pdsh – this is but one of my favorite things

Do you create crazy for loops to deal with lots of hosts? I dont. I like simple. My middle school math teacher once told me that the best mathematician is a lazy mathematician. I thought, wow I should be the best at math then. Seriously though, I help lots of folks who are new to distributed computing. Standing over their shoulders I watch as they usually struggle with lots of concepts and best practices once things are spread out horizontally. Probably the very first thing someone is faced with on a daily basis is “How do I interact with all these systems?” One answer and the topic of a previous blog entry is to use multiple terminals or tabbed terminals but this only goes so far. For my money pdsh has taken me a long way. I have no intention of describing everything it can do but suffice it to say its worth your time getting to know this tool and another related tool pdcp. In short these two tools will let you run commands and copy files across groups of nodes defined dedicated group files or using a simple regular expression type pattern at the command line. A simple linux alias ( alias mypdsh=’pdsh -w nodes[1-4]’ )is alway helpful too.

Terminator – no not the movie.

Yes I love AAAnold too but this about terminals not terminators. Do you use lots of tabbed terminals and end up flipping back and forth. Terminator can make your life much easier. I was able to use this on Ubuntu with just a few commands but on Mac it took a little more doing in that I had to install Fink. Fink worked whereas the parallel operation on mac ports did not work. In short you can split a single terminal into multiple windows using a few simple commands. If you work on lots of systems simultaneously this is a no brainer. This along with pdsh can make your life much easier at the command line.

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