Installation of a Cluster

Cluster setup

It is possible to run the Green Metrics Tool (GMT) in a cluster setup. You can find the current setup that our Hosted Service uses in the specification of our Measurement Cluster. Through this it is possible to use specialized hardware, benchmark different systems and offer Benchmarking as a Service (BaaS). It is advised to run your database and GMT backend on a different machine as these could interfere with the measurements. The cluster setup is designed to work on headless machines and job submission is handled through the database. Also job status can be sent via email. This is done so that once the machine is configured no manual intervention is needed anymore.

When submitting a job, a specific machine can be specified on which this job is then exclusively run. The configuration can be machine specific, as we want certain machines to have specific metric providers. We advise to not have unutilized machines running all the time for the case if a job might be submitted. Please think about switching off a machine when it is not used and power it up once a day or when the sun is shining.

There are two main ways to configure a cluster:

1) NOP Linux

When benchmarking software it is important to have reproducible results between runs. In the past it often occurred that some OS background process would kick in while a benchmark was running and such the resource usage did not reflect the actual usage. To combat this we developed NOP Linux with the aim to reduce noise in measurements.

This documentation page does not document how to create a NOP Linux machine but rather what component’s the Green Metrics Tool has to facilitate running on a measurement server. Even if you are not using a specialized Linux distribution it is advised to adhere to the ideas presented here.

For a detailed description on how to produce your own NOP Linux instance visit our blog article on NOP Linux.

The tools/ program is a script that should constantly be running and that periodically checks the database if a new job has been queued for this certain machine. If no job can be retried it sleeps for a certain amount of time set in the configuration file config.yml:

  sleep_time_no_job: 300
  sleep_time_after_job: 300

You can also set a time that the script should wait after a job has finished execution to give the system time to cool down. Please use the calibrate script to fine tune this value.

After running a job the client program executes the tools/cluster/ script that does general house keeping on the machine. This is done in a batch fashion to not run when a benchmark is currently run.

To make sure that the client is always running you can create a service that will start at boot and keep running.

Create a file under: /etc/systemd/system/green-coding-client-service.service with following content, but be sure to double-check the out-commented line regarding the docker environment variable:

Description=The Green Metrics Client Service

ExecStart=/home/gc/green-metrics-tool/venv/bin/python3 /home/gc/green-metrics-tool/tools/

# Uncomment this line if you are running docker in non-rootless mode (aka default root mode)

  • Reload the systemd configuration by running:
sudo systemctl daemon-reload
  • Start your new service:
sudo systemctl start green-coding-client-service
  • Enable the service to run at boot:
sudo systemctl enable green-coding-client-service
  • To check the status of your service, run:
sudo systemctl status green-coding-client-service

You should now see the client reporting it’s status on the server. It is important to note that only the client ever talks to the server (polling). The server never tries to contact the client. This is to not create any interrupts while a measurement might be running.

After running a job the client program executes the tools/cluster/ script that does general house keeping on the machine. This is done in a batch fashion to not run when a benchmark is currently run.

This script is run as root and thus needs to be in the /etc/sudoers file or subdirectories somewhere. We recommend the following:

echo 'ALL ALL=(ALL) NOPASSWD:/home/gc/green-metrics-tool/tools/cluster/ ""' | sudo tee /etc/sudoers.d/green-coding-cluster-cleanup
sudo chmod 500 /etc/sudoers.d/green-coding-cluster-cleanup

2) Cronjob (DEPRECATED)

⚠️ We do not recommend using the cronjob implementation in production as it does not support temperature checking or sytem cleanups. This mode should only be used for local quick testing setups, when you cannot use NOP Linux. ⚠️

The Green Metrics Tool comes with an implemented queuing and locking mechanism. In contrast to the NOP Linux implementation this way of checking for jobs doesn’t poll with a process all the time but relies on cron which is not available on NOP Linux.

You can install a cronjob on your system to periodically call:

  • python3 PATH_TO_GREEN_METRICS_TOOL/tools/ project to measure projects in database queue
  • python3 PATH_TO_GREEN_METRICS_TOOL/tools/ email to send all emails in the database queue

The uses the python3 faulthandler mechanism and will also report to STDERR in case of a segfault. When running the cronjob we advice you to append all the output combined to a log file like so:

* * * * * python3 PATH_TO_GREEN_METRICS_TOOL/tools/ project &>> /var/log/green-metrics-jobs.log

Be sure to give the green-metrics-jobs.log file write access rights.

Also be aware that our example for the cronjob assumes your crontab is using bash. Consider adding SHELL=/bin/bash to your crontab if that is not the case.

General settings


When using the cluster you will need to configure the machine names in the machines table in the database and set the corresponding value in the config.yml:

  id: 1
  description: "My Machine Name"
  # Takes a file path to log all the errors to it. This is disabled if False
  error_log_file: False
  base_temperature_value: 30
  base_temperature_chip: "coretemp-isa-0000"
  base_temperature_feature: "Package id 0"

The id and the description must be unique so that they do not conflict with the other machines in the cluster.

If you are using the NOP Linux setup with the service you must also setup the temperature checking. Find out what your system has when it is cool. You can either use our calibration script or just let the machine sit for a while until the temperature does not change anymore. Then set the value base_temperature_value. It has no unit, but is rather just a value in degree (°). It should have the same unit as your output of senors on your Linux box.

Since we are using our lm_sensors provider → to query the temperature you must also set the base_temperature_chip and base_temperature_feature to query from. Refer to the provider documentation → for more details.


The GMT refers to client when it is talking about the settings for the settings only.

When using the client mode the cluster expects a Measurement Control Workload to be set to determine if the cluster accuracy has deviated from the expected baseline. This is done by running a defined workload and checking the standard deviation over a defined window of measurements.

We recommend the following setting by using our provided workload under :

    time_between_control_workload_validations: 21600
    send_control_workload_status_mail: True
      name: "Measurement control Workload"
      uri: ""
      filename: "usage_scenario.yml"
      branch: "main"
      comparison_window: 5
      threshold: 0.01
      phase: "004_[RUNTIME]"
        - "psu_energy_ac_mcp_machine"
        - "psu_power_ac_mcp_machine"
        - "cpu_power_rapl_msr_component"
        - "cpu_energy_rapl_msr_component"
  • time_between_control_workload_validations [integer]: Time in seconds until control workload shall be run again to check measurement
  • send_control_workload_status_mail [boolean]: Send an email with debug information about current
  • control_workload [object]: (Object of settings for measurement control workload)
    • name [string]: The name of the workload. Will show up in the runs list as the name
    • uri [URI]: URI to the git repo of the control workload.
    • filename [a-zA-Z0-9_]: The filename of the usage scenario file in the repo. Default is usually usage_scenario.yml
    • branch [git-branch]: The branchname of the repo to check out
    • comparison_window [integer]: The amount of previuous measurements to include in the calculations.
    • threshold [float]: The threshhold when the is considered to high. 0.01 means 1%
    • phase [str]: The phase to look at. default is 004_[RUNTIME]. We do not recommend to change this unless you have a custom defined phase you want to look at.
    • metrics [list]: Contains a list of all the metrics you want to check the for. Every metric is looked at individually and if the of any of them is above the thresshold the check cluster will pause further job processing. We recommend using the default set as defined above. If you do not have these providers available we recommend choosing at least one psu_energy_... provider that actually measures and does not estimation. The names are found in the Metric Name section of the respective metric provider.
      Example: RAPL CPU → is cpu_energy_rapl_msr_component

Power saving in the cluster


When the cluster is setup it is often not needed to have the machines powered when there is no job in the queue.

What you can setup is a simple Wake-on-LAN script that will only wakeup the machines when there is job in the queue waiting.

For examplary purposes we document a script here that works on a low power Raspberry PI that we have active in our local network, but any simple microcontroller that has HTTP capabilites will.

# filename:

# Install this script as a cronjob
# m h  dom mon dow   command
# 15\/* * * * * bash /home/pi/

## You need the wakeonlan and the jq package installed
## sudo apt install wakeonlan jq -y

output=$(curl "" --silent  |  jq '.["data"] | length')

# Check if the output is a specific string
if [[ "$output" =~ ^[0-9]+$ && $output -ne 0 ]]; then
    echo "Having waiting jobs. Sending Wake on LAN magic packet ..."

    # Please replace '80:1B:3E:A8:26:19' with your machines MAC address
    # Using port 1234 will usually work. If you run into issues try port 9, 8 or 7 also
    # Do not use the IP address of the machine, but the broadcast address (usually the last number block must be replaced by 255)
    wakeonlan -i -p 1234 80:1B:3E:A8:26:19

    echo "Wake on LAN magic packet send!"
    echo "Command output is '0'. No other program started."

Turning machine off on empty queue

To use this functionality you should have Wake-on-LAN activated.

You can then set the shutdown_on_job_no to True and the machine will turn off when the job queue is empty.

    shutdown_on_job_no: True

In order for the shutdown to be triggered by the you must allow the sudo call without password in an /etc/sudoers.d/ entry.


echo 'ALL ALL=(ALL) NOPASSWD:/usr/sbin/shutdown ""' | sudo tee /etc/sudoers.d/green-coding-shutdown
sudo chmod 500 /etc/sudoers.d/green-coding-shutdown