DISCLAIMER: This is a continuing series detailing the painful story of a DIY render farm build. It is terribly technics and
somewhat frustrating. Those who are unprepared for such “entertainment” are advised to ignore these posts.
I mounted /Polyphemus to Gog on login. If you recall, /Polyphemus is an external drive, and Gog is the first worker. Dang, that still sounds like science fiction when I read it back. Point is, I was previously wondering how I’d do these big renders if the PDC had such a small drive. How could I attach new storage, I wondered?
Turns out that Dr. Queue has no trouble taking assets or job scripts from the external and rendered to it just fine. Maybe a NAS array is in the future, but for now, this 500 GB drive will do.
Then I suddenly had trouble getting the slaves to connect. I thought maybe having airport on and connected when the PDC restarted resulted in error when the slaves tried to connect. I’m not exactly sure what’s going on, and I thought having the network connection via airport AND having a local ethernet network might be a problem. I still do not know if this is a wise move. But suddenly I was not seeing the slave at all.
So to while the time away getting something else done, I added the Houdini variables script to the slave startup items. This is supposedly to optimize the Houdini environment in case I get around to using that.
I only became interested in Houdini because it seems to handle a lot of deformations, destructions, liquids, flames, smoke, and displacements really well. These may come in handy. But the interface is a nightmare of hell. And the proliferation of objects with names like ROPS, COPS, VOPS, SHOPS, and SOPS makes getting into this somewhat troubling.
I removed the.plist from the PDC, which was only there to startup drqman. I was getting a double drqman on startup, with two windows, and I had no idea which one was “real,” if either. Maybe this was what was causing the slave demon to not start up properly? This change did seem to coincide with problems with the slave. I added everything to a “startup.sh” script I had been adding to the login items.
THEN I got it.
The drqman program does not run the master! Well, duh. They are separate.
I had started the master via the .plist method. Then I had started drqman the same way plus I had run a startup.sh script in login that – yep – ran drqman. So when I disabled the .plist startup method I disabled ever starting the master program. The startup.sh script loaded drqman with no master running underneath it – and empty shell of a window. Thus, the slave could not see the master. Because there WAS NO MASTER…