Procedures for People maintaining CVMFS Repositories


For each CVMFS repository an installation box exists where access is controlled via an e-group. Examples below are for the repository dummy, replace dummy with one of:

  • atlas-condb
  • cms
  • ....

The installation nodes are considered "junk" in that they contain nothing that won't be restored via a reinstallation. All vital data is stored on a netapp file server and is stored to tape.

Logging In

You must be a member of the e-group LxCvmfs-dummy. Once you have joined the e-group it is best to wait until 08:00 local time for a cron to run.


  ssh <yourUsername>

If you would like to take ownership of the e-group to allow you to manage its members this is fine. The full list of such e-groups can be obtained by querying in

Changing identity to the Software Owner

The CVMFS shadow tree in /cvmfs/ is owned by a user called cv. See /etc/motd for the exact username. Suppose the account is called shared for the rest of this example.

To check know one else is this user and become the user

$ pgrep -fl -u shared
$ sudo -i -u shared

Initially this account is very naked and it would be wise at the least to copy skeleton profile files into place.

cp /etc/skel/.bash* ~/.

The following instructions differ for SLC5 and SLC6 which also have very different versions of the cvmfs_server.

SLC6 - CvmFS 2.1 Installation Nodes

The home directory of shared users /srv/cvmfs/shared and is stored on the netapp and is backed up.

Start a Transaction

Start a transaction by executing

cvmfs_server transaction <repo>

Until this is done it will not be possible to write to /cvmfs/

Edit Files

Files can now be created or edited in the usual ways in /cvmfs/ install your software and test it as much as you like.

Publishing Files

To publish files and close a transaction.

cvmfs_server publish <repo>

this will fail if there any open files anywhere in /cvmfs/ and so it is necessary to not even have a shell in this directory, a simple 'cd' is necessary so that your current working directory is not inside /cvmfs/

Backup and Recovery

To recover recently deleted files they can be copied out of /srv/cvmfs/ These files can be copied back into your shadow tree in /cvmfs/ Once copied out the files should be republished in the normal fashion.

If you want to recover older than a few weeks ago or a complete system then it may be better to get in touch. For instance we have tape archives in addition.

Backup and Recovery

Please get in touch , while we can recover files that are deleted but it requires some work on our side.

Possible Problems


Submit a snow ticket, you will find there is CVMFS functional element to which tickets can be submitted.
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Topic revision: r14 - 2015-10-30 - SteveTraylen
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