GLExec TransientPilotJobs

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When you use glexec with transient directories and input sandboxes, it's important that you create a writable directory for your target job, and you do this in a safe and portable way.

In general, the setup of the batch system and OS at a site does not guarantee that the pilot job and the target user share a common group, even though in practice the 'top-level' VO group will usually be in common. However, it's not easy to identity this most-generic group. In these cases, you need to do two things:

  • Create a temporary directory for the target job using glexec. We provide a proof-of-principle implementation on how to create such a directory, and clean up after yourself at It will usually be inside a temporary, transient area specific to the pilot job.
  • ensure that this directory is reachable for the target job. This may mean making the 'upstream' directory traversable (not but necessarily readable) by the world.


When creating a temporary directory in a world-writable area, you should take appropriate care to prevent race-condition vulnerabilities (the same ones that the old tempnam(3) suffers from). The script mkgltempdir helps to do that, but if you find any potential weaknesses, please let us know:

Usage: mkgltempdir [-h] [-r [-f] gltmp_directory] 
       [-t targetdir-mode] [-m parentmode] [directory]

Create a directory owned by the glexec target user in a secure fashion.
The path of the directory created is printed to stdout.

 -t targetdir-mode    permissions of the target directory created
                      (default: 0700, i.e. unreadable by the glexec invoker)
 -m parentmode        permissions for the current user on the parent tree
                      (default: 0755, and should traversable for target uid)
 -r gltmp_dir         remove the target directory previously created by
                      $progname. Directory must be empty, unless -f 
                      is also specified.

 directory            base directory in which target directory is created
                      (default: current value of \$TMPDIR or, if unset, /tmp)

Return value is 0 if directory was successfully created, non-zero otherwise.

Download the utility at: