IDL is a data analysis programming language. Only authorised users can use IDL. You can view more details about IDL at the vendor website

Getting started#

In order to use IDL on the ARC clusters, you will need to contact your supervisor for licence server information. This will normally be provided as a port and a machine name in the format port@machine.

You will need to set the LM_LICENSE_FILE environment variable before you use IDL:

export LM_LICENSE_FILE=port@machine:$LM_LICENSE_FILE

After that, you should be able to load the IDL module:

module add idl

and then run the application by entering the command idl.

Running IDL as a batch job#

An example job submission script that runs IDL is shown below:

#$ -V -cwd
#$ -l h_rt=6:00:00
#$ -l h_vmem=1G

module add idl

This will run the application:

  • from your current directory with the currently loaded module environment

  • with 6 hours of run-time

  • requesting 1GByte of memory

If this is saved as a text file with the name: it can then be submitted with:


Running IDL as an interactive job on the compute nodes#

IDL can also be launched as an interactive job on a compute node through qrsh:

export LM_LICENSE_FILE=port@machine:$LM_LICENSE_FILE
module add idl
qrsh -cwd -V -l h_rt=6:00:00,h_vmem=1G -pty y $IDL_HOME/idl/bin/idl

This will request 1 CPU for 6 hours, with 1G of RAM.


If the resources are not available at the point the scheduler tries to allocate them, then the request will fail. You may find you have to submit the request a few times until it is successful.

You can read more about interactive sessions on HPC in the Usage section.