Synchronizing (sync) files to the nodes is a feature of xCAT used to distribute specific files from the management node to the newly-deploying or deployed nodes.

This function is supported for diskful or RAMdisk-based diskless nodes. Generally, the specific files are usually the system configuration files for the nodes in the /etc directory, like /etc/hosts, /etc/resolve.conf; it also could be the application programs configuration files for the nodes. The advantages of this function are: it can parallel sync files to the nodes or nodegroup for the installed nodes; it can automatically sync files to the newly-installing node after the installation. Additionally, this feature also supports the flexible format to define the files to be synced in a configuration file, called “synclist”.

The synclist file can be a common one for a group of nodes using the same profile or osimage, or can be the unique for each particular node. Since the location of the synclist file will be used to find the synclist file, the common synclist should be put in a given location for Linux nodes or specified by the osimage.

xdcp command supplies the basic Syncing File function. If the -F synclist option is specified in the xdcp command, it syncs files configured in the synclist to the nodes. If the -i <install image path> option is specified with -F synclist, it syncs files to the root image located in the <install image path> directory.


The -i <install image path> option is only supported for Linux nodes

xdcp supports hierarchy where service nodes are used. If a node is serviced by a service node, xdcp will sync the files to the service node first, then sync the files from service node to the compute node. The files are placed in an intermediate directory on the service node defined by the SNsyncfiledir attribute in the site table. The default is /var/xcat/syncfiles.

Since updatenode -F calls the xdcp to handle the Syncing File function, the updatenode -F also supports the hierarchy.

For a new-installing nodes, the Syncing File action will be triggered when running the postscripts for the nodes. A special postscript named syncfiles is used to initiate the Syncing File process.

The postscript syncfiles is located in the /install/postscripts/. When running, it sends a message to the xcatd on the management node or service node, then the xcatd figures out the corresponding synclist file for the node and calls the xdcp command to sync files in the synclist to the node.

If installing nodes in a hierarchical configuration, you must sync the service nodes first to make sure they are updated. The compute nodes will be synced from their service nodes. You can use the updatenode <computenodes> -f command to sync all the service nodes for range of compute nodes provided.

For an installed nodes, the Syncing File action happens when performing the updatenode -F or xdcp -F synclist command to update a nodes. While performing the updatenode -F, it figures out the location of the synclist files for all the nodes and groups the nodes which will be using the same synclist file and then calls the xdcp -F synclist to sync files to the nodes.