Data Release Production

Travel Calendar

We use Google Calendar to keep track of group travel. Please ask Jim, Robert or Yusra for access. Use it to share details of any substantial travel plans: vacations, conferences, etc. It is not expected that you record the minutiae of everyday life: please don’t bother telling us about your trip to the dentist, DMV, etc!

JIRA Usage

Use the following JIRA labels to identify related work. Please feel free to define more labels as needed; list those which might be of interested to others here. See also the project-wide Labels.




Work related to the Auxiliary Telescope.


Work related to galaxy model fitting.


Work requested and/or carried out by the HSC team.


Work requested and/or carried out by the PFS team.

Princeton HPC Systems

In addition to the regular LSST-provided compute systems, DRP team members have access to a number of clusters hosted by the Research Computing Group in Princeton. Please refer to the Research Computing Group’s pages for information on getting started, how to connect with SSH, usage policies, FAQs, etc. Be aware that you must comply with all their rules when using these systems.

Obtaining Accounts

Accounts are issued on demand at the request of an appropriate PI. For our group, that means you should speak to either Robert or Yusra, and they will arrange one for you. When your account has been created, you should check that you are a member of the groups astro, hsc, and lsst (use the groups command).


A new user account may not have the lsst group added by default. This group is not being used for anything at present, so it shouldn’t be a problem if you are not a member of it. If you find that you do need to be a member of this group, please contact Robert or Yusra.

Available Systems

Typically, LSST (and HSC/DECam) data processing is carried out using the Tiger cluster.

The Princeton astronomical software group owns a head node on the Tiger cluster called tiger2-sumire. You can use this node for building software and running small and/or short-lived jobs.

Shared Stack

The Tiger cluster has access to regularly-updated installations of the LSST Science Pipelines (the “stack”) through the shared /scratch/gpfs filesystem. The stack is automatically updated every Thursday evening (i.e., 24h after a new weekly gets cut). To initialize the stack in your shell, run:

source /scratch/gpfs/HSC/LSST/stack/
setup lsst_distrib

By default, the most recent Rubin Environment will be used, as provided by the LSST_CONDA_ENV_NAME variable within the script. If you wish to use a different version of the stack, you can do so by first setting the LSST_CONDA_ENV_NAME variable to the desired version before running setup lsst_distrib:

export LSST_CONDA_ENV_NAME="lsst-scipipe-4.0.1"
source /scratch/gpfs/HSC/LSST/stack/
setup lsst_distrib

# To reset to the default, uncomment this line:

A list of all currently installed Rubin Environments can be found by running: mamba env list.


The current default shared stack, described above, is a symbolic link to the latest build using the post-RFC-584 Conda environment. Older builds, if any, are available in /scratch/gpfs/HSC/LSST/ with the syntax stack_YYYYMMDD.


The primary HSC/LSST butler data repository is located at: /projects/HSC/repo/main. All raw HSC data on-disk has been ingested into this gen3 repo. For information on accessing and using this repository, including setting up required permissions, see the contained /projects/HSC/repo/main/ file.


You will not be able to access the data within this repository without first following the Database Authentication instructions in the above file.


HSC data (both public data releases and private data, which may not be shared outside the collaboration) are available in /projects/HSC. This space may also be used to store your results. Note however that space is at a premium; please clean up any data you are not actively using. Also, be sure to set umask 002 so that your colleagues can reorganize the shared space.

For temporary data processing storage, shared space is available in /scratch/gpfs/<YourNetID> (you may need to make this directory yourself). This General Parallel File System (GPFS) space is large and visible from all Princeton clusters, however, it is not backed up. More information on Princeton cluster data storage can be found online.

Space is also available in /scratch/<yourNetID> and in your home directory, but note that they are not shared across clusters (and, in the case of /scratch, not backed up).

Use the checkquota command to check your current storage and your storage limits. More information on storage limits, including on how to request a quota increase, can be found at this link.

Cluster Usage

Jobs are managed on cluster systems using SLURM; refer to its documentation for details.

Batch processing functionality with the Science Pipelines is provided by the LSST Batch Processing Service (BPS) module. BPS on the Princeton clusters is configured to work with the ctrl_bps_parsl plugin, which uses the Parsl workflow engine to submit jobs to SLURM.


Due to changes that occurred in Q1 2023 relating to how disks are mounted on the Tiger cluster, use of the ctrl_bps_parsl plugin will return an OSError when used in conjunction with any weeklies older than w_2023_09. To make use of BPS with older weeklies, you will need to build and set up the ctrl_bps_parsl plugin yourself. Refer to the ctrl_bps_parsl plugin documentation and links therein for further details.

To submit a job to the cluster, you will first need to create a YAML configuration file for BPS. For convenience, a generic configuration file has been constructed on disk at /projects/HSC/LSST/bps/bps_tiger.yaml. This file may either be used directly when submitting a job or copied to your working directory and modified as needed. The following example shows how to submit a job using the generic configuration file:

# Set the following environment variables to ensure that
# the Science Pipelines and BPS do not try to use more
# threads than are available on a single node.

# All submissions must be made from your /scratch/gpfs directory.
cd /scratch/gpfs/$USER

# Save the output of the BPS submit command to a log file
# (optional, but recommended).

# Submit a job to the cluster.
date | tee -a $LOGFILE; \
$(which time) -f "Total runtime: %E" \
bps submit /projects/HSC/LSST/bps/bps_tiger.yaml \
--compute-site tiger_1h_1n_40c \
-b /projects/HSC/repo/main \
-i HSC/RC2/defaults \
-o u/$USER/test \
-p $DRP_PIPE_DIR/pipelines/HSC/DRP-RC2.yaml#step1 \
-d "instrument='HSC' AND visit=1228" \
2>&1 | tee -a $LOGFILE; \
date | tee -a $LOGFILE

# Additional command-line arguments may be passed to BPS using the
# --extra-qgraph-options argument, for example, to add a config override:
# --extra-qgraph-options "-c isr:doOverscan=False"

A number of different compute sites are available for use with BPS as defined in the generic configuration file. Select a compute site using the syntax tiger_Xh_Xn_Xc, where X is replaced by the appropriate number of hours, nodes, and cores. You may check the available compute sites defined in the generic configuration file using: grep "tiger" /projects/HSC/LSST/bps/bps_tiger.yaml. The following table lists the available compute site dimensions and their associated options:



Walltime (Hours)

1, 5, 24


1, 4

Cores per Node

1, 10, 40

It is occasionally useful to be able to bring up an interactive shell on a compute node. The following should work:

salloc --nodes 1 --ntasks 16 --time=1:00:00  # hh:mm:ss

A list of all available nodes is given using the snodes command. To get an estimate of the start time for any submitted jobs, use this command:

squeue -u $USER --start

See Useful Slurm Commands for additional tools which may be used in conjunction with Slurm.

Connecting from Outside Princeton

Access to all of the Princeton clusters is only available from within the Princeton network. If you are connecting from the outside, you will need to bounce through another host on campus first. Options include:

If you choose the first option, you may find the ProxyCommand option to SSH helpful. For example, adding the following to ~/.ssh/config will automatically route your connection to the right place when you run ssh tiger:

Host tiger
    ProxyCommand ssh -W %h:%p

The following SSH configuration allows access via the Research Computing gateway:

Host tigressgateway
Host tiger* tigressdata*
    ProxyCommand ssh -q -W %h:%p
Host tiger

(It may also be necessary to add a User line under Host tigressgateway if there is a mismatch between your local and Princeton usernames.) Entry to tigressgateway requires 2FA; we recommend using the ControlMaster feature of SSH to persist connections, e.g.:

ControlMaster auto
ControlPath ~/.ssh/controlmaster-%r@%h:%p
ControlPersist 5m

See also the Peyton Hall tips on using SSH.

Help & Support

Contact the Computational Science and Engineering Support group using for technical support when using these systems. Note that neither the regular Peyton Hall sysadmins (help@astro) nor the LSST Project can provide help.