Aurora Client Commands


Once you have written an .aurora configuration file that describes your Job and its parameters and functionality, you interact with Aurora using Aurora Client commands. This document describes all of these commands and how and when to use them. All Aurora Client commands start with aurora, followed by the name of the specific command and its arguments.

Job keys are a very common argument to Aurora commands, as well as the gateway to useful information about a Job. Before using Aurora, you should read the next section which describes them in detail. The section after that briefly describes how you can modify the behavior of certain Aurora Client commands, linking to a detailed document about how to do that.

This is followed by the Regular Jobs section, which describes the basic Client commands for creating, running, and manipulating Aurora Jobs. After that are sections on Comparing Jobs and Viewing/Examining Jobs. In other words, various commands for getting information and metadata about Aurora Jobs.

Cluster Configuration

The client must be able to find a configuration file that specifies available clusters. This file declares shorthand names for clusters, which are in turn referenced by job configuration files and client commands.

The client will load at most two configuration files, making both of their defined clusters available. The first is intended to be a system-installed cluster, using the path specified in the environment variable AURORA_CONFIG_ROOT, defaulting to /etc/aurora/clusters.json if the environment variable is not set. The second is a user-installed file, located at ~/.aurora/clusters.json.

A cluster configuration is formatted as JSON. The simplest cluster configuration is one that communicates with a single (non-leader-elected) scheduler. For example:

  "name": "example",
  "scheduler_uri": "localhost:55555",

A configuration for a leader-elected scheduler would contain something like:

  "name": "example",
  "zk": "",
  "scheduler_zk_path": "/aurora/scheduler"

For more details on cluster configuration see the Client Cluster Configuration documentation.

Job Keys

A job key is a unique system-wide identifier for an Aurora-managed Job, for example cluster1/web-team/test/experiment204. It is a 4-tuple consisting of, in order, cluster, role, environment, and jobname, separated by /s. Cluster is the name of an Aurora cluster. Role is the Unix service account under which the Job runs. Environment is a namespace component like devel, test, prod, or stagingN. Jobname is the Job’s name.

The combination of all four values uniquely specifies the Job. If any one value is different from that of another job key, the two job keys refer to different Jobs. For example, job key cluster1/tyg/prod/workhorse is different from cluster1/tyg/prod/workcamel is different from cluster2/tyg/prod/workhorse is different from cluster2/foo/prod/workhorse is different from cluster1/tyg/test/workhorse.

Role names are user accounts existing on the slave machines. If you don’t know what accounts are available, contact your sysadmin.

Environment names are namespaces; you can count on prod, devel and test existing.

Modifying Aurora Client Commands

For certain Aurora Client commands, you can define hook methods that run either before or after an action that takes place during the command’s execution, as well as based on whether the action finished successfully or failed during execution. Basically, a hook is code that lets you extend the command’s actions. The hook executes on the client side, specifically on the machine executing Aurora commands.

Hooks can be associated with these Aurora Client commands.

  • job create
  • job kill
  • job restart

The process for writing and activating them is complex enough that we explain it in a devoted document, Hooks for Aurora Client API.

Regular Jobs

This section covers Aurora commands related to running, killing, renaming, updating, and restarting a basic Aurora Job.

Creating and Running a Job

aurora job create <job key> <configuration file>

Creates and then runs a Job with the specified job key based on a .aurora configuration file. The configuration file may also contain and activate hook definitions.

Running a Command On a Running Job

aurora task run CLUSTER/ROLE/ENV/NAME[/INSTANCES] <cmd>

Runs a shell command on all machines currently hosting shards of a single Job.

run supports the same command line wildcards used to populate a Job’s commands; i.e. anything in the {{mesos.*}} and {{thermos.*}} namespaces.

Killing a Job

aurora job killall CLUSTER/ROLE/ENV/NAME

Kills all Tasks associated with the specified Job, blocking until all are terminated. Defaults to killing all instances in the Job.

The <configuration file> argument for kill is optional. Use it only if it contains hook definitions and activations that affect the kill command.

Updating a Job

There are several sub-commands to manage job updates:

aurora update start <job key> <configuration file>
aurora update info <job key>
aurora update pause <job key>
aurora update resume <job key>
aurora update abort <job key>
aurora update list <cluster>

When you start a job update, the command will return once it has sent the instructions to the scheduler. At that point, you may view detailed progress for the update with the info subcommand, in addition to viewing graphical progress in the web browser. You may also get a full listing of in-progress updates in a cluster with list.

Once an update has been started, you can pause to keep the update but halt progress. This can be useful for doing things like debug a partially-updated job to determine whether you would like to proceed. You can resume to proceed.

You may abort a job update regardless of the state it is in. This will instruct the scheduler to completely abandon the job update and leave the job in the current (possibly partially-updated) state.

Coordinated job updates

Some Aurora services may benefit from having more control over updates by explicitly acknowledging (“heartbeating”) job update progress. This may be helpful for mission-critical service updates where explicit job health monitoring is vital during the entire job update lifecycle. Such job updates would rely on an external service (or a custom client) periodically pulsing an active coordinated job update via a pulseJobUpdate RPC).

A coordinated update is defined by setting a positive pulseintervalsecs value in job configuration file. If no pulses are received within specified interval the update will be blocked. A blocked update is unable to continue rolling forward (or rolling back) but retains its active status. It may only be unblocked by a fresh pulseJobUpdate call.

NOTE: A coordinated update starts in ROLL_FORWARD_AWAITING_PULSE state and will not make any progress until the first pulse arrives. However, a paused update (ROLL_FORWARD_PAUSED or ROLL_BACK_PAUSED) is still considered active and upon resuming will immediately make progress provided the pulse interval has not expired.

Renaming a Job

Renaming is a tricky operation as downstream clients must be informed of the new name. A conservative approach to renaming suitable for production services is:

  1. Modify the Aurora configuration file to change the role, environment, and/or name as appropriate to the standardized naming scheme.
  2. Check that only these naming components have changed with aurora diff.

    aurora job diff CLUSTER/ROLE/ENV/NAME <job_configuration>
  3. Create the (identical) job at the new key. You may need to request a temporary quota increase.

    aurora job create CLUSTER/ROLE/ENV/NEW_NAME <job_configuration>
  4. Migrate all clients over to the new job key. Update all links and dashboards. Ensure that both job keys run identical versions of the code while in this state.

  5. After verifying that all clients have successfully moved over, kill the old job.

    aurora job killall CLUSTER/ROLE/ENV/NAME
  6. If you received a temporary quota increase, be sure to let the powers that be know you no longer need the additional capacity.

Restarting Jobs

restart restarts all of a job key identified Job’s shards:


Restarts are controlled on the client side, so aborting the job restart command halts the restart operation.

Note: job restart only applies its command line arguments and does not use or is affected by update.config. Restarting does not involve a configuration change. To update the configuration, use update.config.

The --config argument for restart is optional. Use it only if it contains hook definitions and activations that affect the job restart command.

Cron Jobs

You can manage cron jobs using the aurora cron command. Please see for more details.

You will see various commands and options relating to cron jobs in aurora -h and similar. Ignore them, as they’re not yet implemented.

Comparing Jobs

aurora job diff CLUSTER/ROLE/ENV/NAME <job configuration>

Compares a job configuration against a running job. By default the diff is determined using diff, though you may choose an alternate diff program by specifying the DIFF_VIEWER environment variable.

Viewing/Examining Jobs

Above we discussed creating, killing, and updating Jobs. Here we discuss how to view and examine Jobs.

Listing Jobs

aurora config list <job configuration>

Lists all Jobs registered with the Aurora scheduler in the named cluster for the named role.

Inspecting a Job

aurora job inspect CLUSTER/ROLE/ENV/NAME <job configuration>

inspect verifies that its specified job can be parsed from a configuration file, and displays the parsed configuration.

Checking Your Quota

aurora quota get CLUSTER/ROLE

Prints the production quota allocated to the role’s value at the given cluster. Only non-dedicated production jobs consume quota.

Finding a Job on Web UI

When you create a job, part of the output response contains a URL that goes to the job’s scheduler UI page. For example:

vagrant@precise64:~$ aurora job create devcluster/www-data/prod/hello /vagrant/examples/jobs/hello_world.aurora
INFO] Creating job hello
INFO] Response from scheduler: OK (message: 1 new tasks pending for job www-data/prod/hello)
INFO] Job url: http://precise64:8081/scheduler/www-data/prod/hello

You can go to the scheduler UI page for this job via http://precise64:8081/scheduler/www-data/prod/hello You can go to the overall scheduler UI page by going to the part of that URL that ends at scheduler; http://precise64:8081/scheduler

Once you click through to a role page, you see Jobs arranged separately by pending jobs, active jobs and finished jobs. Jobs are arranged by role, typically a service account for production jobs and user accounts for test or development jobs.

Getting Job Status

aurora job status <job_key>

Returns the status of recent tasks associated with the job_key specified Job in its supplied cluster. Typically this includes a mix of active tasks (running or assigned) and inactive tasks (successful, failed, and lost.)

Opening the Web UI

Use the Job’s web UI scheduler URL or the aurora status command to find out on which machines individual tasks are scheduled. You can open the web UI via the open command line command if invoked from your machine:

aurora job open [<cluster>[/<role>[/<env>/<job_name>]]]

If only the cluster is specified, it goes directly to that cluster’s scheduler main page. If the role is specified, it goes to the top-level role page. If the full job key is specified, it goes directly to the job page where you can inspect individual tasks.

SSHing to a Specific Task Machine

aurora task ssh <job_key> <shard number>

You can have the Aurora client ssh directly to the machine that has been assigned a particular Job/shard number. This may be useful for quickly diagnosing issues such as performance issues or abnormal behavior on a particular machine.

Templating Command Arguments

aurora task run [-e] [-t THREADS] <job_key> -- <<command-line>>

Given a job specification, run the supplied command on all hosts and return the output. You may use the standard Mustache templating rules:

  • {{thermos.ports[name]}} substitutes the specific named port of the task assigned to this machine
  • {{mesos.instance}} substitutes the shard id of the job’s task assigned to this machine
  • {{thermos.task_id}} substitutes the task id of the job’s task assigned to this machine

For example, the following type of pattern can be a powerful diagnostic tool:

aurora task run -t5 cluster1/tyg/devel/seizure -- \
  'curl -s -m1 localhost:{{thermos.ports[http]}}/vars | grep uptime'

By default, the command runs in the Task’s sandbox. The -e option can run the command in the executor’s sandbox. This is mostly useful for Aurora administrators.

You can parallelize the runs by using the -t option.