condor_ssh_to_job create(1) an ssh session to a running job


condor_ssh_to_job [-help]

condor_ssh_to_job[-debug] [-name schedd-name] [-pool pool-name] [-ssh ssh-command] [-keygen-options ssh-keygen-options] [-shells shell1,shell2,...] [-auto-retry] [-remove-on-interrupt] cluster | cluster.process | cluster.process.node [remote-command]


condor_ssh_to_jobcreates an sshsession to a running job. The job is specified with the argument. If only the job clusterid is given, then the job processid defaults to the value 0.

condor_ssh_to_jobis available in Unix HTCondor distributions, and works with two kinds of jobs: those in the vanilla, vm, java, local, or parallel universes, and those jobs in the grid universe which use EC2 resources. It will not work with other grid universe jobs.

For jobs in the vanilla, vm, java, local, or parallel universes, the user must be the owner of the job or must be a queue super user, and both the condor_scheddand condor_starterdaemons must allow condor_ssh_to_jobaccess. If no remote-commandis specified, an interactive shell is created. An alternate sshprogram such as sftpmay be specified, using the -sshoption, for uploading and downloading files.

The remote command or shell runs with the same user id as the running job, and it is initialized with the same working directory. The environment is initialized to be the same as that of the job, plus any changes made by the shell setup scripts and any environment variables passed by the sshclient. In addition, the environment variable _CONDOR_JOB_PIDS is defined. It is a space-separated list of PIDs associated with the job. At a minimum, the list will contain the PID of the process started when the job was launched, and it will be the first item in the list. It may contain additional PIDs of other processes that the job has created.

The sshsession and all processes it creates are treated by HTCondor as though they are processes belonging to the job. If the slot is preempted or suspended, the sshsession is killed or suspended along with the job. If the job exits before the sshsession finishes, the slot remains in the Claimed Busy state and is treated as though not all job processes have exited until all sshsessions are closed. Multiple sshsessions may be created to the same job at the same time. Resource consumption of the sshdprocess and all processes spawned by it are monitored by the condor_starteras though these processes belong to the job, so any policies such as PREEMPT that enforce a limit on resource consumption also take into account resources consumed by the sshsession.

condor_ssh_to_jobstores ssh keys in temporary files within a newly created and uniquely named directory. The newly created directory will be within the directory defined by the environment variable TMPDIR . When the ssh session is finished, this directory and the ssh keys contained within it are removed.

See the HTCondor administrator's manual section on configuration for details of the configuration variables related to condor_ssh_to_job.

An sshsession works by first authenticating and authorizing a secure connection between condor_ssh_to_joband the condor_starterdaemon, using HTCondor protocols. The condor_startergenerates an ssh key pair and sends it securely to condor_ssh_to_job. Then the condor_starterspawns sshdin inetd mode with its stdin and stdout attached to the TCP connection from condor_ssh_to_job. condor_ssh_to_jobacts as a proxy for the sshclient to communicate with sshd, using the existing connection authorized by HTCondor. At no point is sshdlistening on the network for connections or running with any privileges other than that of the user identity running the job.If CCB is being used to enable connectivity to the execute node from outside of a firewall or private network, condor_ssh_to_jobis able to make use of CCB in order to form the sshconnection.

The login shell of the user id running the job is used to run the requested command, sshdsubsystem, or interactive shell. This is hard-coded behavior in OpenSSHand cannot be overridden by configuration. This means that condor_ssh_to_jobaccess is effectively disabled if the login shell disables access, as in the example programs /bin/trueand /sbin/nologin.

condor_ssh_to_jobis intended to work with OpenSSHas installed in typical environments. It does not work on Windows platforms. If the sshprograms are installed in non-standard locations, then the paths to these programs will need to be customized within the HTCondor configuration. Versions of sshother than OpenSSHmay work, but they will likely require additional configuration of command-line arguments, changes to the sshdconfiguration template file, and possibly modification of the $(LIBEXEC)/condor_ssh_to_job_sshd_setup script used by the condor_starterto set up sshd.

For jobs in the grid universe which use EC2 resources, a request that HTCondor have the EC2 service create a new key pair for the job by specifying ec2_keypair_filecauses condor_ssh_to_jobto attempt to connect to the corresponding instance via ssh. This attempts invokes sshdirectly, bypassing the HTCondor networking layer. It supplies sshwith the public DNS name of the instance and the name of the file with the new key pair's private key. For the connection to succeed, the instance must have started an sshserver, and its security group(s) must allow connections on port 22. Conventionally, images will allow logins using the key pair on a single specific account. Because sshdefaults to logging in as the current user, the -l <username>option or its equivalent for other versions of sshwill be needed as part of the remote-commandargument. Although the -Xoption does not apply to EC2 jobs, adding -Xor -Yto the remote-commandargument can duplicate the effect.



Display brief usage information and exit.


Causes debugging information to be sent to stderr , based on the value of the configuration variable TOOL_DEBUG

-name schedd-name

Specify an alternate condor_schedd, if the default (local) one is not desired.

-pool pool-name

Specify an alternate HTCondor pool, if the default one is not desired. Does not apply to EC2 jobs.

-ssh ssh-command

Specify an alternate sshprogram to run in place of ssh, for example sftpor scp. Additional arguments are specified as ssh-command. Since the arguments are delimited by spaces, place double quote marks around the whole command, to prevent the shell from splitting it into multiple arguments to condor_ssh_to_job . If any arguments must contain spaces, enclose them within single quotes. Does not apply to EC2 jobs.

-keygen-options ssh-keygen-options

Specify additional arguments to the ssh_keygenprogram, for creating the ssh key that is used for the duration of the session. For example, a different number of bits could be used, or a different key type than the default. Does not apply to EC2 jobs.

-shells shell1,shell2,...

Specify a comma-separated list of shells to attempt to launch. If the first shell does not exist on the remote machine, then the following ones in the list will be tried. If none of the specified shells can be found, /bin/shis used by default. If this option is not specified, it defaults to the environment variable SHELL from within the condor_ssh_to_job environment. Does not apply to EC2 jobs.


Specifies that if the job is not yet running, condor_ssh_to_job should keep trying periodically until it succeeds or encounters some other error.


If specified, attempt to remove the job from the queue if condor_ssh_to_job is interrupted via a CTRL-c or otherwise terminated abnormally.


Enable X11 forwarding. Does not apply to EC2 jobs.


% condor_ssh_to_job 32.0
Welcome to [email protected]!
Your condor job is running with pid(s) 65881.
% gdb -p 65881
(gdb) where

% logout
Connection to closed.

To upload or download files interactively with sftp:

% condor_ssh_to_job -ssh sftp 32.0
Connecting to
sftp> ls

sftp> get outputfile.dat

This example shows downloading a file from the job with scp. The string "remote" is used in place of a host name in this example. It is not necessary to insert the correct remote host name, or even a valid one, because the connection to the job is created automatically. Therefore, the placeholder string "remote" is perfectly fine.

% condor_ssh_to_job -ssh scp 32 remote:outputfile.dat .

This example uses condor_ssh_to_jobto accomplish the task of running rsyncto synchronize a local file with a remote file in the job's working directory. Job id 32.0 is used in place of a host name in this example. This causes rsyncto insert the expected job id in the arguments to condor_ssh_to_job.

% rsync -v -e "condor_ssh_to_job " 32.0:outputfile.dat .

Note that condor_ssh_to_jobwas added to HTCondor in version 7.3. If one uses condor_ssh_to_jobto connect to a job on an execute machine running a version of HTCondor older than the 7.3 series, the command will fail with the error message

Failed to send CREATE_JOB_OWNER_SEC_SESSION to starter

Exit Status

condor_ssh_to_jobwill exit with a non-zero status value if it fails to set up an ssh session. If it succeeds, it will exit with the status value of the remote command or shell.


Center for High Throughput Computing, University of Wisconsin-Madison


Copyright (C) 1990-2015 Center for High Throughput Computing, Computer Sciences Department, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI. All Rights Reserved. Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0.