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kanif - a TakTuk wrapper for cluster management


kash|kaget|kaput [-aFHhimqsV] [-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] [command body]


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 deployment.

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 information

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 management:

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 Ctrl-Z)

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.

-f conf-file
--file conf-file
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

Prints a short help text and exits.

Asks 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 switch).

-l login
--login login
Uses the given "login" to connect to remote hosts.

-M machines-list
--list machines-list
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 commands execution.

-n nodes
--nodes nodes
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.

-o options
--remote-opts options
Sets additional options to be passed to the remote shell command.

-p level
--postprocess level
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 title.

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

-r command
--remote-cmd command
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).

-T options
--taktuk-options options
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).

-t timeout
--timeout timeout
Gives a timeout value for connection attempts. At expiration, connection is canceled
and deployment on the remote host is aborted.

-u timeout
--upper-limit timeout
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.

-x nodes
--exclude nodes
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

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

In other words, the following expressions are valid host specifications:

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[19]" 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 nodes management.

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 file.

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 command cp(1).

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

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 node5:

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

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