NERSC Software Support Policy

The intent of the NERSC Software Support Policy is to provide the formal means to balance user software environment stability, facilitate user access to new and upgraded software, better allocate NERSC staff support effort and user development effort, enable system administration flexibility, and support institutional strategic goals.

Policy Summary

  • The NERSC Software Policy Committee will assign one of four support levels to all user software on our production systems.

    Support Level Name Restricted Minimal Provided Priority
    Allowed at NERSC? No Yes Yes Yes
    Provided by NERSC? No No1 Yes Yes
    NERSC support priority? No Low Moderate High
    Tests validate function? No No Yes Yes
    Performance tests? No No No Yes
  • Support levels will not be reduced without at least six months advance notice, except in cases where a software package is made Restricted

  • The software building and installation practices we use will be standardized and made more available to users.

The policy can be viewed in full detail here.

Current State of Policy Implementation

During 2020, NERSC will transition into using this formal policy to guide software support decisions. NERSC support in practice will not change until the Software Policy Committee has completed the process of assigning support levels to all software.

To bridge this transition period, user software installed by NERSC and present our production systems at the beginning of AY 2020, but not yet assigned a support level, will be supported as if it is "Provided." User software that has not been installed by NERSC will be supported as if it were "Minimal."

Additional Information

FAQ: Frequently asked questions about this software policy.


  1. NERSC doesn't commit to providing Minimal-support software, but might make a "no guarantees" installation of a package accessible to users nonetheless