Using GMSO with Docker

As much of scientific software development happens in unix platforms, to avoid the quirks of development dependent on system you use, a recommended way is to use docker or other containerization technologies. This section is a how to guide on using GMSO with docker.


A docker installation in your machine. Follow this link to get a docker installation working on your machine. If you are not familiar with docker and want to get started with docker, the Internet is full of good tutorials like the ones here and here.

Quick Start

After you have a working docker installation, please use the following command to use run a jupyter-notebook with all the dependencies for GMSO installed:

$ docker pull mosdef/gmso:latest
$ docker run -it --name gmso -p 8888:8888 mosdef/gmso:latest su anaconda -s\
  /bin/sh -l -c "jupyter-notebook --no-browser --ip="" --notebook-dir\

If every thing happens correctly, you should a be able to start a jupyter-notebook server running in a python environment with all the dependencies for GMSO installed.

Alternatively, you can also start a Bourne shell to use python from the container’s terminal:

$ docker run -it --name gmso mosdef/gmso:latest


The instructions above will start a docker container but containers by nature are ephemeral, so any filesystem changes (like adding a new notebook) you make will only persist till the end of the container’s lifecycle. If the container is removed, any changes or code additions will not persist.

Persisting User Volumes

If you will be using GMSO from a docker container, a recommended way is to mount what are called user volumes in the container. User volumes will provide a way to persist all filesystem/code additions made to a container regardless of the container lifecycle. For example, you might want to create a directory called gmso-notebooks in your local system, which will store all your GMSO notebooks/code. In order to make that accessible to the container(where the notebooks will be created/edited), use the following steps:

  1. Create a directory in your filesystem
$ mkdir -p /path/to/gmso-notebooks
$ cd /path/to/gmso-notebooks
  1. Define an entry-point script. Inside gmso-notebooks in your local file system create a file called and paste the following content.

chown -R anaconda:anaconda /home/anaconda/gmso-notebooks

su anaconda -s /bin/sh -l -c "jupyter-notebook --no-browser --ip="" --notebook-dir /home/anaconda/gmso-notebooks"
  1. Run docker image for GMSO
$ docker run -it --name gmso -p 8888:8888 --entrypoint /home/anaconda/gmso-notebooks/ -v /home/umesh/gmso-notebooks:/home/anaconda/gmso-notebooks mosdef/gmso:latest

Cleaning Up

You can remove the created container by using the following command:

$ docker container rm gmso


Instead of using latest, you can use the image mosdef/gmso:stable for most recent stable release of GMSO and run the tutorials.