Bash Shell Helpers

Who is this document for?

This is for someone using Jug on a compute cluster where there is a dedicated head node. These scripts help launch, monitor, and terminate jug on all of the compute nodes. They should be used with caution, as they are not heavily tested and may need to be modified for your setup.

Terms used in this document

head node

Computer that does not perform heavy computation locally. Instead it is in charge of managing and monitoring jug on other computers

compute node/client

Interchangable terms for this doc. Computers that are connected to the head node (typically via an SSH connection) and will be performing computation.

jug instance

A single jug process, typically running on a compute node

What scripts are available?


The normal jug executable


Starts jug executables on non-head machines. The number of executables started on each client machine should be configured to match the hardware of each client machine e.g. for 12 hardware threads, it may be reasonable to run 10 instances of jug


Monitors jug execution by occasionally calling ‘jug status’


Stops all jug executors on all compute node computers


Outputs a log of jug run/halt/stop commands


If your jug tasks print to stdout or stderr, this collects all of that content from each remote machine and prints it out. Note that this command will likely need to be configured for your computer

Installing these scripts

You need to

  1. create an alias for all of the jug* commands in your .bash_profile

  2. create a workers.iplist file

  3. create a .waitonjug executable

  4. create a` script.

All of these are covered here. Also note, these scripts require pssh

Creating command aliases

local ~$ ssh myserver
myserver ~$ nano .bash_profile
# Nano opens a text editor and I paste the following at
# the top (minus the hash signs)
#alias pssh='pssh -i -h workers.iplist '
#alias jugstatus='watch -n 10 -d jug status --cache'
#alias jugrun='echo "`date`: Start" >> .juglog; screen -d -m -S jugwatcher sh ~/.waitonjug; pssh screen -d -S jug -m sh'
#alias jugoutput='pssh cat /mnt/localhd/.jug*'
#alias jughalt='echo "`date`: Halt ">> .juglog; screen -S jugwatcher -X quit;  pssh pkill jug;'
#alias juglog='cat ~/.juglog'
# Now we need to tell the server to 'reload' .bash_profile
myserver ~$ source .bash_profile
# Now type 'jug' and hit tab a few times to see the following
myserver ~$ jug
jug    jughalt    juglog     jugoutput  jugrun     jugstatus

Creating workers.iplist

This is pretty simple, just create a file called workers.iplist and insert something like this to identify all of your compute nodes:

Creating .waitonjug executable Create a new file called .waitonjug and insert the following


echo "Waiting..."
jug sleep-until
echo "`date`: Completed" >> ~/.juglog
echo "Complete, returning"

Then save the file and make it executable by typing chmod a+x .waitonjug.


Create a new file called and paste the following, but be sure to modify the script! There are a few things to modify: the number of workers, the name of your jug python code, and where to send the output.

Number of Workers: This script assumes that all compute nodes can run the same number of jug processes without being overloaded. I would generally recommend setting the number of jug processes to be slightly lower than the total number of hardware threads your compute node can support. For example, each of my compute nodes has 12 hardware threads (6 cores, 2 threads each), so I’ve set to run 10 jug processes per compute node.

Name of script: Below, the name of my jug script is Yours is likely different, so please update

Output redirection: I’m outputing stdout and stderr to /mnt/localhd. If your jug tasks do not use stdout or stderr, then perhaps just do jug execute <my_jug>.py &> /dev/null & to redirect everything to /dev/null. If you actually want output, make sure that the directory you’re using for output (in my case /mnt/localhd) is NOT shared by NFS, or your workers on different machines will be overwriting the same file. Or be a boss and upgrade this script to read in the hostname ;-)



rm /mnt/localhd/.jug*
    jug execute > /mnt/localhd/.jug$i.out 2> /mnt/localhd/.jug$i.err &

After creating, don’t forget to make it executable using chmod a+x

Understanding the scripts

pssh Pssh is required for all of these scripts. It allows me to broadcast one command to multiple computers and receive the reply. It makes an ssh connection to each computer, executes the command, and aggregates the replies. Pssh is what reads in the workers.iplist

jugstatus This uses the watch command to call ‘jug status’ every ten seconds

jugrun This will likely need minor modifications for your use. See the ‘installation’ section above. This first posts log entry, then sets up what I call a ‘watcher’, which is a tiny executable that runs in the background on the host computer (actually, it runs inside of a detached screen session) and waits on jug to complete the ‘jugrun’ command. If you peek inside the .waitonjug code you will see that this ‘wait on jug’ logic is nothing more than 1) use jug’s sleep-until 2) create log message indicating that the job is complete.

The actual business logic of jugrun is to use pssh to tell each compute node to execute the script. The run_workers script runs on each compute node, and launches all the instances of jug. It also waits on them to be terminated (e.g. killed by either jug completing or a call to jughalt). It waits because if the script terminates before the child processes (e.g. the instances of jug) then bad things will happen

jughalt Creates a log message about halting, terminates the .waitonjug detached screen so that we don’t have anyone waiting for the job to complete, and then uses pssh to issue a command to all compute node to kill all jug processes. The pkill command is used to automatically find and kill and processes names jug. Once the jug processes die then the scripts will automatically terminate

juglog Outputs the contents of the log file from the run/halt/complete. Simple file, can be used with other options e.g. tail -f ~/.juglog

jugoutput This will likely need to be modified for your use. In my setup, all files under /home/myuser/ are shared via NFS. This means that any output files placed in my home directory can have problems as multiple jug processes are writing to the same file and NFS is trying to share that file across multiple machines. My solution was to output jug-process-specific files into a directory that is not shared by NFS, specifically /mnt/localhd on each computer. The jugoutput command uses pssh to collect all of these log files and print them to me on the head node. Useful for monitoring progress of individual jug tasks e.g. a particularly long running method call.