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Langue: en

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Version: 179949 (CentOS - 06/07/09)

Section: 1 (Commandes utilisateur)


bfctl, sweep - Control LAM buffers.


bfctl [-hR] [-s <space>] [-e <event>] <nodes>

sweep <nodes>


Print the command help menu.
Reset the state of the buffer daemon.
-e <event>
Sweep (clean) out buffered messages of a specific event.
-s <space>
Limit the total size, in bytes, of a node's total buffer pool.


Most MPI users will probably not need to use the bfctl and sweep commands; see lamclean(1). This command is only installed if LAM/MPI was configured with the --with-trillium switch.

The bfctl command controls buffering parameters on any node. It must be called with an option: bfctl <node(s)> by itself has no function. sweep is used after an application program error or premature termination to remove all messages held in buffers.

The total space that can be consumed by the buffer daemon's buffer pool is adjusted with the -s <space> option, where <space> is the maximum number of bytes in the buffer pool; the default is 2 Mbytes. The <space> parameter should not be less than MAXNMSGLEN (defined in <net.h>).

In the event of an application program error or premature termination of an application process, unwanted messages often collect in the buffers. The user will need to "sweep" the buffers clean before running the application program again. bfctl -R <node(s)> will remove all messages from the internal buffer pool on the given nodes. sweep <nodes> is equivalent to bfctl -R <nodes>. Sweeping buffered messages can be done in a selective manner, removing all messages of a specific event. The event is specified by the -e option.

Message Buffering

The purpose of LAM network buffering is to receive, store, and forward messages to provide very loose synchronization for senders, to allow selective out-of-order synchronization for receivers and to facilitate debugging synchronization errors.

Two communicating processes using network functions nsend(2) and nrecv(2) (or functions built upon these) have the option of using the network buffers or not. By default, they are used. The message is routed to the buffer daemon on each node along the path from the sender to the receiver. If the two processes are on different nodes, the buffer daemon on the sender's node is skipped. The receiver synchronizes by first sending a query to the local buffer daemon and then waiting for a message to arrive on the selected event. If the buffer daemon has a synchronizing message, it forwards it to the receiver immediately. Otherwise the buffer daemon forwards the message when it arrives. The sender blocks only if there is no appropriate buffer space available on the receiver's node and on all nodes in between.

Bypassing Buffers

Buffering is turned off by setting the NOBUF flag in the nh_flags field of the network message descriptor prior to calling nrecv(2) in the receiver and nsend(2) in the sender. The NOBUF flag must be used with care and caution. Setting the flag in one but not the other process may inhibit synchronization. Toggling the NOBUF flag in a stream of messages to same receiver on the same synchronization point (event and type, see nsend(2)), may cause messages to get out of order. Even without buffering the node-to-node links can hold one or more messages. Thus the sender will block when all the links on the path to the receiver's node are stuffed with messages. When the sender and receiver are on the same node, synchronization is strong and the sender will block until the receiver takes the message.

The buffer daemon will refuse to receive any message for buffering if the current size of the buffer pool exceeds the upper size limit. It will resume receiving messages when space is cleared through forwarding messages to receivers or other nodes.


bfctl -s 0x100000 h
Allow one megabyte of total message buffer space on the local node.
sweep N
Clean out all buffers on all nodes.
bfctl -e 4 n1
Remove all messages with event 4 on node 1.


bfstate(1), lamclean(1)
A Marc de Papillon de Lasphrise.

L icre
s eple
d icre.

l eple

Qu agle
l odre

m odre
l ousme !

-- Chevrier, Alain