High Throughput Computing using Condor

Advice for Windows Users

Using our Condor Pool from Windows

Many of our users prefer to sit at PCs running a version of Microsoft Windows (e.g. 7 or 8). This is fine, but note that our Condor Pool runs on the Linux operating system (a mixture of Scientific Linux 6.2 and 7.1 to be precise), and you need to be aware of some differences and how to cope with them.

Preparing your files under Windows

There are two main issues:

  1. The Windows NTFS file system is letter case insensitive. What this means is that a file called FRED can be accessed as fred, or Fred, etc. Linux files are letter case sensitive, so that all of the aforementioned spellings of FRED would be treated as different files. To get round this you simply need to be consistent and, say, use lower case spellings throughout.
  2. With simple text files, the two operating systems use different conventions for denoting the end of each line. If we have prepared an example text file under Linux and you look at it with many Windows text editors, all the lines will run together. The solution is to always use a text editor, under Windows, that can cope with both line ending conventions: we recommend notepad++. After downloading and installing (if you don’t already have it), you can select the UNIX (=Linux) convention for end of lines under Edit/EOL Conversion/UNIX Format. Now when you view our Linux files under Windows they will look properly line formatted and ditto for any that you prepare using notepad++ and use under both systems. See also this FAQ entry that describes what happens if you get this wrong with your main controlling Bash script.

Existing Windows text files under Linux

If you don’t want to convert these once and for all to the Linux end of line convention, you can convert them as your Condor Bash script runs using dos2unix. For example:

dos2unix fred.txt

N.B. only do this with plain text files and not binary ones.

Logging in to Condor from your Windows PC

Please follow the Connecting to Condor webpage. Once connected, you can use any of the Linux commands including the Condor ones, such as condor_status, condor_submit, condor_q, etc.

Transferring files from your Windows PC to Condor

We recommend that you use the ‘Drag and Drop’ window in MobaXterm or WinSCP. Please see the windows section of the Copying files to and from compute systems documentation for further details.

Avoiding the Linux command line

An alternative approach to logging in to our submitter and using the Linux command line is the DropAndCompute interface. This is a little less flexible than the command line, but serves for about 90% of typical Condor usage.

Last modified on June 25, 2019 at 11:28 am by George Leaver