Configuration for Access Points

condor_schedd Policy Configuration

Schedd Job Transforms

The condor_schedd can transform jobs as they are submitted. Transformations can be used to guarantee the presence of required job attributes, to set defaults for job attributes the user does not supply, or to modify job attributes so that they conform to schedd policy; an example of this might be to automatically set accounting attributes based on the owner of the job while letting the job owner indicate a preference.

There can be multiple job transforms. Each transform can have a Requirements expression to indicate which jobs it should transform and which it should ignore. Transforms without a Requirements expression apply to all jobs. Job transforms are applied in order. The set of transforms and their order are configured using the Configuration variable JOB_TRANSFORM_NAMES.

For each entry in this list there must be a corresponding JOB_TRANSFORM_<name> configuration variable that specifies the transform rules. Transforms can use the same syntax as condor_job_router transforms; although unlike the condor_job_router there is no default transform, and all matching transforms are applied - not just the first one. (See the The HTCondor Job Router section for information on the condor_job_router.)

When a submission is a late materialization job factory, transforms that would match the first factory job will be applied to the Cluster ad at submit time. When job ads are later materialized, attribute values set by the transform will override values set by the job factory for those attributes.

The following example shows a set of two transforms: one that automatically assigns an accounting group to jobs based on the submitting user, and one that shows one possible way to transform Vanilla jobs to Docker jobs.

JOB_TRANSFORM_NAMES = AssignGroup, SL6ToDocker

JOB_TRANSFORM_AssignGroup @=end
   # map Owner to group using the existing accounting group attribute as requested group
   EVALSET AcctGroup = userMap("Groups",Owner,AcctGroup)
   EVALSET AccountingGroup = join(".",AcctGroup,Owner)

   # match only vanilla jobs that have WantSL6 and do not already have a DockerImage
   REQUIREMENTS JobUniverse==5 && WantSL6 && DockerImage =?= undefined
   SET  WantDocker = true
   SET  DockerImage = "SL6"
   SET  Requirements = TARGET.HasDocker && $(MY.Requirements)

The AssignGroup transform above assumes that a mapfile that can map an owner to one or more accounting groups has been configured via SCHEDD_CLASSAD_USER_MAP_NAMES, and given the name “Groups”.

The SL6ToDocker transform above is most likely incomplete, as it assumes a custom attribute (WantSL6) that your pool may or may not use.

Submit Requirements

The condor_schedd may reject job submissions, such that rejected jobs never enter the queue. Rejection may be best for the case in which there are jobs that will never be able to run; for instance, a job specifying an obsolete universe, like standard. Another appropriate example might be to reject all jobs that do not request a minimum amount of memory. Or, it may be appropriate to prevent certain users from using a specific submit host.

Rejection criteria are configured. Configuration variable SUBMIT_REQUIREMENT_NAMES lists criteria, where each criterion is given a name. The chosen name is a major component of the default error message output if a user attempts to submit a job which fails to meet the requirements. Therefore, choose a descriptive name. For the three example submit requirements described:

SUBMIT_REQUIREMENT_NAMES = NotStandardUniverse, MinimalRequestMemory, NotChris

The criterion for each submit requirement is then specified in configuration variable SUBMIT_REQUIREMENT_<Name>, where <Name> matches the chosen name listed in SUBMIT_REQUIREMENT_NAMES. The value is a boolean ClassAd expression. The three example criterion result in these configuration variable definitions:

SUBMIT_REQUIREMENT_NotStandardUniverse = JobUniverse != 1
SUBMIT_REQUIREMENT_MinimalRequestMemory = RequestMemory > 512
SUBMIT_REQUIREMENT_NotChris = Owner != "chris"

Submit requirements are evaluated in the listed order; the first requirement that evaluates to False causes rejection of the job, terminates further evaluation of other submit requirements, and is the only requirement reported. Each submit requirement is evaluated in the context of the condor_schedd ClassAd, which is the MY. name space and the job ClassAd, which is the TARGET. name space. Note that JobUniverse and RequestMemory are both job ClassAd attributes.

Further configuration may associate a rejection reason with a submit requirement with the SUBMIT_REQUIREMENT_<Name>_REASON.

SUBMIT_REQUIREMENT_NotStandardUniverse_REASON = "This pool does not accept standard universe jobs."
SUBMIT_REQUIREMENT_MinimalRequestMemory_REASON = strcat( "The job only requested ", \
  RequestMemory, " Megabytes.  If that small amount is really enough, please contact ..." )
SUBMIT_REQUIREMENT_NotChris_REASON = "Chris, you may only submit jobs to the instructional pool."

The value must be a ClassAd expression which evaluates to a string. Thus, double quotes were required to make strings for both SUBMIT_REQUIREMENT_NotStandardUniverse_REASON and SUBMIT_REQUIREMENT_NotChris_REASON. The ClassAd function strcat() produces a string in the definition of SUBMIT_REQUIREMENT_MinimalRequestMemory_REASON.

Rejection reasons are sent back to the submitting program and will typically be immediately presented to the user. If an optional SUBMIT_REQUIREMENT_<Name>_REASON is not defined, a default reason will include the <Name> chosen for the submit requirement. Completing the presentation of the example submit requirements, upon an attempt to submit a standard universe job, condor_submit would print

Submitting job(s).
ERROR: Failed to commit job submission into the queue.
ERROR: This pool does not accept standard universe jobs.

Where there are multiple jobs in a cluster, if any job within the cluster is rejected due to a submit requirement, the entire cluster of jobs will be rejected.

Submit Warnings

Starting in HTCondor 8.7.4, you may instead configure submit warnings. A submit warning is a submit requirement for which SUBMIT_REQUIREMENT_<Name>_IS_WARNING is true. A submit warning does not cause the submission to fail; instead, it returns a warning to the user’s console (when triggered via condor_submit) or writes a message to the user log (always). Submit warnings are intended to allow HTCondor administrators to provide their users with advance warning of new submit requirements. For example, if you want to increase the minimum request memory, you could use the following configuration.

SUBMIT_REQUIREMENT_OneGig = RequestMemory > 1024
SUBMIT_REQUIREMENT_OneGig_REASON = "As of <date>, the minimum requested memory will be 1024."

When a user runs condor_submit to submit a job with RequestMemory between 512 and 1024, they will see (something like) the following, assuming that the job meets all the other requirements.

Submitting job(s).
WARNING: Committed job submission into the queue with the following warning:
WARNING: As of <date>, the minimum requested memory will be 1024.

1 job(s) submitted to cluster 452.

The job will contain (something like) the following:

000 (452.000.000) 10/06 13:40:45 Job submitted from host: <[fc00--1]-37317&noUDP&sock=19966_e869_5>
    WARNING: Committed job submission into the queue with the following warning: As of <date>, the minimum requested memory will be 1024.

Marking a submit requirement as a warning does not change when or how it is evaluated, only the result of doing so. In particular, failing a submit warning does not terminate further evaluation of the submit requirements list. Currently, only one (the most recent) problem is reported for each submit attempt. This means users will see (as they previously did) only the first failed requirement; if all requirements passed, they will see the last failed warning, if any.

Working with Remote Job Submission

Remote job submission requires identification of the job queue, submitting with a command similar to:

$ condor_submit -remote myjob.submit

This implies the identification of a single condor_schedd daemon, running on a single machine. With the high availability of the job queue, there are multiple condor_schedd daemons, of which only one at a time is acting as the single submission point. To make remote submission of jobs work properly, set the configuration variable SCHEDD_NAME in the local configuration to have the same value for each potentially running condor_schedd daemon. In addition, the value chosen for the variable SCHEDD_NAME will need to include the at symbol (@), such that HTCondor will not modify the value set for this variable. See the description of MASTER_NAME in the condor_master Configuration File Macros section for defaults and composition of valid values for SCHEDD_NAME. As an example, include in each local configuration a value similar to:

SCHEDD_NAME = had-schedd@

Then, with this sample configuration, the submit command appears as:

$ condor_submit -remote had-schedd@  myjob.submit

Schedd Cron

Just as an administrator can dynamically add new classad attributes and values programmatically with script to the startd’s ads, the same can be done with the classads the condor_schedd sends to the collector. However, these are less generally useful, as there is no matchmaking with the schedd ads. Administrators might want to use this to advertise some performance or resource usage of the machine the schedd is running on for further monitoring.

See the section in Startd Cron for examples and information about this.

Dedicated Scheduling

The dedicated scheduler is a part of the condor_schedd that handles the scheduling of parallel jobs that require more than one machine concurrently running per job. MPI applications are a common use for the dedicated scheduler, but parallel applications which do not require MPI can also be run with the dedicated scheduler. All jobs which use the parallel universe are routed to the dedicated scheduler within the condor_schedd they were submitted to. A default HTCondor installation does not configure a dedicated scheduler; the administrator must designate one or more condor_schedd daemons to perform as dedicated scheduler.

Selecting and Setting Up a Dedicated Scheduler

We recommend that you select a single machine within an HTCondor pool to act as the dedicated scheduler. This becomes the machine from upon which all users submit their parallel universe jobs. The perfect choice for the dedicated scheduler is the single, front-end machine for a dedicated cluster of compute nodes. For the pool without an obvious choice for a access point, choose a machine that all users can log into, as well as one that is likely to be up and running all the time. All of HTCondor’s other resource requirements for a access point apply to this machine, such as having enough disk space in the spool directory to hold jobs. See Directories for more information.

Configuration Examples for Dedicated Resources

Each execute machine may have its own policy for the execution of jobs, as set by configuration. Each machine with aspects of its configuration that are dedicated identifies the dedicated scheduler. And, the ClassAd representing a job to be executed on one or more of these dedicated machines includes an identifying attribute. An example configuration file with the following various policy settings is /etc/examples/condor_config.local.dedicated.resource.

Each execute machine defines the configuration variable DedicatedScheduler, which identifies the dedicated scheduler it is managed by. The local configuration file contains a modified form of

DedicatedScheduler = ""
STARTD_ATTRS = $(STARTD_ATTRS), DedicatedScheduler

Substitute the host name of the dedicated scheduler machine for the string “”.

If running personal HTCondor, the name of the scheduler includes the user name it was started as, so the configuration appears as:

DedicatedScheduler = ""
STARTD_ATTRS = $(STARTD_ATTRS), DedicatedScheduler

All dedicated execute machines must have policy expressions which allow for jobs to always run, but not be preempted. The resource must also be configured to prefer jobs from the dedicated scheduler over all other jobs. Therefore, configuration gives the dedicated scheduler of choice the highest rank. It is worth noting that HTCondor puts no other requirements on a resource for it to be considered dedicated.

Job ClassAds from the dedicated scheduler contain the attribute Scheduler. The attribute is defined by a string of the form

Scheduler = ""

The host name of the dedicated scheduler substitutes for the string

Different resources in the pool may have different dedicated policies by varying the local configuration.

Policy Scenario: Machine Runs Only Jobs That Require Dedicated Resources

One possible scenario for the use of a dedicated resource is to only run jobs that require the dedicated resource. To enact this policy, configure the following expressions:

START     = Scheduler =?= $(DedicatedScheduler)
SUSPEND   = False
PREEMPT   = False
KILL      = False
WANT_VACATE    = False
RANK      = Scheduler =?= $(DedicatedScheduler)

The START expression specifies that a job with the Scheduler attribute must match the string corresponding DedicatedScheduler attribute in the machine ClassAd. The RANK expression specifies that this same job (with the Scheduler attribute) has the highest rank. This prevents other jobs from preempting it based on user priorities. The rest of the expressions disable any other of the condor_startd daemon’s pool-wide policies, such as those for evicting jobs when keyboard and CPU activity is discovered on the machine.

Policy Scenario: Run Both Jobs That Do and Do Not Require Dedicated Resources

While the first example works nicely for jobs requiring dedicated resources, it can lead to poor utilization of the dedicated machines. A more sophisticated strategy allows the machines to run other jobs, when no jobs that require dedicated resources exist. The machine is configured to prefer jobs that require dedicated resources, but not prevent others from running.

To implement this, configure the machine as a dedicated resource as above, modifying only the START expression:

START = True
Policy Scenario: Adding Desktop Resources To The Mix

A third policy example allows all jobs. These desktop machines use a preexisting START expression that takes the machine owner’s usage into account for some jobs. The machine does not preempt jobs that must run on dedicated resources, while it may preempt other jobs as defined by policy. So, the default pool policy is used for starting and stopping jobs, while jobs that require a dedicated resource always start and are not preempted.

The START, SUSPEND, PREEMPT, and RANK policies are set in the global configuration. Locally, the configuration is modified to this hybrid policy by adding a second case.

SUSPEND    = Scheduler =!= $(DedicatedScheduler) && ($(SUSPEND))
PREEMPT    = Scheduler =!= $(DedicatedScheduler) && ($(PREEMPT))
RANK_FACTOR    = 1000000
RANK   = (Scheduler =?= $(DedicatedScheduler) * $(RANK_FACTOR)) \
               + $(RANK)
START  = (Scheduler =?= $(DedicatedScheduler)) || ($(START))

Define RANK_FACTOR to be a larger value than the maximum value possible for the existing rank expression. RANK is a floating point value, so there is no harm in assigning a very large value.

Preemption with Dedicated Jobs

The dedicated scheduler can be configured to preempt running parallel universe jobs in favor of higher priority parallel universe jobs. Note that this is different from preemption in other universes, and parallel universe jobs cannot be preempted either by a machine’s user pressing a key or by other means.

By default, the dedicated scheduler will never preempt running parallel universe jobs. Two configuration variables control preemption of these dedicated resources: SCHEDD_PREEMPTION_REQUIREMENTS and SCHEDD_PREEMPTION_RANK. These variables have no default value, so if either are not defined, preemption will never occur. SCHEDD_PREEMPTION_REQUIREMENTS must evaluate to True for a machine to be a candidate for this kind of preemption. If more machines are candidates for preemption than needed to satisfy a higher priority job, the machines are sorted by SCHEDD_PREEMPTION_RANK, and only the highest ranked machines are taken.

Note that preempting one node of a running parallel universe job requires killing the entire job on all of its nodes. So, when preemption occurs, it may end up freeing more machines than are needed for the new job. Also, preempted jobs will be re-run, starting again from the beginning. Thus, the administrator should be careful when enabling preemption of these dedicated resources. Enable dedicated preemption with the configuration:


In this example, preemption is enabled by user-defined job priority. If a set of machines is running a job at user priority 5, and the user submits a new job at user priority 10, the running job will be preempted for the new job. The old job is put back in the queue, and will begin again from the beginning when assigned to a newly acquired set of machines.

Grouping Dedicated Nodes into Parallel Scheduling Groups

In some parallel environments, machines are divided into groups, and jobs should not cross groups of machines. That is, all the nodes of a parallel job should be allocated to machines within the same group. The most common example is a pool of machine using InfiniBand switches. For example, each switch might connect 16 machines, and a pool might have 160 machines on 10 switches. If the InfiniBand switches are not routed to each other, each job must run on machines connected to the same switch. The dedicated scheduler’s Parallel Scheduling Groups feature supports this operation.

Each condor_startd must define which group it belongs to by setting the ParallelSchedulingGroup variable in the configuration file, and advertising it into the machine ClassAd. The value of this variable is a string, which should be the same for all condor_startd daemons within a given group. The property must be advertised in the condor_startd ClassAd by appending ParallelSchedulingGroup to the STARTD_ATTRS configuration variable.

The submit description file for a parallel universe job which must not cross group boundaries contains

+WantParallelSchedulingGroups = True

The dedicated scheduler enforces the allocation to within a group.

High Availability of the Job Queue


This High Availability configuration depends entirely on using an extremely reliably shared file server. In our experience, only expensive, proprietary file servers are suitable for this role. Frequently, casual configuation of a Highly Available HTCondor job queue will result in lowered reliability.

For a pool where all jobs are submitted through a single machine in the pool, and there are lots of jobs, this machine becoming nonfunctional means that jobs stop running. The condor_schedd daemon maintains the job queue. No job queue due to having a nonfunctional machine implies that no jobs can be run. This situation is worsened by using one machine as the single submission point. For each HTCondor job (taken from the queue) that is executed, a condor_shadow process runs on the machine where submitted to handle input/output functionality. If this machine becomes nonfunctional, none of the jobs can continue. The entire pool stops running jobs.

The goal of High Availability in this special case is to transfer the condor_schedd daemon to run on another designated machine. Jobs caused to stop without finishing can be restarted from the beginning, or can continue execution using the most recent checkpoint. New jobs can enter the job queue. Without High Availability, the job queue would remain intact, but further progress on jobs would wait until the machine running the condor_schedd daemon became available (after fixing whatever caused it to become unavailable).

HTCondor uses its flexible configuration mechanisms to allow the transfer of the condor_schedd daemon from one machine to another. The configuration specifies which machines are chosen to run the condor_schedd daemon. To prevent multiple condor_schedd daemons from running at the same time, a lock (semaphore-like) is held over the job queue. This synchronizes the situation in which control is transferred to a secondary machine, and the primary machine returns to functionality. Configuration variables also determine time intervals at which the lock expires, and periods of time that pass between polling to check for expired locks.

To specify a single machine that would take over, if the machine running the condor_schedd daemon stops working, the following additions are made to the local configuration of any and all machines that are able to run the condor_schedd daemon (becoming the single pool submission point):

SPOOL = /share/spool
HA_LOCK_URL = file:/share/spool

Configuration macro MASTER_HA_LIST identifies the condor_schedd daemon as the daemon that is to be watched to make sure that it is running. Each machine with this configuration must have access to the lock (the job queue) which synchronizes which single machine does run the condor_schedd daemon. This lock and the job queue must both be located in a shared file space, and is currently specified only with a file URL. The configuration specifies the shared space (SPOOL), and the URL of the lock. condor_preen is not currently aware of the lock file and will delete it if it is placed in the SPOOL directory, so be sure to add file SCHEDD.lock to VALID_SPOOL_FILES.

As HTCondor starts on machines that are configured to run the single condor_schedd daemon, the condor_master daemon of the first machine that looks at (polls) the lock and notices that no lock is held. This implies that no condor_schedd daemon is running. This condor_master daemon acquires the lock and runs the condor_schedd daemon. Other machines with this same capability to run the condor_schedd daemon look at (poll) the lock, but do not run the daemon, as the lock is held. The machine running the condor_schedd daemon renews the lock periodically.

If the machine running the condor_schedd daemon fails to renew the lock (because the machine is not functioning), the lock times out (becomes stale). The lock is released by the condor_master daemon if condor_off or condor_off -schedd is executed, or when the condor_master daemon knows that the condor_schedd daemon is no longer running. As other machines capable of running the condor_schedd daemon look at the lock (poll), one machine will be the first to notice that the lock has timed out or been released. This machine (correctly) interprets this situation as the condor_schedd daemon is no longer running. This machine’s condor_master daemon then acquires the lock and runs the condor_schedd daemon.

See the condor_master Configuration File Macros section for details relating to the configuration variables used to set timing and polling intervals.