parallelizing crashtest runs (was: minutes of ESC call ...)

Christian Lohmaier lohmaier at
Fri Oct 31 06:23:13 PDT 2014

Hi *,

On Thu, Oct 30, 2014 at 5:39 PM, Michael Meeks
<michael.meeks at> wrote:
> * Crashtest futures / automated test scripts (Markus)
>     + call on Tuesday; new testing hardware.
>     + result - get a Manitu server & leave room in the budget for
>       ondemand Amazon instances (with spot pricing) if there is
>       special need at some point.
> [...]

When I played with the crashtest setup I noticed some limitations in
the current layout of the crashtest-setup that prevents just using
lots of cores/high parallelism to get faster results.

The problem is that it is parallelized per directory, but the amount
of files in a directory is not evenly distributed at all. So when the
script decides to start odt tests last, the whole set of odt files
will only be tested in one thread, leaving the other CPU-cores idling
around with nothing to do.

I did add a sorting statement to the script, so it will start with the
directories with most files[1], but even with that you run into the
problem that towards the end of the testrun not all cores will be
used. As the AMD Opterons in the Manitu ones are less capable per-cpu
this will set a limit to how much you can accelerate the run by just
assigning more cores to it.

Didn't look into the overall setup to know whether just segmenting the
large directories into smaller ones is easy to do or not (i.e instead
of having one odt dir with 10500+ files, have 20 with ~ 500 each.


[1] added the sorted statement that uses the number of files in the
directory as the key to sort by:

def get_numfiles(directory):
    return len([f for f in os.listdir(directory)])

def get_directories():
    directories = [o for o in os.listdir(d) if os.path.isdir(os.path.join(d,o))]
    return sorted(directories, key=get_numfiles, reverse=True)

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