Deprecating Modules

There may come a time when your site might want to mark a module for deprecation. If you track module usage, you can find the modules that are rarely used, and you can find out which users are using the modules. Once you have decided which modules are marked for removal, you can make a message be printed when the module is loaded.

Suppose you want to mark a module for later removal. You can setup a message that is reported to the user Every time the module is loaded.

For example:

$ module load abc/1.2.3

    This module is deprecated and will be removed from the system
    on June 19.   Please load abc/2.3.4 instead.

Note that this message is just text and in no way controls user access to the module. Your site will have to remove the module. This nag message is a way to let your users know that removal will happen ahead of time.

Also note that a user only gets this message when loading the module. There is no special marking in module avail or module spider.

You can create a file called “admin.list” and place it in “/path/to/lmod/etc/admin.list”. Note that typically the lmod script will be in “/path/to/lmod/lmod/libexec/lmod”. The etc directory is independent to the version of Lmod. You can see the location that Lmod is looking for by executing:

$ module --config

Look for “Admin File”. You can also set the “LMOD_ADMIN_FILE” to point to the admin.list file.

The admin file consists of key-value pairs. For example:

moduleName/version:  message
<blank line>


Full_PATH_to_Modulefile: message
<blank line>


foo/1.1  | bar/1.2  | Full_Path_to_Modulefile:
<blank line>

Lmod treats assume that if a pattern starts with a ‘/’ then it is a full path to a modulefile. If it doesn’t then it is a moduleName/version string. Also, you can have several modulefiles use the same message by separating them with |

You can use Lua regular expression to also match one or modules for both the full path to a module or the module fullname. Lua regular expressions are much less powerful (see for more details). In particular they do not support patterns like:


Lmod searches the list of modules and/or paths from top to bottom and it uses the first match it finds. So you might want to place the module patterns from specific to general in the admin file to avoid incorrect matching.

Also some care may be necessary for ‘.’ as it matches every character so you might have to change the ‘.’ to ‘%.’ to match the actual period. Also ‘-’ is a regular expression character so matching module names that have a ‘-’ in their name requires % quoting.

The message can be as many lines as you like. The message ends with a blank line. Below is an example:

gcc/2.95:    This module is deprecated and will be removed from the system on Jan 1. 1999.
             Please switch to a newer compiler.

We are having issues

We are having issues

   We are having more issues.

   This module will be removed.

Note that you don’t include the .lua part when specifying the version number.