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Setup federation with other CoG instances:

Choosing Peer Nodes

ESGF maintains a list of available ESGF peer nodes in a file that is located by default on each system at the path: /esg/config/esgf_cogs.xml. This file is updated every time the ESGF software stack is installed, or it can be updated manually by fatching the latest version from the ESGF "config" repository on GitHub. An alternate location can be specified using the PEER_NODES variable in the configuration file.

At startup time, CoG reads this file and takes the following actions:

  • If a node with a new domain name is found, it will be inserted as a new peer node in the database (but NOT activated)
  • if a node with an existing domain name is found, its server name will be updated into the database with the new value read from the file
  • If an existing node has been removed from the file, it will NOT be deleted from the database automatically

The list of peer nodes can also be updated without having to restart the local ESGF node. To do so, run the following django management command:

source $COG_DIR/venv/bin/activate
export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/opt/esgf/python/lib:$LD_LIBRARY_PATH
python sync_sites

Just like when restarting CoG, this command will insert any missing nodes in the local database (and update their names if they have changed), but it will not activate the nodes by default. Note that the same command can also be passed the '--delete' option to delete stale nodes that are found in the local database, but are missing from the esgf_nodes.xml file:

python sync_sites --delete

Once the nodes are listed in the local database, they can be enabled by logging in as a Node Administrator and clicking on the 'Configure Peers' link in the 'Admin' menu in the lower left navigation bar.

Loading Projects from Peer Nodes

The local CoG application can be instructed to load the most recent list of projects from the other federated instances in one of three ways:

  • By visiting the page "Configure Peers" and clicking on the lower link "Synchronize with Peer CoGs Now " (or directly invoking the URL "http://<your cog domain name>/share/sync/projects/")
  • By invoking the following django management command:
source $COG_DIR/venv/bin/activate
export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/opt/esgf/python/lib:$LD_LIBRARY_PATH
python sync_projects
  • By setting up a cron job that executes the same command above. For example:
crontab -l
0 * * * * source ~/.bashrc; 
python /usr/local/cog/cog_install/ sync_projects 
   >> /tmp/crontab.log 2>&1

will parse the user environment, and run the command at minute 0 of every hour, appending the output to file.


  • Projects will be updated only from peer nodes that are "enabled".
  • IMPORTANT: a node will only share projects correctly if its 'Node' domain name {{site_name}} equals its real domain.
  • If its node domain has been recently updated, CoG must be restarted for that change to take effect, otherwise the other CoGs won't see its projects.
  • A node will only share those projects that are 'active'
  • If a peer node is disabled through the admin interface:
    • Its projects won't show up in the projects browser (for none of the tabs)
    • Its projects will not be selectable as peers/parent/children in the project configuration panel
    • Its data cart won't show up in the current data cart page
    • The node will not be queried for user projects updates
Last Update: June 6, 2016, 2:57 p.m. by Hydra Administrator
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