Recent Advances in Parallel Virtual Machine and Message Passing Interface

Volume 1908 of the series Lecture Notes in Computer Science pp 168-175


A Scalable Process-Management Environment for Parallel Programs

  • Ralph ButlerAffiliated withUniversity of North Florida
  • , William GroppAffiliated withArgonne National Laboratory
  • , Ewing LuskAffiliated withArgonne National Laboratory


We present a process management system for parallel programs such as those written using MPI. A primary goal of the system, which we call MPD (for multipurpose daemon), is to be scalable. By this we mean that startup of interactive parallel jobs comprising a thousand processes is quick, that signals can be quickly delivered to processes, and that stdin, stdout, and stderr are managed intuitively. Our primary target is parallel machines made up of clusters of SMPs, but the system is also useful in more tightly integrated environments. We describe how MPD enables much faster startup and better runtime management of MPICH jobs. We show how close control of stdio can support the easy implementation of a number of convenient system utilities, even a parallel debugger. MPD is implemented and freely distributed with MPICH.