PSR: AFS and PBS

Jeff Squyres jsquyres at lsc.nd.edu
Wed Dec 20 16:49:58 EST 2000


The Laboratory for Scientific Computing at the University of Notre Dame is
pleased to release version 1.2 of the Password Storage and Retrieval (PSR)
package.  This version fixes a critical bug that causes PBS to do Bad
Things, such as messages like "Job not running -- premature end of
message" in the output of qstat.  PSR has also been updated to work with
PBS 2.3.2pl8.

Version 1.2 of PSR can be downloaded from its official home page:

        http://www.mpi.nd.edu/lam/software/psr/

---

PSR allows PBS jobs to run with AFS authentication, and will guarantee
that the AFS authentication remains valid for the entire duration of the
PBS job (even if the job lasts longer than the default life of the user's
AFS token).

PSR uses strong public-key encryption to store and retrieve user's
passwords.  When a PBS job is submitted, the user's password is decrypted
and used to obtain an AFS token.  A "shepherd" process is forked into the
background and will wake up one hour before it expires in order to renew
the token.  This process repeats until the job has completed.

PSR includes a short patch to enable it to automatically work with OpenPBS
version 2.3.2pl8.  However, PSR's store/retrieve scheme is general enough
such that it can be extended to just about any automated job system where
passwords are required for authentication/authorization.

See the web site for full documentation of the PSR package, as well as a
longer explanation of how the package works.

Since one of the primary purposes of PSR is to run with AFS
authentication, its programs must be compiled against AFS development
libraries.  Either the Transarc proprietary AFS development libraries or
the krb4 freeware AFS libraries may be used.  Additionally, the RSAREF
library is used for encryption/decryption of user passwords.
References/links to obtain these libraries are available on the web site.

This is is the second official release of the PSR package.  Questions,
comments, and suggestions are welcome.  Please submit them to the LAM/MPI
user's mailing list (we monitor the PBS list as well, but not nearly as
much as our own list :-).  See:

        http://www.mpi.nd.edu/lam/contact.php3#lam-mailing-list

---

PSR was originally written by Dale Southard of the University of Notre
Dame in order to be able to run PBS jobs with AFS authentication.  Dale
has since left the University, and he bequeathed the code base to the
LAM/MPI developers.  We have updated the code for OpenPBS, fixed a few
bugs, cleaned up the build/install process, and renamed the package to be
"Password Storage and Retrieval".

{+} Jeff Squyres
{+} squyres at cse.nd.edu
{+} Perpetual Obsessive Notre Dame Student Craving Utter Madness
{+} "I came to ND for 4 years and ended up staying for a decade"


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