. See for installation instructions.

GCC or Clang

A C compiler is required to guarantee some of the cryptographic software tooling that the Connect Client uses. Most Linux installations have gcc enabled already. To check, run gcc --version; you should see something like:

$ gcc --version
gcc (GCC) 4.4.7 20120313 (Red Hat 4.4.7-3)
Copyright (C) 2010 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
This is free software; see the source for copying conditions.  There is NO

There are no particular version requirements for the compiler.

Installing a compiler

If you do not have gcc, you will need to install it on your system as the system administrator.

Linux: On EL6-based platforms, sudo yum -y install gcc should be enough.

MacOS: You will need to install Apple's XCode development environment. Then install the XCode command line tools: open XCode open XCode Preferences click the Locations tab ensure that a command-line tools package is selected at the bottom of the pane

OpenSSL development libraries

OpenSSL is used to build the pycrypto components that Connect Client uses for secure network communication.

Linux: Install the openssl-devel package from your distribution. Distributions not based on EL6 might call this differently.

MacOS: You may need to install MacPorts for a successful compilation on MacOS X.

There are no particular version requirements for the OpenSSL libraries.

Obtaining the Connect Client distribution

The first step in installation is to grab the latest copy of the client from GitHub:

$ ssh            # [your cluster site here]
$ module load git                    # [if needed]
$ git clone --recursive
$ cd connect-client

This obtains a copy of the distribution and sets your shell's working directory to that copy. The --recursive option is important!

Typically you'll want to install a release version.

$ git checkout v0.5.3

Next, you'll build and install the software. How you do this depends on what kind of packaging environment your server uses. Environment modules are directly supported in our installation scheme -- we can create a modulefile for you. If you don't have environment modules, use the Generic installation.

Generic (no environment modules)

Installation is a simple one-line command:

$ ./ ~/software/connect-client
[install] Setting up the Connect module v0.5.3
Connect modulefile is in /home/username/software/connect-client/connect-client
[install] Installing Connect user commands
[install] ... connect command
[install] ... paramiko (for connect command)
== Connect Client dependencies installed.
[install] ... tutorial command

Once the software is installed, you will need to add it to your $PATH:

$ export PATH=~/software/connect-client/bin:$PATH

(You may also want to add this to your ~/.profile file so that it activates upon future logins.)

You can now run the connect command.

Installation using environment modules

At some sites, module load python will load Python 3, so it might be necessary to load Python 2 explicitly. For example:

$ module load gcc
$ module load python/2.7.6

You will also need pip, the Python package installation program. Very often it is part of the Python installation itself.

We've seen some indication that if your system uses Python 2.6,
it may be necessary to have installed the **pycrypto** module
already.  With Python 2.7 and up this dependency is handled

Choose a directory to install Connect Client into. A reasonable choice is ~/software/connect. Also choose a directory for the module description information. A reasonable choice for this is ~/privatemodules; for many sites, this is where the use.own module looks for personal modules.

Run ./ with these two directories as arguments. The install script will figure out the current version number.

$ ./ ~/software/connect-client ~/privatemodules

N.B. You may wish to hand-edit the modulefile to ensure that dependencies such as Python are listed. Search for module load in the installed modulefile.

After the software is installed, you may use the module command to get access:

module load use.own
module load connect-client

Loading use.own tells the module system to search your ~/privatemodules folder for modules.

You can now run the connect command.


This page was updated on Oct 16, 2017 at 16:00 from connectbook/