[GE users] gridengine via Apple launchd framework

Chris Dagdigian dag at sonsorol.org
Mon Aug 13 23:42:24 BST 2007

Hi folks,

Eventually this will be a topic for the dev mailing list but I don't  
have anything concrete enough yet so I'm posting here for feedback  
and more eyeballs.

I've been messing around for a while now with seed versions of the  
new Apple 10.5 ("Leopard") server release and this includes making  
sure SGE will install and run correctly when OS X 10.5 is released.

One of the big (and nasty) changes is that it seems that Apple has  
followed through with it's threat to deprecate the SystemStarter  
framework which is what SGE currently uses to create boot scripts for  
grid engine on OS X systems.  SystemStarter is nice and it allows us  
to easily do things such as wait on SGE startup until DNS, network  
and NFS are present and running.

Things don't look that good for the future -- launchd is pretty  
horrible for the type of services that Grid Engine falls into. There  
is no clean way to handle ordering the startup of network services  
and no real provisions for handling 3rd party applications that take  
"start" and "stop" arguments. If you read the apple documentation and  
online docs about this sort of thing there is a pretty arrogant  
expectation that developers will simply rewrite their binaries to  
understand launchd IPC messages or otherwise play nicely with the  
framework. There are also not many good examples or tutorials online  
yet for our sort of persistant-daemons-that-have-strong-dependencies  

To get my head around launchd I ended up fooling around this  
afternoon seeing if I could get Grid Engine to start/stop cleanly  
under the launchd framework.

The proof of concept works but it is pretty brittle. I wrote up the  
experiment here:


Comments or improvements to the wiki are welcome - hopefully we can  
find a sensible way to live with launchd and can code come new  
functionality into the SGE installer scripts at some point.


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