Go language interface to the Libcircle distributed-queue API

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The Circle package provides a Go interface to the Libcircle distributed-queue API. Despite the name, Circle has nothing to do with graphics. Instead, Circle provides a mechanism for enqueueing "work" (currently, text strings) on a distributed queue then letting numerous processes distributed across a local-area network dequeue and process that work.

Use Circle when you have a huge number of independent tasks to perform and want an easy way to distribute these across a large cluster or supercomputer.


The underlying Libcircle library has the following features:

  • proximity-aware, work-stealing scheduler

  • used daily on production supercomputers at Los Alamos National Laboratory to perform various maintenance activities across a multi-petabyte parallel filesystem

  • fast—communication is implemented with user-level messaging (specifically, MPI), not kernel-level sockets.

Circle provides a Go interface to Libcircle:

  • a low-level API that maps directly to the Libcircle API but supports all of the Go niceties such as using Go strings for work items and Go functions for Libcircle callbacks

  • a higher-level API that forgoes Libcircle's callback mechanism in favor Go channels: one for enqueueing work and one for dequeueing work


You'll need to download and install Libcircle, which is available from https://github.com/hpc/libcircle. After that,

go get github.com/lanl/circle

ought to work.


Pre-built documentation for the Circle API is available online at http://godoc.org/github.com/lanl/circle, courtesy of GoDoc.

Once you install Circle, you can view the API locally with godoc, for example by running

godoc github.com/lanl/circle

to display the Goop documentation on screen or by running

godoc -http=:6060

to start a local Web server then viewing the HTML-formatted documentation at http://localhost:6060/pkg/github.com/lanl/circle/ in your favorite browser.


Circle is provided under a BSD-ish license with a "modifications must be indicated" clause. See the LICENSE file for the full text.

Circle is part of the LANL Go Suite, LA-CC-11-056.


Scott Pakin, [email protected]

Los Alamos National Laboratory
Los Alamos National Laboratory
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