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From: Brian Granger (bgranger_at_[hidden])
Date: 2006-02-02 14:39:35


Excellent. This definitely gives me enough information to get
going. I will give feeback as I try it out.


On Jan 30, 2006, at 5:44 AM, Brian Barrett wrote:

> On Jan 29, 2006, at 6:09 PM, Brian Granger wrote:
>> I have compiled and installed OpenMPI on Mac OS X. As I
>> undertstand it, I can have mpirun start jobs using either ssh/xgrid
>> or any other system (PBS, etc.) that I have installed. How can I
>> configure which method is used? What process does ompi/orte go
>> through to select which method to use?
>> Currently I am mainly interested in ssh/xgrid at this point, but
>> PBS soon. How do these work? From poking around it looks like
>> there are lots of MCA parameters for the ras/pls modules that are
>> relevant. But there is very little documentation about what they
>> all do.
>> Can anyone give me pointers about where to look for more
>> documentation?
> Unfortunately (shame on me) there isn't any documentation on the
> XGrid support at this time. It's on my to-do list, but so are a lot
> of other things. I've included some notes below that should help --
> if not, feel free to ask all the questions you want. It will help to
> know what information people expect.
> Open MPI does a run-time priority ranking to determine which process
> starter is used. ssh/rsh has the lowest ranking, and XGrid, PBS, and
> SLURM all have a rating that is higher than ssh/rsh. However, the
> XGrid, PBS, and SLURM components all only allow themselves to be
> selected if some other condition is met that indicates that they
> should be used. For PBS and SLURM, this is the environment variables
> set by the batch scheduler indicating that a PBS (or SLURM) job is
> being executed.
> The XGrid starter currently looks for a couple of environment
> variables to decide if it can be used. Currently, the XGrid process
> starter only supports the basic password authentication to the
> controller. As such, the two environment variables the XGrid starter
> XGRID_CONTROLLER_PASSWORD. These are the same environment variables
> that the 'xgrid' command-line submission process uses.
> The XGrid support in Open MPI is currently in a beta stage, and has a
> couple of limitations that might make it unappealing to you. It
> requires that Open MPI be installed on all the nodes, and be in the
> default path for user 'nobody', which pretty much means installing it
> in /usr. This is because it only supports password authentication
> (and not Kerboeros authentication), so all jobs will run as nobody.
> If there is interest, it would not be hard to add Kerberos
> authentication support. The XGridFoundation framework is only
> available for 32 bit PPC / x86, so the starter will only build if
> Open MPI is building in 32 bit mode. We currently require all Open
> MPI processes (run-time and application) be the same endianness and
> pointer size, so all user processes must be 32 bit applications. We
> intend on removing this restriction some time in the future, allowing
> a 32 bit runtime and 64 bit user application.
> The restriction that Open MPI be installed on all nodes is a slightly
> more difficult problem. Open MPI usually builds as a shared library
> with a bunch of dynamically loaded shared objects, complicating the
> list of what must be migrated. Even if statically linked, there is
> still a helper process we have to migrate out with your application
> (to deal with standard I/O in the expected way, along with some other
> features that are much easier to implement with a helper daemon).
> To use the XGrid system, make sure that the XGrid controller is
> properly configured to use password-based authentication. Then
> issues the following commands (assuming tcsh)
> % mpirun -np X ./myapp
> XGrid does not give users a way to know how many nodes are
> available. Open MPI assumes that if a user requested X nodes, there
> will eventually be X nodes available to run on. SO if X is greater
> than the available number of nodes, mpirun will happily submit that
> request to XGrid and XGrid will happily queue the job until X number
> of nodes are available. I wish there was a better way to handle that
> situation, but there doesn't seem to be. I've talked a little bit
> with the XGrid developers about improving this. Since XGrid is
> intended to be used in environments where machines come and go at
> will, it can be difficult to determine how many agents are up and
> running -- that isn't a static answer. I think at one point there
> was talk of adding a flag to the job submission that would bounce the
> job out of the queue if some period of time (possibly including
> immediately) passed without the job being queued. I don't know if
> anything ever came of that discussion.
> There is really only one MCA parameter that users should ever have to
> adjust for the XGrid starter. The MCA parameter
> "pls_xgrid_job_delete" defaults to 1 and if it is non-zero, jobs will
> be removed from the list of executed jobs that have completed (the
> XGrid controller maintains this list). If jobs aren't deleted by
> Open MPI at completion, their results will remain in the XGrid
> contoller's data store until the user manually deletes them.
> As for the rsh/ssh component, there are a couple of MCA parameters
> that might be of use to most users.
> pls_rsh_num_concurrent: Open MPI tries to fork off this number of
> rsh/ssh
> instances before waiting for some to complete to move on. This
> number
> defaults to 128. On platforms with low per-user process or file
> descriptor counts, this may have to be slightly lower. On
> really large
> machines, it's possible start-up performance would increase by
> increasing this number
> pls_rsh_assume_same_shell: Open MPI will assume the same shell is
> used on
> the remote nodes as on the current node (ie, they are all tcsh,
> bash,
> ksh, etc.) if this is non-zero. Otherwise, we must log in to
> each node
> twice, the first time to determine which shell is used on the
> remote
> nodes.
> plsh_rsh_agent: a colon (:) separated list of startup agents to
> attempt
> to use. Open MPI will use the first one available on the
> starting
> node. If a starter is available but doesn't work, an error will
> result. The default value is 'ssh : rsh', meaning that ssh
> will be
> used unless it isn't installed, in which case rsh will be used.
> Please let me know if you have more questions.
> Brian
> --
> Brian Barrett
> Open MPI developer
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