Caution on use of Cheyenne environment variable MPI_SHEPHERD

April 18, 2019

Cheyenne users should examine their job scripts and startup files for instances in which the environment variable MPI_SHEPHERD is set to the value “1” or “true.” That variable should be set in only two situations: when running MPT peak_memusage jobs and command file jobs.

Setting the variable to “1” or “true” in other situations can interfere with the job's process binding, causing it to slow considerably or hang. While the following error message refers to MPI_SHEPHERD, it almost always results from other, unrelated issues:

MPT ERROR: could not run executable. If this is a non-MPT application, you may need to set MPI_SHEPHERD=true.

Please contact CISL’s Consulting Services Group or for help resolving the problem if you receive that message.