kanif - a TakTuk wrapper for cluster management
kash|kaget|kaput [-aHhimsV] [-f conf-file] [-l login] [-M
machines-list] [-n|-w nodes] [-o options] [-p level] [-r command] [-T
options] [-t timeout] [-u timeout] [-x nodes] [machines specifications]
kanif is a tool for cluster management and administration. It combines
main features of well known cluster management tools such as c3, pdsh
and dsh and mimics their syntax. For the effective cluster management
it relies on TakTuk, a tool for large scale remote execution
For simple parallel tasks that have to be executed on regular machines
such as clusters, TakTuk syntax is too complicated. The goal of kanif
is to provide an easier and familiar syntax to cluster administrators
while still taking advantage of TakTuk characteristics and features
(adaptivity, scalability, portability, autopropagation and informations
To work, kanif needs to find the "taktuk" command (version 3.3 and
above) in the user path. The other requirements are the same as TakTuk:
it requires, on all the nodes of the cluster, a working Perl
interpreter (version 5.8 and above) and a command to log without
password (such as "ssh" with proper rsa keys installed).
kanif provides three simple commands for clusters administration and
kash: runs the same command on multiple nodes
kaput: broadcasts the copy of files or directories to several nodes
kaget: gathers several remote files or directories
kanif combines the advantages of several cluster management tools. Its
main features can be summarized as follows:
· C3-style configuration file for static clusters setups
· pdsh-like options such as nodes ranges and timeouts
· dshbak-like gathering, sorting and merging of output
As with "pdsh", kanif deployment can be monitored and controlled by
signals. When kanif receives a SIGINT (usually sent by typing Ctrl-C),
it displays a brief summary of its deployment state and commands
execution progress. After this first SIGINT, if kanif receives a second
signal within one second:
· it terminates its execution (cancelling any ongoing task) if this
is a SIGINT
· it cancels any ongoing connections and start executions on the
already deployed nodes if this is a SIGTSTP (usually sent by typing
At the end of executions, kanif also reports a quick summary of
failures: connections and commands execution.
To help administrators in their task, kanif options syntax is as close
as possible to C3/pdsh/dsh well known tools.
Deploys on all nodes of all configured clusters.
Uses "conf-file" as configuration file instead of default. Several
possibilities are examined for default configuration file, in
order: "$HOME/.kanif.conf", "/etc/kanif.conf", "/etc/c3.conf".
Deploys all remote execution from the root node (which executes
kanif). Useful when remote nodes cannot log on each other.
Deploys only on clusters "head" node (using local interface) for
all specified clusters.
Prints a short help text and exits.
Ask confirmation before any action. An action is either the
execution of one command on all the hosts (default) or the
execution of one command on one host (sequential mode, see -s
Uses the given "login" to connect to remote hosts.
Adds to the remote hosts the names contained in the file named
"machines-list". kanif accepts as many -M options as you wish.
Makes kanif more verbose about whats happening during deployment
Adds the given "nodes" to the deployment. See section "HOSTNAMES
SPECIFICATION" for more information about "nodes" syntax. kanif
accepts as many -n options as you wish.
Sets additional options to be passed to the remote shell command.
Sets the level of output formating made in kanif. The general idea
is: the higher the level, the more sorted, merged and human
readable the output. Default is 4, differents levels are:
0 No processing at all: raw commands output is printed to stdout
and raw commands error is printed to stderr. Connections and
executions errors are not reported.
1 Same as 0 except that the name of the host which produced the
output is prepended before each line.
2 Same as 1 except that the output is sorted by command (one
complete command execution is outputed entirely before another
one). Connections and executions errors are summarized at the
end to stderr.
3 Same as 2 except that the hostname is printed once, formatted
as a title, before its output.
4 Same as 3 except that identical output produced by multiple
nodes is printed once with all the hosts summarized in the
When this option is given, kanif does nothing and prints its
configuration, the remote nodes it would have tried to contact and
the TakTuk command that would have been executed.
Sets the name of the "command" used to contact remote hosts
(default is "ssh -o StrictHostKeyChecking=no -o BatchMode=yes").
Each command is executed sequentially on remote hosts (using the
order given on the command line as hosts order).
Allows power users to pass some options to the TakTuk command
executed (caution: always include -s which is the default unless
you really know what you are doing).
Gives a timeout value for connection attempts. At expiration,
connection is canceled and deployment on the remote host is
Gives a timeout value for commands execution. At expiration the
command is killed with a TERM signal.
Prints kanif version and exits.
Synonym to -n.
Excludes some nodes from the ones given using -n or -w. Applies to
all hosts sets that do not already contain an exclusion part. Does
not apply to host given with -M option.
Usually all kanif options can be set by environment variables. The
rationale is that boolean options have 0/1 value and environment
settings are overridden by command line switches.
The name of an environment variable used by kanif is made of the long
option name capitalized with dashes replaced by underscores and
"KANIF_" prepended (for instance "KANIF_ALL", "KANIF_HEAD", and so on).
This rule admits the following exceptions (that have been chosen to
mimic C3/dsh behavior):
Instead of KANIF_FILE for configuration file.
Instead of KANIF_LOGIN for login name.
Notice also that the variable KANIF_WCOLL has no meaning to kanif.
Hostnames given to kanif might be simple machine name or complex hosts
lists specifications. In its general form, an hostname is made of an
host set and an optional exclusion set separated by a slash. Each of
those sets is a comma separated list of host templates. Each of these
templates is made of constant parts (characters outside brackets) and
optional range parts (characters inside brackets). Each range part is a
comma separated list of intervals or single values. Each interval is
made of two single values separated by a dash. This is true for all
hostnames given to kanif (both with -M or -n/-w options).
In other words, the following expressions are valid host
they respectively expand to:
node1 node2 node3
node1 node3 otherhost
node1parta node2parta node2partb node3partb node5partb
Notice that these list of values are not regular expressions
("node" is "node19" and not "node1, node2, ...., node9"). Intervals
are implemented using the perl magical auto increment feature, thus you
can use alphanumeric values as interval bounds (see perl documentation,
operator ++ for limitations of this auto increment).
With kanif, you can specify the remote nodes on which you want to do
some stuff using the command line switches (-n and -x, pdsh/dsh style),
using machines specifications (C3 style) or both. Thus, this part of
the documentation might be ignored if you do not want to use C3 style
To use machines specification you must describe your cluster in a
configuration file (see -f option and kanif.conf(5)). Machines
specifications are nodes intervals taken from clusters defined in this
A machine specification is an optional cluster name followed by a colon
and an optional range. The default cluster is taken if no cluster name
is given. All the nodes of the cluster are taken if no range is given.
Notice that if none of -n/-w, -M or machine specification is given on
the command line, the remote hosts are assumed to be all the nodes of
the default cluster.
Depending on the name used to invoke it (kash, kaput or kaget), kanif
does not perform the same task. Here are its various behavior:
kash [options] [command line]
Executes the last part of the command line on all the remote hosts.
If this last part is empty, enters interactive mode in which kanif
waits for command (one per line) on stdin. In interactive mode,
just send an EOF character (Ctrl-D) to exit kash.
kaput [options] src1 [src2 ...] dest
Copies one ore more files or directories to all the remote hosts.
The last argument is the path to the destination file or directory
on the remote machine. The other arguments are local files or
directories to copy. Behavior and limitations are similar to the
kaget [options] src1 [src2 ...] dest
Download one ore more files or directories from all the remote
hosts. The last argument is the path to the destination directory
on the local machine. The other arguments are path to files or
directories on remote hosts. Each source must be present on all the
remote hosts. Sources are copied to the destination directory
having the originating host appended to their name.
Notice that when using kaget or kaput each file or directory is
completely copied before proceeding to the next one.
When a configuration file exists on the system or is given on the
command line (see option -f), remote machines can be specified via
clusters names. For instance, the simple execution of the command "ls
-l" on all the nodes of the cluster named "megacluster" can be written:
kash megacluster: ls -l
Intervals can also be given. The following command copies the local
.cshrc file to the login directory of a subset of the default cluster
and another subset of the "megacluster":
kaput :3-6 megacluster:2-5 $HOME/.cshrc .
Finally, one can take advantage of the default behavior to gather a
file named "results.txt" placed in the "/tmp" directory on all the
nodes of the default cluster to the local directory "results":
kaget /tmp/results.txt results
When a user does not want to write a configuration file or just wants
to deploy on some other nodes, it is possible to give remote hosts on
the command line:
kash -n localhost,supernode uptime
This last command will just execute "uptime" on "localhost" and
"supernode". Giving intervals and exclusion lists is also possible on
the command line. The following command copie the file
"/tmp/temporary.txt" to the remote "/tmp" directories of node1 and
kaput -n node[1-6] -x node[2-4],node6 /tmp/temporary.txt /tmp
Finally, without entering into the details of each option, the final
command illustrates the -u option. It executes during 5 seconds a
"ping" to "gateway" from 5 nodes:
kash -n node[1-2],node[4-6] -u 5 ping gateway
· indirect clusters not supported (see C3 documentation about such
· when there are no machine to deploy and kanif runs in interactive
mode, kanif still waits for a command (or eof) before exiting
· the algorithm used by kaput is not very efficient for transferring
large files. Although the precise limit depends on the machine, it
should not scale well above a few hundreds of megabytes.
The author of kanif and current maintainer of the package is Guillaume
Huard. Acknowledgements to Lucas Nussbaum for the idea of the name
kanif is provided under the terms of the GNU General Public License
version 2 or later.