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[Condor-users] USB devices crisis...


we have been happy Condor customers for over a year now, but we are getting into
a USB crisis...

We recently upgraded many of the Linux machines at our labs, and many of them
have USB keyboards and/or mice (with kernel 2.4.21)... I thought this wouldn't
be too bad, but almost 50% of our Linux boxes have one or the other, so if I
have to remove all these machines from our Condor pool is going to be a major
blow to our pool.

The information at http://www.cs.wisc.edu/condor/kernel.patch.html doesn't look
very clear to me:

"While Condor version 6.6.8 and above is able to detect keyboard and mouse
activity with the above Linux kernel revisions, it is only able to do so if you
are using a PS/2-style keyboard or mouse."

We have Condor version 6.6.7. This seems to imply that our Condor will not be
able to detect keyboard and mouse activity even if we have PS/2 keyboard and
mouse? I guess this is not right, as we haven't had any problems until now
regarding keyboard or mouse activiy in PS/2 machines.

The kernel patch solution is only explained for the kernel 2.6.10. We guys with
kernels 2.4.x are out of luck? Is there any other solution? (Actually, even if
we had version 2.6.10, patching the kernel would not be a feasible solution for

Looking at the Version History webpages
(http://www.cs.wisc.edu/condor/manual/v6.7.10/8_2Development_Release.html and
http://www.cs.wisc.edu/condor/manual/v6.7.10/8_3Stable_Release.html) I only find
one reference to USB stuff for version 6.7.3 

"Linux 2.6 kernels do not update the access time for console devices, so Condor
was unable to detect if there has been activity at the keyboard or mouse. As a
work-around, Condor now polls /proc/interrupts to detect if the keyboard has
requested attention. This does not work for USB keyboards or pseudo TTYs, so
ConsoleIdle on 2.6 kernels will be wrong for some devices. Future versions of
Condor or Linux may correct this."

Has there been any improvement regarding this? Can I "pacify" my users and tell
them that the USB machines will make it into the pool again in the near future
when a new Condor version is released?

Thanks a lot,
Angel de Vicente

PostDoc Software Support
Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias