Tractor: a job queue system from Pixar

October 7, 2009
by Evan Silberman (ejs07)

Shauna and I met with Josiah Erickson on Monday, and we learned the very useful fact that the cluster does indeed have a load-balancing job queue system operating on it called Tractor. It’s one of the tools distributed with RenderMan, but the scripts one writes to spool tasks are quite generic and should be useful for a variety of applications. When I actually start writing the GP experiment manager (very soon now), it will queue jobs by producing tractor scripts as output and spooling them. There are a couple of quirks with Tractor as it is presently configured that tend to result in permissions errors, but hopefully by working with Josiah and being clever with scripting it will be possible for users to employ the system without having to do stuff with permissions editing. Or at least, not too much of it.

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