Output File Transfer via HTCondor


When your OSG Connect jobs run, any output that gets generated is specifically written to the execute node on which the job ran. In order to get access to your output files, a copy of the output must be transferred back to your OSG Connect login node.

This guide will describe the necessary steps, along with important considerations, for transferring your output files back to your /home directory on your OSG Connect login node.

Important Considerations

As described in the Introduction to Data Management on OSG Connect, any output <1GB should be staged in your /home directory. For output files >1GB, please refer to our Transferring Data with StashCache guide.

By default, HTCondor will transfer any files that are generated during the execution of your job(s) back to your /home directory, specifically to the directory from which the condor_submit command was performed when submitting your job(s). However, this behavior only applies to files in the top-level directory of where your job executes, meaning HTCondor will ignore any files created in subdirectories of the job's main working directory (because HTCondor ignores subdirectories when determining what needs to be transferred after the job completes). Several options exist for modifying this default output file transfer behavior - to learn more please contact us at support@osgconnect.net.

If your jobs use any input files >1GB that are transferred from your /public directory using StacheCash, it is important that these files get deleted from the job's working directory or moved to a subdirectory so that HTCondor will not transfer these large files back to your /home directory.

Managing Multiple Output Files

If your jobs will generate multiple output files, we recommend combining all output into a compressed tar archive for convenience, particularly when transferring your results to your local computer from your login node. To create a compressed tar archive, include commands in your your bash executable script to create a new subdirectory, move all of the output to this new subdirectory, and create a tar archive. For example:

#! /bin/bash

# various commands needed to run your job

# create output tar archive
mkidr my_output
mv my_job_output.csv my_job_output.svg my_output/
tar -czf my_job.output.tar.gz my_ouput/

The example above will create a file called my_job.output.tar.gz that contains all the output that was moved to my_output. Be sure to create my_job.output.tar.gz in the top-level directory of where your job executes and HTCondor will automatically transfer this tar archive back to your /home directory.

Select Specific Output Files To Transfer to /home Using HTCondor

As described above, HTCondor will, by default, transfer any files that are generated during the execution of your job(s) back to your /home directory. If your job(s) will produce multiple output files but you only need to retain a subset of these output files, we recommend deleting the unrequired output files or moving them to a subdirectory as a step in the bash executable script of your job - only the output files that remain in the top-level directory will be transferred back to your /home directory.

In cases where a bash script is not used as the excutable of your job, you can use transfer_output_files in your HTCondor submit file to specify individual output files that should be transferred back to your /home directory. For example, if you only wish to retain my_job.output.csv from a set of multiple output files, use the following in your HTCondor submit file:

transfer_output_files = my_job.output.csv

A note of caution when using the above: only this file will be transferred back to your /home directory and if there is a typo in the file name, your job will go on hold and all progress will be lost. Be sure to properly test the above submit file statement with your workflow before using for a large batch of jobs.

Get Additional Options For Managing Job Output

Several options exist for managing output file transfers back to your /home directory and we encourage you to get in touch with us at support@osgconnect.net to help identify the best solution for your needs.


This page was updated on Aug 07, 2020 at 16:30 from start/data/output-file-transfer-via-htcondor.md.