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Good Practices

Avoid accessing metadata information

Querying metadata information such as file and directory attributes is a resource intensive task in Lustre filesystems. When these tasks are performed frequently or over large directories, it can degrade the filesystem's performance and thus affect all users.

In this sense, you should minimize the usage of system calls querying or modifying file and directory attributes, e.g. stat(), statx(), open(), openat() etc.

Please, also avoid commands basing on the above mentioned system calls such as ls -l and ls --color. Instead, you should invoke ls or ls -l <filename> to reduce metadata operations. This also holds for commands walking the filesystems recursively performing massive metadata operations such as ls -R, find, locate, du and df.

Lustre offers a number of commands that are suited to its architecture.

Good Bad
lfs df df
lfs find find
ls -l <filename> ls -l
ls ls --color

In case commands such as du are needed, for example to identify large directories, these commands should be applied to as little data as possible. You should not just query the main directory in general, you should try to work in the sub directories first. The deeper in the structure, the better.

Searching the Directory Tree

The command lfs find searches the directory tree for files matching the specified parameters.

marie@login$ lfs find <root directory> [options]

If no option is provided, lfs find will efficiently list all files in a given directory and its subdirectories, without fetching any file attributes.

Useful options:

  • --atime n file was last accessed n*24 hours ago
  • --ctime n file was last changed n*24 hours ago
  • --mtime n file was last modified n*24 hours ago
  • --maxdepth n limits find to descend at most n levels of directory tree
  • --print0|-0 print full file name to standard output if it matches the specified parameters, followed by a NUL character.
  • --name arg filename matches the given filename (supporting regular expression and wildcards)
  • --type [b|c|d|f|p|l|s] file has type: block, character, directory, file, pipe, symlink, or socket.
Example: List files older than 30 days

The follwing command will find and list all files older than 30 days in the workspace /scratch/ws/0/marie-number_crunch:

marie@login lfs find /scratch/ws/0/marie-number_crunch --mtime +30 --type f

Useful Commands for Lustre

These commands work for Lustre filesystems /scratch and /ssd. In order to hold this documentation as general as possible we will use <filesystem> as a placeholder for the Lustre filesystems. Just replace it when invoking the commands with the Lustre filesystem of interest.

Lustre's lfs client utility provides several options for monitoring and configuring your Lustre environment.

lfs can be used in interactive and in command line mode. To enter the interactive mode, you just call lfs and enter your commands. Since, both modes provide identical options, we use the command line mode within this documentation.

Filesystem vs. Path

If you provide a path to the lfs commands instead of a filesystem, the lfs option is applied to the filesystem this path is in. Thus, the passed information refers to the whole filesystem, not the path.

You can retrieve a complete list of available options:

marie@login lfs --list-commands
setstripe           getstripe           setdirstripe        getdirstripe
mkdir               rm_entry            pool_list           find
check               osts                mdts                df

To get more information on a specific option, enter help followed by the option of interest:

marie@login lfs help df
df: report filesystem disk space usage or inodes usage of each MDS and all OSDs or a batch belonging to a specific pool.
Usage: df [--inodes|-i] [--human-readable|-h] [--lazy|-l]
          [--pool|-p <fsname>[.<pool>]] [path]

More comprehensive documentation can be found in the man pages of lfs (man lfs).

Listing Disk Space Usage

The command lfs df lists the filesystems disk space usage:

marie@login$ lfs df -h <filesystem>

Useful options:

  • -h outputs the units in human readable format.
  • -i reports inode usage for each target and in summary.

Example disk space usage at /scratch

At one moment in time, the disk space usage of the Lustre filesystem /scratch was:

lfs df -h /scratch
UUID                       bytes        Used   Available Use% Mounted on
scratch2-MDT0000_UUID        4.0T      502.8G        3.6T  13% /lustre/scratch2[MDT:0]
scratch2-MDT0001_UUID      408.0G      117.7G      290.3G  29% /lustre/scratch2[MDT:1]
scratch2-OST0000_UUID       28.9T       25.1T        3.7T  88% /lustre/scratch2[OST:0]
scratch2-OST0001_UUID       28.9T       24.7T        4.1T  86% /lustre/scratch2[OST:1]
scratch2-OST0002_UUID       28.9T       25.0T        3.9T  87% /lustre/scratch2[OST:2]
scratch2-OST0003_UUID       28.9T       25.1T        3.8T  87% /lustre/scratch2[OST:3]
scratch2-OST008d_UUID       28.9T       25.0T        3.8T  87% /lustre/scratch2[OST:141]
scratch2-OST008e_UUID       28.9T       24.9T        4.0T  87% /lustre/scratch2[OST:142]
scratch2-OST008f_UUID       28.9T       25.3T        3.6T  88% /lustre/scratch2[OST:143]

filesystem_summary:         4.1P        3.5P      571.8T  87% /lustre/scratch2

The disk space usage is displayed separately for each MDS and OST as well in total. You can see that the usage is quite balanced between all MDSs and OSTs.

If very large files are not properly stripped across several OSTs, the filesystem might become unbalanced with one server near 100% full.

Listing Personal Disk Usages and Limits

To list your personal filesystem usage and limits (quota), invoke

marie@login$ lfs quota -h -u $USER <filesystem>

Useful options:

  • -h outputs the units in human readable format.
  • -u|-g|-p <arg> displays quota for specific user, group or project.
  • -v displays the usage on each OST.

Listing OSTs

You can list all OSTs available in a particular Lustre filesystem using lfs osts:

marie@login$ lfs osts <filesystem>

If a path is specified, only OSTs belonging to the specified path are displayed.

View Striping Information

marie@login$ lfs getstripe myfile
marie@login$ lfs getstripe -d mydirectory

The argument -d will also display striping for all files in the directory.