[Beowulf] cli alternative to cluster top?

Joe Landman landman at scalableinformatics.com
Sun Nov 30 08:55:40 PST 2008

Thomas Vixel wrote:
> I've been googling for a top-like cli tool to use on our cluster, but
> the closest thing that comes up is Rocks' "cluster top" script. That
> could be tweaked to work via the cli, but due to factors beyond my
> control (management) all functionality has to come from a pre-fab
> program rather than a software stack with local, custom modifications.
> I'm sure this has come up more than once in the HPC sector as well --
> could anyone point me to any top-like apps for our cluster?

We have a ctop we have written a while ago.  Depends upon pdsh, though 
with a little effort, even that could be removed (albeit being a 
somewhat slower program as a result).  Our version is Perl based, open 
source, and quite a few of our customers do use it.  I had looked at 
hooking it into wulfstat at some point.

Doug Eadline has a top he had written (is that correct Doug?) for 
clusters some time ago.

> For reference, wulfware/wulfstat was nixed as well because of the
> xmlsysd dependency.

Sometimes I wonder about the 'logic' underpinning some of the decisions 
I hear about.

ctop could work with plain ssh, though you will need to make sure that 
all nodes are able to be reached via passwordless ssh (shouldn't be an 
issue for most of todays clusters), and you will need some mechanism to 
tell ctop which nodes you wish to include in the list.  We have used 
/etc/cluster/hosts.cluster in the past to list hostnames/ip addresses of 
the cluster nodes.

Let me know if you have pdsh implemented.  BTW:  ctop is OSS (GPLv2). 
It should be available on our download site as an RPM/source RPM 
(http://downloads.scalableinformatics.com).  If there is enough interest 
in it, I'll put it into our public Mercurial repository as well.

Joseph Landman, Ph.D
Founder and CEO
Scalable Informatics LLC,
email: landman at scalableinformatics.com
web  : http://www.scalableinformatics.com
phone: +1 734 786 8423 x121
fax  : +1 866 888 3112
cell : +1 734 612 4615

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