Change Notes for Nikola 4

for Linux

(changes from Nikola 3)

  1. General

    This is a new Operating System release. Many binaries that were compiled for Nikola 3 for Red Hat may still work, but many will need to be recompiled.

    Because Nikola 4 is based on a newer operating system programs compiled on a Nikola 4 host will not be back-wards compatible with Nikola 3.

    There are a lot of programs that need to be recompiled, some will be higher priority than others. If a program is critical to your research please indicate how and how many people are impacted by it not being available.

    Nikola 4 for Linux is available in two different releases. They are both based on Red Hat's RHEL 4 (Update 3) release. The 64bit release runs on the newer EM64T Intel chips and AMD64 processors. The 32bit release is for the older 32 bit processors. We are striving to keep the two as similar as possible given the major hardware differences however some things will just have to be different.

    Most required libraries are in /usr/lib64 or /usr/nikola/lib64 on the 64bit systems. They are in /usr/lib or /usr/nikola/lib on the 32bit systems.

    In general a program compiled on the 32bit release will probably run ok on the 64bit release. However, if you are concerned about optimum results you will want to compile for each release.

    Wherever possible we are relying on Red Hat's RPMs to provide basic software. We add additional software in /usr/nikola as necessary. If Red Hat provides something that doesn't work for us (for example, firefox) then we will consider adding that software to our list to install and maintain. We will generally only do this for critically required software due to the workload complexity involved.

    Version Tags

    You can use version tags to automatically choose which binary to use. If you split your ~/bin/ directory down with $NARCH tags you can have the right binary selected for you by the system.


    We recommend using the xpdf viewer instead of acroread.

    We will continue installing acroread as long as Adobe continues to make it available but it will very likely lag months behind due to workload.

  3. EMAIL

    We only support thunderbird and pine as mail readers and only using the IMAPS (SSL secured IMAP) protocol.

    In theory any mail reader which supports IMAPS should be able to access mail from your lab's mail server (if your lab has one). However, we will not be able to provide you any help in getting it working.

  4. GCC

    The GCC compiler is based on the 4.x release tree.

  5. GV

    gv (aka ghostview) is no longer maintained by its author and is no longer available. Use the ggv command instead.

  6. PERL

    The active version of Perl in /usr/nikola is 5.8.7. It should have all of the same modules that were previously available. If you notice a module missing please let your admins know by mailing to the appropriate support address.


    1. We provide the firefox web browser. On 64bit systems you will need to be aware that it is a 32bit binary. This is because java and the 64bit binary didn't get along. If you need a 64bit version of firefox let your admins know.
    2. Icons for firefox are in /usr/nikola/pkgs/firefox/icons

$Id: changenotes.html,v 2011/10/04 16:08:56 nomad Exp $