[Beowulf] Rocks 4.3 and user accounts

Guillaume Michal gmichal at uow.edu.au
Tue Feb 5 04:33:32 PST 2008

Hi all, ( sorry for the duplicate mail, previous one was sent while I
didn't finished it...)

I'm in a process of deploying a HPC based on the rocks distribution.
After some troubles to install the system, I finally succeeded. Nodes
are up and everything seems find when I look at the Ganglia reports.
However I have some troubles with the users accounts. I googled to find
some info  without success so I try here in  case some of you are more
used to Rocks than me. 

Here is the problem, I decided to launch a simple test using mpirun from
mpich as described in the user guide (chapter 2.1 Launching Interactive
jobs). As specified, I created a user and synced the nodes from the
# useradd someuser 
# rocks sync users

Then created the "machines" file and put it in the user home directory 
( /export/home/someuser ):

And followed the procedure to run it after putting the "HPL.dat" I found
in /var/www/blahblahblah in the user home directory.
	$ ssh-agent $SHELL
	$ ssh-add
	$ /opt/mpich/gnu/bin/mpirun -nolocal -np 2 -machinefile
machines /opt/hpl/mpich-hpl/bin/xhpl

At the moment the problem seems to be the rsa key and ssh. the $HOME
variable is set to /home/someuser whereas the real home is
in /export/home/someuser on the frontend. It leads to some errors when
creating the RSA key as it looks into /home/someuser to create the
I modified the $HOME variable but while it's ok on the frontend, it is
not on the nodes as they expect something in /home/someuser. 
I though the problem was due to the useradd command so I decided to
create the user under Gnome (there must be a way in the console, 'd like
to know it btw...) by specifying the real path to the home user
It was then possible to create the key properly. However as soon as I
sync the users on the cluster ( rocks sync users ), the $HOME variable
is set back to /home/someuser -> go back to the beging.

For me it appears to be a problem with the $HOME variable which should
be /export/home/someuser on the frontend and /home/someuser on the
nodes, but this should be automatically defined by Rocks, shouldn't it?

So basically how can I create users account with rsa key, sync the
cluster and still keep the right $HOME variables? I'm kind of lost here
or I clearly miss a point somewhere.

BTW, I kind of tweek "/etc/profile" to modify the $HOME variable and
declare it properly. As I did a standard Rocks installation I do not
believe one has to do this, apart from the fact it's a dirty method :-(

Thank you for your advices


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