For various reasons, our system administrator finds Ubuntu to be too cutting-edge for our production workstation, and we have now installed Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.5 (RHEL). I'm not terribly familiar with the OS but just playing around with it I noticed that many packages that I depend on for scientific computing with Python are either non-existent or horribly out-of-date.
I'm now looking to install as much as possible in my home folder. It has been simple enough to install Python and NumPy, but I have been getting errors installing SciPy and still need to install some other packages.
However, this isn't a question about installing any specific packages. I'm more interested in the best method to maintain your own packages in your home folder on Linux, specifically for a Python installation. My line of thinking is that I might need to install things like ATLAS, Boost.Python, etc. manually and would benefit from some form of package management that does not interfere with RHEL. My wish would be something like MacPorts, which I'm used to in Mac OS X.
Any ideas on package management in my home folder? I have a CentOS VM on Mac OS X to test with, which I understand is 100% compatible with RHEL.
I think I've solved this issue now using Sage and the EPEL repository. Basically I compiled Sage into my home folder without issues (at least on CentOS) and was able to install extra Python packages that I needed (and R, as an added bonus).