Running simulations on remote computers


You can let one or more remote computers (hosts) handle the workload. StoSim will split the work into jobs and let the hosts do them when they are free.

There are two schedulers you can choose in the main configuration (stosim.conf) like this:

scheduler: pbs

The default scheduler is fjd, which uses the CPUs on your local machine or the ones in your local network (if they all have access to a shared home directory).

The other scheduler is pbs which is a major job description standard for computational clusters. If you use StoSim on such a cluster and choose this scheduler, then StoSim will write some extra configuration, such that the PBS system understands which jobs to run.

To check the status of your jobs and (if you use pbs scheduling) the state of computation nodes on the cluster), type

stosim –check

Both schedulers have extra configuration options which you might want to use, see Main configuration for details. If you use the fjd scheduler to not only do jobs on your local machine, but also in your LAN network, then you should read the two sections below.

The remote.conf file

If you use fjd and want to involve computers in your local network, you’ll need to extend the configuration with some information about the hosts in a separate file. StoSim will look for a file called remote.conf with information about hosts. Here is an example (go to Remote computer configuration for a full reference on the settings):

# Describe on which remote computers (hosts) to run this simulation.
# This is a separate file so you can keep your credentials apart from the project conf.
# The first two options (name and workers) are mandatory for each host.
workers: 2
nice: 5

You can rename examples/subsim/remote.conf.example to remote.conf and fill in some hosts in your network. When you run the Using subsimulations example, you should see it working.


To find out how many cores (cpus) a computer has, you might want to use the UNIX-command mpstat -P ALL, which shows you current activity on all cores.

SSH Authentication

If you use fjd to involve machines in your local network, StoSim would need to ask you for your credentials on these hosts very often. This is annoying after a while, so it is a good idea to make use of the powers of SSH setup to enable paswordless authentication. There are many ways to ease your life: You can set up RSA keys to connect with the hosts, use the ControlPersist option in the SSH config file to keep connections alive (only OpenSSH >= 5.6) or simply have one SSH connection open somewhere and let SSH share it.

Note that StoSim could theoretically offer to store the passwords for hosts in the remote.conf file, but that is not a safe procedure by any means. Many smart people thought hard about the best ways to do it and we should use what they came up with.

When running remote simulations, make sure that the hosts are known in your ~/.ssh/known_hosts file. Simply connect to the servers once per manual SSH login, where SSH asks you if you want to add that server as a known host.