Providing Custom Labels for Avail

Lmod writes out the modules in alphabetical order for each directory in MODULEPATH in order:

$ module avail

--------------- /opt/apps/modulefiles/A-B ----------------
abc/8.1   def/11.1   ghi/2.3

--------------- /opt/apps/modulefiles/Core ------------------
xyz/8.1   xyz/11.1 (D)

--------------- /opt/apps/modulefiles/Compilers -------------
gcc/6.3  intel/17.0

This is very useful and informative from the system perspective, but users might prefer to have more descriptive labels and have the contents of multiple directories displayed under the same label.

Sites can replace the directory paths with any label they like. This is implemented by adding a SitePackage.lua file and calling the avail hook. See SitePackage.lua and hooks for how to create SitePackage.lua.

Suppose you wish to merge the Common and Core sections above into a single group named “Core Modules” and change the directory to “Compiler Modules”. The result would be:

$ module avail

--------------- Core Modules -------------------------
abc/8.1   def/11.1   ghi/2.3   xyz/8.1   xyz/11.1 (D)

--------------- Compiler Modules ---------------------
gcc/6.3  intel/17.0

To make this happen you need to do the following. Create a SitePackage.lua file containing:

local hook = require("Hook")

local mapT =
   en_grouped = {
      ['/Compilers$'] = "Compilers",
      ['/Core$']      = "Core Modules",
      ['/A%-B$']      = "Core Modules",
   fr_grouped = {
      ['/Compilers$'] = "Compilateurs",
      ['/Core$']      = "Modules de base",
      ['/A%-B$']      = "Modules de base",

function avail_hook(t)
   local availStyle = masterTbl().availStyle
   local styleT     = mapT[availStyle]
   if (not availStyle or availStyle == "system" or styleT == nil) then

   for k,v in pairs(t) do
      for pat,label in pairs(styleT) do
         if (k:find(pat)) then
            t[k] = label


Sites must specially quote the minus sign (“-“) with a % because it is a regex character.

The default style for displaying module names is the system style.

To use the new, grouped labeling, set the LMOD_AVAIL_STYLE variable to be:

export LMOD_AVAIL_STYLE="system:<en_grouped>:fr_grouped"

The angle brackets define the default which in this case is en_grouped. A user can set:

export LMOD_AVAIL_STYLE="fr_grouped"

to change to the french labels.

If a site does nothing then the system layout will be the result. Sites control the behavior by the LMOD_AVAIL_STYLE environment variable. Sites can set it as follows:

export LMOD_AVAIL_STYLE=system:grouped

The first word is assumed to be the default. The word system is special in that Lmod will report the output in the original way. By changing the order sites can make the grouped output the default.:

export LMOD_AVAIL_STYLE=grouped:system

To get the original output then users would have to do module -s system avail. The command module avail would use the grouped avail style.

Alternately, a user may also export LMOD_AVAIL_STYLE=system to get the original output on all subsequent module avail invocations.