Version 34 (modified by Vic Thomas, 8 years ago) (diff)


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When getting ready to run experiments in GENI, it is always a good idea to automate the setup of your experiment.

This page assumes you know

  • how to create a sliver with all the nodes that you need
  • how to login to your nodes
  • know what steps of your experiment you want to automate with the install scripts

In GENI RSpecs, you have the capability of instructing an Aggregate Manager to download software from the web, and execute install scripts at boot up time. This page provides step by step instructions about how to write and use install scripts.

1. Write your script

Things to remember

  • your script does not run in the context of your user, make sure that you change the permissions of anything installed in your home directory so that you have access to them when you login
  • your script does run as a user with sudo privileges. Make sure you use sudo when:
    • you execute privileged commands (e.g. yum, apt-get, service)
    • you place things in your home directory
    • you try to write files in protected directories (e.g. `/usr/local/bin/, /local/)
  • the $PATH environment variable is not necessarily set, make sure you use the full path of commands in your scripts; for example don't use ifconfig, but use /sbin/ifconfig. This is also true for the interpreters used for your script.Make sure you start your script with a line like
    #!<path to your interpreter>
    If you don't know the path, while logged in run (this is an example to figure out where python is installed)
    $ which python
  • your script runs every time the host reboots, so if you reboot the host as part of your script you have to check if your script has already ran or you will end up in a cycle of reboots.
  • your script should be fully automated. You won't be able to interact with your script when it runs so make sure it doesn't need any input to run. For example if you use apt-get, use the -y flag so that apt-get assumes yes to any interactive question.

Choose a scripting language

You can use any scripting language you want, popular choices are:

  • shell scripts, there are many tutorials online that can guide you through it.
  • [ Perl]. Make sure that perl is installed by default in the Image you are using. Login to your nodes and type perl -h.
  • Python. Make sure that Python is installed by default in the Image you are using. Login to your nodes and type python -h.

If an interpreter for the scripting language of your choice is not installed, you can write a short shell script that will first install it

Parts of your script

Your script should have at least two parts:

  • the part that needs to be executed only once
  • the part that needs to be executed every time the node boots up

The easiest way to achieve this is by adding a file the first time your script runs and then check for the existence of that file before running one-time commands. Independent on which scripting language you decide to use, your script would look like:

go to execution directory
if <file> does not exist:
   create file
   run one-time commands
run boot-time commands

After you write your script make sure it is executable by doing:

chmod +x <script>

This is an example of a script that installs some packages, download and install a software, change some parameters and reboot the node in the end.

# Usual directory for downloading software in ProtoGENI hosts is `/local`
cd /local

##### Check if file is there #####
if [ ! -f "./installed.txt" ]
       #### Create the file ####
        sudo touch "./installed.txt"

       #### Run  one-time commands ####
       #Install necessary packages
        sudo apt-get update& EPID=$!
        wait $EPID
        sudo apt-get -y install git-core unzip cmake libpcap-dev libxerces-c2-dev libpcre3-dev flex bison g++ autoconf libtool pkg-config libboost-dev libboost1.40-all-dev gawk & EPID=$!
        wait $EPID

       # Install custom software
       sudo git clone git:// & EPID=$!
       wait $EPID
       cd myproject 
       sudo ./ & EPID=$!
       wait $EPID
       sudo ./configure & EPID=$!
       wait $EPID
       sudo make & EPID=$!
       wait $EPID
       sudo make install & EPID=$!
       # For my experiment I need to disable IPV6
       echo "#disable ipv6" | sudo tee -a /etc/sysctl.conf
       echo "net.ipv6.conf.all.disable_ipv6 = 1" | sudo tee -a /etc/sysctl.conf
       echo "net.ipv6.conf.default.disable_ipv6 = 1" | sudo tee -a /etc/sysctl.conf
       echo "net.ipv6.conf.lo.disable_ipv6 = 1" | sudo tee -a /etc/sysctl.conf
       ## Reboot the OS to run a latest kernel without IPv6.
       sudo reboot
##### Run Boot-time commands
# Start my service -- assume it was installed at /usr/local/bin
sudo /usr/local/bin/myproject-server    

2. Upload your script

In order for the Aggregate Manager to find and run the install script, you will need to upload your script in a web server that is publicly available. Most institution provide this service to their users. However if you don't have access in a web server in order to upload your script, you can setup a web server in GENI. Please follow these instructions about setting up a web server in a PlanetLab node.

After you have ensured access to a web server, follow these simple steps:

  • For ProtoGENI you should place your script in a compressed file. Do :
    tar cvfz install-script.tar.gz <script>
  • Upload your file to your webserver. Make sure you have access to the file by pointing a browser at your file and ensuring that you can download it.

Tip: Keep your life simple! Keep the script file in its own tar file. f you have other software that you need installed on the nodes, package it up separately. You can instruct the AM to download and uncompress multiple pieces of software. This will keep the task of updating your script easy and independent from the rest of your experiment.

3. Test your script

Before you add the script to your RSpec and automate the setup of your experiment, make sure that your test script works. This will save you a lot of time with going back and forth, creating and delete slivers until you get it right. Reserve a node and after the node is ready login. In ProtoGENI the user-software is usually downloaded and installed in local. So login to your node and:

  • go to the /local/ directory
    cd /local
  • download and untar your script
    sudo wget <URL_FOR_YOUR_SCRIPT>
    sudo tar xvfz <your_script>.tar.gz

If you are planning to download additional software using install scripts, download this software as well.

  • run your script
    sudo ./<your_script>
  • fix any errors, upload your script and retest it.

4. Modify your RSpec

Now that you have a script that you believe works it is time to add the script to your request RSpec so it is executed at the creation time of your slivers (resources). If you are using the Portal/Jacks to create your RSpec:

  1. Click on the node where this script is to be installed and executed.
  2. In the pane where you specify node properties, scroll down till you see Install Tarball and click Add.
  3. Enter the url to the install script. Enter /local as the Install Path.
  4. Scroll down to the Execute Command and click on Add. Enter sh /local/ in the text box.

5. Tips

For InstaGENI aggregates

  • A log of the execution of your script is written to /var/emulab/logs/runlog. It often has information that can help you determine why your script failed.
  • Execute scrips are run by an account called "geniuser". This user may not have access to your home directory. You can have the script run as you by setting the execute element in the Spec to:

<execute shell="sh" command="sudo su youruser -c ' arg'"/>