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Julia Language

Julia language is a high-performance, dynamic programming language. Julia is excellent for scientific computing because it can compile efficient native code using LLVM and includes mathematical functions, parallel computing capabilities, and a package manager in the standard library. Furthermore, Julia's syntax is intuitive and easy to learn, the multiple-dispatch paradigm allows writing composable code, increasing the ability to reuse existing code, and environments enable executing code in a reproducible way.


Julia language is licensed under free and open source MIT license.


Julia language is available on Puhti, Mahti, and LUMI from the command line using the module system. It is also available on the web interface via Jupyter and VSCode.

If you find issues in using Julia on the cluster, you should contact the servicedesk.


Using the Julia module

Julia language is available from the julia module.

On Puhti and Mahti, we can load the module as follows:

module load julia

On LUMI, we must add the module files under CSC's local directory to the module path before loading the module.

module use /appl/local/csc/modulefiles
module load julia

After loading the Julia module, we can use Julia with the julia command. Without arguments, it starts an interactive Julia REPL.


For available command line options, we can run julia --help or read the manual man julia. For questions about the features of Julia language, we refer we recommend the official documentation and the discourse channel.

Using the package manager

The standard method for installing Julia packages is to use the package manager, Pkg, from the standard library. In Julia, we can import it as follows:

import Pkg

The common functions we use are Pkg.add to add packages, Pkg.activate to activate environments, and Pkg.instantiate to install all packages defined in the active environment. The Pkg documentation provides more information on how to use Julia's package manager.

Placing the Julia depot directory

The first directory on the Julia depot path controls where Julia stores installed packages, compiled files, log files, and other depots. It is $HOME/.julia by default. The home directory has a relatively small quota on Puhti, Mahti, and LUMI. If you install large packages, we recommend placing the depot directory under Projappl to avoid running out of quota. We can change the depot directory by prepending a new directory to JULIA_DEPOT_PATH environment variable.

For example, we can use the following by replacing the <project> with a CSC project.

export JULIA_DEPOT_PATH="/projappl/<project>/$USER/.julia:$JULIA_DEPOT_PATH"

Afterward, you can safely remove the default depot directory using rm -r $HOME/.julia. For more information, you can read more about the depot path documentation.


Julia provides the Threads library for multi-threading. It is included in the base library and imported by default in a Julia session. We can start Julia with multiple threads by setting the JULIA_NUM_THREADS environment variable or starting Julia with the --threads option which overrides the value in the environment variable. If Julia module is loaded within a Slurm job and the environment variable is not set, it is set to the amount of requested CPU cores (--cpus-per-task). The default thread count is one. We recommend reading the multi-threading section in Julia's manual for more details.

Multi-processing and distributed computing

Distributed and ClusterManagers.jl

For multiprocessing and distributed computing, Julia provides the Distributed standard library. We use it for multi-processing on the local node. We can extend Distributed by installing the ClusterManagers.jl package, which allows us to add workers' processes to multiple nodes via Slurm using SlurmManager. We recommend reading the multi-processing and distributed computing section in Julia manual for more details.


We can use MPI for distributed computing, especially over multiple nodes, in Julia on Puhti, Mahti, and LUMI using the MPI.jl package. We can install it using the package manager as follows:

import Pkg

We can load the julia-mpi module which sets global preferences to the environment such that MPI.jl uses to use the system MPI installation and the correct command to start MPI processes.

module load julia-mpi

For more information, we recommend reading the MPI.jl documentation.

GPU programming


The GPU nodes on Puhti and Mahti contain NVidia GPUs which can be programmed using CUDA. We can install the CUDA.jl package for CUDA programming in Julia using the package manager as follows:

import Pkg

We can load the julia-cuda module which sets global preferences to the environment such that CUDA.jl uses the system CUDA installation.

module load julia-cuda

For information, we recommend reading the CUDA.jl documentation.


The GPU nodes on LUMI contain AMD GPUs. We can install the AMDGPU.jl package for programming AMD GPUs in Julia using the package manager as follows:

import Pkg

We can load the julia-amdgpu module which sets global preferences to the environment such that AMDGPU.jl to use the system ROCm installation.

module load julia-amdgpu

For information, we recommend reading the AMDGPU.jl documentation.

Running Julia batch jobs on CSC clusters

Running Julia batch jobs on CSC clusters section explains how to run serial, parallel, and GPU batch jobs with Julia on Puhti, Mahti, and LUMI.

Further reading

For further reading about parallel and high-performance computing with Julia, we recommend the Julia for high-performance scientific computing from ENCCS and the A brief tour of Julia for high-performance computing by Kjartan Thor Wikfeldt. HLRS's training material for the Julia for High-Performance Computing course offers a deep dive into programming high-performance code with Julia. Finally, the Julia on HPC Clusters lists general notes about using and installing Julia on an HPC cluster.

Last update: March 14, 2024