Your starting point to use pyFirecREST will be the creation of a FirecREST object. This is simply a mini client that, in cooperation with the authorization object, will take care of the necessary requests that need to be made and handle the responses.

If you want to understand how to setup your authorization object have a look at the previous section. For this tutorial we will assume the simplest kind of authorization class, where the same token will always be used.

import firecrest as f7t

class MyAuthorizationClass:
    def __init__(self):

    def get_access_token(self):
        return <TOKEN>

# Setup the client with the appropriate URL and the authorization class
client = f7t.Firecrest(firecrest_url=<firecrest_url>, authorization=MyAuthorizationClass())

Simple blocking requests

Most of the methods of the FirecREST object require a simple http request to FirecREST. With the client we just created here are a couple of examples of listing the files of a directory or getting all the available systems of FirecREST.

Getting all the available systems

A good start, to make sure your token is valid, is to get the names of all the available systems, where FirecREST can give you access. This will definitely be useful in the future.

systems = client.all_systems()

Systems is going to be a list of systems and their properties, and you will have to choose from one of them. This is an example of the output:

        "description": "System ready",
        "status": "available",
        "system": "cluster"
        "description": "System ready",
        "status": "available",
        "system": "cluster2"

Listing files in a directory

Let’s say you want to list the directory in the filesystem of a machine called “cluster”. You can get a list of the files, with all the usual properties that ls provides (size, type, permissions etc).

files = client.list_files("cluster", "/home/test_user")

The output will be something like this:

        "group": "test_user",
        "last_modified": "2020-04-11T14:53:11",
        "link_target": "",
        "name": "test_directory",
        "permissions": "rwxrwxr-x",
        "size": "4096",
        "type": "d",
        "user": "test_user"
        "group": "test_user",
        "last_modified": "2020-04-11T14:14:23",
        "link_target": "",
        "name": "test_file.txt",
        "permissions": "rw-rw-r--",
        "size": "10",
        "type": "-",
        "user": "test_user"

Interact with the scheduler

pyFirecREST offers three basic functionalities of the scheduler: submit jobs on behalf of a user, poll for the jobs of the user and cancel jobs. Although the methods of this client will be blocking, on the background it will make at least two requests to Firecrest to return the results of the action.

This is how can make a simple job submission, when the batch script is on your local filesystem:

job = client.submit("cluster", "script.sh")

For a successful submission the output would look like this.

    "job_data_err": "",
    "job_data_out": "",
    "job_file": "/home/test_user/firecrest/cfd276f40d7ee4f9d082b73b29a4d76e/script.sh",
    "job_file_err": "/home/test_user/firecrest/cfd276f40d7ee4f9d082b73b29a4d76e/slurm-2.out",
    "job_file_out": "/home/test_user/firecrest/cfd276f40d7ee4f9d082b73b29a4d76e/slurm-2.out",
    "jobid": 42,
    "result": "Job submitted"

From the returned fields, you can see the result of the job submission (result), the jobid, the location of the uploaded batch script (job_file) as well as the location of output (job_file_out) and error (job_file_err) files. Finally you also get the content of the beginning output and error file, but since the job probably hasn’t started running yet, it will be empty.

All requests that involve the scheduler will create a FirecREST task and be part of an internal queue. When you upload a batch script, FirecREST will create a new directory called firecrest, and a subdirectory there with the Firecrest task ID. It will upload the batchscript there and submit the job from this directory.

If you choose to submit the job with a batch script in the machine’s filesystem, with the option local_file=False, then FirecREST will submit the job from the directory of the batch script.

This method hides the multiple requests and will be blocking, but you can find more information about the job submission here.

Transfer of large files

For larger files the user cannot directly upload/download a file to/from FirecREST. A staging area will be used and the process will require multiple requests from the user.

External Download

For example in the external download process, the requested file will first have to be moved to the staging area. This could take a long time in case of a large file. When this process finishes, FirecREST will have created a dedicated space for this file and the user can download the file locally as many times as he wants. You can follow this process with the status codes of the task:




Started upload from filesystem to Object Storage


Upload from filesystem to Object Storage has finished successfully


Upload from filesystem to Object Storage has finished with errors

In code it would look like this:

# This call will only start the transfer of the file to the staging area
down_obj = client.external_download("cluster", "/remote/path/to/the/file")

# You can follow the progress of the transfer through the status property

# As soon as down_obj.status is 117 we can proceed with the download to a local file

You can download the file as many times as you want from the staging area. In case you want to get directly the link in the staging area you can call object_storage_data and finish the download in your prefered way.

The methods finish_download and object_storage_data are blocking, and they will keep making requests to FirecREST until the status of the task is 117 or 118. You could also use the status property of the object to poll with your prefered rate for task progress, before calling them.

Finally, when you finish your download it would be more safe to invalidate the link to the staging area, with the invalidate_object_storage_link method.

External Upload

The case of external upload is very similar. To upload a file you would have to ask for the link in the staging area and upload the file there. Even after uploading the file there, it will take some time for the file to appear in the filesystem. You can alway follow the status of the task with the status method and when the file has been successfully uploaded the status of the task will be 114.




Waiting for Form URL from Object Storage to be retrieved


Form URL from Object Storage received


Object Storage confirms that upload to Object Storage has finished


Download from Object Storage to server has started


Download from Object Storage to server has finished


Download from Object Storage error

The simplest way to do the uploading through pyFirecREST is as follows:

# This call will only create the link to Object Storage
up_obj = client.external_upload("cluster", "/path/to/local/file", "/remote/path/to/filesystem")

# As soon as down_obj.status is 111 we can proceed with the upload of local file to the staging area

# You can follow the progress of the transfer through the status property

But, as before, you can get the necessary components for the upload from the object_storage_data property. You can get the link, as well as all the necessary arguments for the request to Object Storage and the full command you could perform manually from the terminal.

Handling of errors

The methods of the Firecrest, ExternalUpload and ExternalDownload objects can raise exceptions in case something goes wrong. When the error comes from the response of some request pyFirecREST will raise FirecrestException. In these cases you can manually examine all the responses from the requests in order to get more information, when the message is not informative enough. These responses are from the requests package of python and you can get all types of useful information from it, like the status code, the json response, the headers and more. Here is an example of the code that will handle those failures.

    parameters = client.parameters()
    print(f"Firecrest parameters: {parameters}")
except fc.FirecrestException as e:
    # You can just print the exception to get more information about the type of error,
    # for example an invalid or expired token.
    # Or you can manually examine the responses.
except Exception as e:
    # You might also get regular exceptions in some cases. For example when you are
    # trying to upload a file that doesn't exist in your local filesystem.