Using the Any Data, Any Time, Anywhere (AAA) Infrastructure

This page should be considered obsolete! Please see this page instead

The service is in production, but it's still fairly new. It's not clear all the different ways someone might want to use it, but this page describes some of the more popular methods.

Keep in mind that the AAA xrootd service is read-only. It's meant to allow you to access files, not write out results.

Which files are available?

The files you can get from this service are limited to the sites which run the service. The current participants are:

  • US Region
    1. T1_US_FNAL (disk-only; includes test EOS service)
    2. T2_US_Caltech
    3. T2_US_Florida
    4. T2_US_Nebraska
    5. T2_US_Purdue
    6. T2_US_UCSD
    7. T2_US_Wisconsin
    8. T2_US_MIT
    9. T2_US_Vanderbilt
  • EU Region
    1. T1_CH_CERN (EOSCMS only)
    2. T2_IT_Bari
    3. T2_IT_Pisa
    4. T2_IT_Legnaro
    5. T2_DE_DESY
    6. T2_UK_*
    7. T2_EE_Estonia

In general, any of the latest AOD is available.

For the remainder of these tutorials, we will assume that you will want to download a file with the CMS name:


This could be a part of a production dataset (/store/data/foo) or one of your user files at a T2 (/store/user/bbockelm/foo).

Getting the tools

In order to use Xrootd, you need to have a minimal grid environment (CA certificates and a grid certificate are needed). From lxplus, source the following script:

source /afs/
source /afs/

Ask your local site admin if you do not work at lxplus.

Next, setup your ROOT or CMSSW working environment. For example, if you use CMSSW on lxplus:

cmsrel CMSSW_6_0_0
cd CMSSW_6_0_0

However, bare ROOT works fine also.


The Xrootd data service only allows GSI authentication. You must have a grid certificate installed into ~/.globus and registered in CMS. This is covered in Chapter 5 of the CMS workbook.

If you do not have a proxy in your environment when the job starts, xrootd will prompt you to create one.

Download whole files with command-line tools

The command-line tool for xrootd is called xrdcp. This command line utility ships with stand-alone ROOT and CMSSW. Here are the steps to using it:

  1. Initialize your ROOT or CMSSW environment (run cmsenv).
  2. Run:
    xrdcp root:// /some/local/path
You will get a progress bar as the file downloads. You may also want to think about using the -R option, which allows you to recursively download a directory.

Open a file using ROOT

If you are using bare ROOT, you can open files in the xrootd service just like you would any other file:


This returns a TFile object, and you can proceed normally.

Open a file in CMSSW

You want to edit the PoolSource line to point directly at the xrootd service, instead of using a generic LFN.

For example, this might be the "before" picture:

process.source = cms.Source("PoolSource",
                            #                            # replace 'myfile.root' with the source file you want to use
                            fileNames = cms.untracked.vstring('/store/foo')

Here's the same file, but accessed through the Xrootd Service:

process.source = cms.Source("PoolSource",
                            #                            # replace 'myfile.root' with the source file you want to use
                            fileNames = cms.untracked.vstring('root://')

Run an analysis using CRAB

When running analysis using CRAB3 or the remoteGlidein scheduler in CRAB2, if your job has been queued for more than 12 hours, it is eligible for "overflow". In such a case, your job may be run at additional US sites (currently, T2_US_Purdue, T2_US_Nebraska, T2_US_Wisconsin, or T2_US_UCSD), even if the files are not present at those sites. When run, the jobs will automatically switch to reading from the redirector.

There is nothing which needs to be done on the user side to enable overflow.

Listing the contents of a directory

LISTING CONTENTS CANNOT BE DONE IN GENERAL - in the same way that you cannot list the directory of a webpage. Use something like DBS to determine the files you need.

However, there are some special cases. If you'd like to list the contents of a directory at Nebraska, you can use the xrd command:


xrd is a FTP-like client. You can then type:

dirlist /store/data

and use the exit command to exit. Alternately, you can just download the contents of a whole directory:

xrdcp -R root:// /tmp

Again, this will only work for data at Nebraska (which partially defeats the purpose of the global redirector).

Topic attachments
I Attachment History Action Size Date Who Comment
Unknown file formatpatch crab_xrootd.patch r3 r2 r1 manage 3.4 K 2011-11-15 - 20:52 AndrewMelo fixed small typo in patch
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Topic revision: r12 - 2014-02-06 - KenBloom
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