BFCTL(1) LAM COMMANDS BFCTL(1)
bfctl, sweep - Control LAM buffers.
bfctl [-hR] [-s <space>] [-e <event>] <nodes>
-h Print the command help menu.
-R 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
Most MPI users will probably not need to use the bfctl and sweep com-
mands; 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 termina-
tion 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
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 run-
ning 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.
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 synchro-
nizes 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.
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.
Clean out all buffers on all nodes.
bfctl -e 4 n1
Remove all messages with event 4 on node 1.
LAM 7.1.1 September, 2004 BFCTL(1)
Man(1) output converted with