Vesta Tip: Running a Private Cache

There are times when it is convenient to run an instance of the Vesta cache server separate from the main one at a site. Here are a few reasons why you might want to do this:


Start by selecting a machine to run the private cache. In this example we'll use

You need a directory in which to store your private cache's data. The only restriction is that it should be local to the machine that you're going to run the cache on. (NFS write failures have caused cache problems in the past.) Also, the directory has to be writable by the user that runs the cache server. (Any user can run the cache server, even though the normal method is to run it as vadmin.) Let's suppose the directory to store the cache in is /tmp/my_cache.

Next you'll need to create a Vesta configuration file that overrides a few settings. A good place to put this is inside the directory where the cache will be stored (i.e. /tmp/my_cache/vesta.cfg). It should look like this:

// Start with the normal system-wide vesta.cfg
[include /etc/vesta.cfg]

// Add overrides in the CacheServer section

// The host that will run the private cache
Host =

// The directory where the private cache will be stored
MetaDataRoot = /tmp/my_cache

(Obviously you should fill in your own hostname and directory.)

After creating the Vesta configuration file, you need to tell the Vesta tools to use it instead of your normal configuration file (probably /etc/vesta.cfg or ~/vesta.cfg if you have a personal one). To do this, set the VESTACONFIG environment variable to point to your new configuration file. If you use csh or tcsh:

% setenv VESTACONFIG /tmp/my_cache/vesta.cfg

Or if you use a System-V style shell (bash, ksh, zsh):

% VESTACONFIG=/tmp/my_cache/vesta.cfg; export VESTACONFIG

Remember that you'll need to repeat this in every terminal where you want to run a command that uses the private cache. Also, don't forgot to unset the the VESTACONFIG environment variable when you're done working with the private cache.

It's a good idea to check that you're using the new config file with vgetconfig or WhichCache

% vgetconfig -L
% WhichCache
Cache information:
  Port number  21773
  Stable root: /tmp/my_cache/cache

Lastly, create the directory structure used by the cache server by running CreateCacheDirs:

% CreateCacheDirs
Creating cache meta-data at /tmp/my_cache/cache
  Creating directory: /tmp/my_cache/cache
  Creating directory: /tmp/my_cache/cache/sCache
  Creating directory: /tmp/my_cache/cache/sVars
  Creating directory: /tmp/my_cache/cache/weededLog
  Creating directory: /tmp/my_cache/cache/cacheLog
  Creating directory: /tmp/my_cache/cache/emptyPKLog
  Creating directory: /tmp/my_cache/cache/ciLog
  Creating directory: /tmp/my_cache/cache/graphLog
  Creating directory: /tmp/my_cache/cache/weeder

Starting the Cache

To start the cache server, just run VCache. Most people will probably prefer to redirect its output to a file and place it in the background:

% VCache > /tmp/my_cache/cache-messages &

Check whether it's running correctly with VCacheMonitor:

% VCacheMonitor
Port number:   21773
Stable cache:  /tmp/my_cache/cache/sCache
Cache version: 1.31, 3-Sep-1998
Intf version:  22
Up since:      Fri Feb 28 12:07:55 2003
Current time:  Fri Feb 28 12:07:56 2003
Instance FP:   3b79af22bed1d00e f11ad1c7d972142f
          FREE LOOK  ADD  NUM  NUM  NUM    NEW       OLD     NUM  NUM  MPK
---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ----
 2.4M 1.9M  N/A  N/A  N/A    0    0    0    0    0    0    0    0    0    0
 2.4M 1.9M    0    0    0    0    0    0    0    0    0    0    0    0    0

(You may want to leave VCacheMonitor running in a terminal window while you use your private cache server.)

Using the Cache

For the most part, you can just perform builds as usual. (But don't forget to set the VESTACONFIG environment variable if you use multiple terminals.)

When you want to stop the cache server, you can just use control-C or the kill command.

Other commands that are useful with a private cache:

Warning: Effect of Weeding

Whenever the weeder is run, your private cache will be invalidated and you should erase it (by stopping it if it's running and using EraseCache).

In more detail, the weeding process only talks to one cache server. While the entries in your private cache server will continue to exist, any derived files referenced by entries it stores (i.e. result files written by tools) will be deleted by the weeder.