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Installing an Open Science Pool Access Point

This document explains how to add a path for user jobs to flow from your local site out to the OSG, which in most cases means that the jobs will have far more resources available to run on than locally. If your local batch system frequently has many jobs waiting to run for a long time, you do not have a local batch system, or if you simply want to provide a local entry point for OSG-bound jobs, adding a path to OSG may result in less waiting for your users.

Note that if you do not have a local batch system, consider having your users use OSG Connect, which will require less infrastructure work at your site.


Flocking to the OSG requires some modification to user workflows. After installation, see the usage section for instructions on what your users will need to do.


Every batch computing system has one or more entry points that users log on to and use to hand over their computing work to the batch system for completion. For the HTCondor batch system, we say that users log on to a access point (i.e., submit node, submit host) to submit their jobs to HTCondor, where the jobs wait ("are queued") until computing resources are available to run them. In a purely local HTCondor system, there are one to a few access points and many computing resources.

An HTCondor access point can also be configured to forward excess jobs to an OSG-managed pool. This process is called flocking. If you already have an HTCondor pool, we recommend that you install this software on top of one of your existing HTCondor access points. This approach allows a user to submit locally and have their jobs run locally or, if the user chooses and if local resources are unavailable, have their jobs automatically flock to OSG. If you do not have an HTCondor batch system, following these instructions will install the HTCondor submit service and configure it only to forward jobs to the OSG. In other words, you do not need a whole HTCondor batch system just to have a local OSG access point.

System Requirements

The hardware requirement for an OSG access point depends on several factors such as number of users, number of jobs and for example how I/O intensity of those jobs. Our minimum recommended configuration is 6 cores, 12 GB RAM and 1 TB of local disk. The hardware can be bare metal or virtual machine, but we do not recommend containers as these submit host are running many system services which can be difficult to configure in a container.

Also consider the following configuration requirements:

  • Operating system: A RHEL 7 compatible operating system.
  • User IDs: If it does not exist already, the installation will create the Linux user ID condor.
  • Network:
    • Inbound TCP port 9618 must be open.
    • The access point must have a public IP address with both forward and reverse DNS configured.

Scheduling a Planning Consultation

Before participating in the OSG, either as a computational resource contributor or consumer, we ask that you contact us to set up a consultation. During this consultation, OSG staff will introduce you and your team to the OSG and develop a plan to meet your resource contribution and/or research goals.

Initial Steps

Register your access point in OSG Topology

To be part of OSG, your access point should be registered with the OSG. You will need information like the hostname, and the administrative and security contacts. Follow the general registration instructions. For historical reasons, the service type is Submit Node.

Request to be allowed to flock to OSG

OSG staff will need to add your access point to the list of hosts that flocked jobs are accepted from, and provide a HTCondor IDTOKEN so that your new access point can authenticate with OSG. Send email to with the hostname of your access point and request to be added to the list.

Installing Required Software

Flocking requires HTCondor software as well as software for reporting to the OSG accounting system. Start by setting up the OSG YUM repositories following the Installing Yum Repositories. Note that you have to use OSG 3.6. Earlier versions will not work.

Once the YUM repositories are setup, install the osg-flock convenience RPM that installs all required packages:

[email protected] # yum install osg-flock

Configuring Reporting via Gratia

Reporting to the OSG accounting system is done using the Gratia service, which consists of multiple probes. HTCondor uses the "condor" probe, which is configured in /etc/gratia/condor/ProbeConfig; we provide a recommended configuration for flocking.

  1. Copy over the recommended probe configuration:

    [email protected] # cp /etc/gratia/condor/ProbeConfig-flocking /etc/gratia/condor/ProbeConfig
  2. Fill in the value for ProbeName with the hostname of your access point, with the following format:

  3. Fill in the value for SiteName with the Resource Name you registered in Topology (see instructions above). For example:

  4. Enable the Gratia Probe.

  5. Under the section Title2 make sure to set the following (if not already there):


Configuring Authentication

Create a file named /etc/condor/tokens.d/ with the IDTOKEN you received earlier. Ensure that there aren't any line breaks in this file (i.e., the entire token should only take up one line).

Change the ownership to condor:condor and the permissions to 0600. Verify this with ls -l /etc/condor/tokens.d/

# ls -l /etc/condor/tokens.d/ 
-rw------- 1 condor condor 288 Nov 11 09:03 /etc/condor/tokens.d/

Managing Services

In addition to the HTCondor service itself, there are a number of supporting services in your installation. The specific services are:

Software Service name Notes
Gratia gratia-probes-cron Accounting software
HTcondor condor

The following table gives the commands needed to start, stop, enable, and disable a service:

To... Run the command...
Start a service systemctl start <SERVICE-NAME>
Stop a service systemctl stop <SERVICE-NAME>
Enable a service to start on boot systemctl enable <SERVICE-NAME>
Disable a service from starting on boot systemctl disable <SERVICE-NAME>


Running jobs in OSG

If your users are accustomed to running jobs locally, they may encounter some significant differences when running jobs in OSG. Users should be aware that OSG jobs are distributed across multiple institutions across a large geographical area. Each institution will have its own policy about the kinds of jobs that are allowed to run, and data transfer may be more complicated. The OSG Helpdesk Solutions page has information about what users should know; the Choosing Resources for Jobs and Data Management sections are particularly relevant.

Specifying a project

OSG will only run jobs that have a registered project associated with them. Users must follow the instructions for starting a project in OSG-Connect to register a project.

A project is associated with a job by adding a ProjectName line to the user's submit file. For example:

+ProjectName = "My_Project"

The double quotes are necessary.

Get Help

If you need help with setup or troubleshooting, see our help procedure.