New in Singularity version 2.4 you can use the instance command group to run instances of containers in the background. This is useful for running services like databases and web servers. The instance.list command lets you keep track of the named instances running in the background.


After initiating one or more named instances to run in the background with the instance.start command you can list them with the instance.list command.


These examples use a container from Singularity Hub, but you can use local containers or containers from Docker Hub as well. For a more detailed look at instance usage see Running Instances.

Start a few named instances from containers on Singularity Hub

$ singularity instance.start shub://GodloveD/lolcow cow1
$ singularity instance.start shub://GodloveD/lolcow cow2
$ singularity instance.start shub://vsoch/hello-world hiya

List running instances

$ singularity instance.list
cow1             20522    /home/ubuntu/GodloveD-lolcow-master.img
cow2             20558    /home/ubuntu/GodloveD-lolcow-master.img
hiya             20595    /home/ubuntu/vsoch-hello-world-master.img