Alfred Installation


Alfred is installed as part of the regular RenderMan Studio installation process. The default installation should be sufficient to support a single artist rendering on their own machine.

Please see the Alfred documentation for a discussion of general concepts. The Alfred configuration notes describe the procedure for setting up remote server access, and other administrative tasks.

Alfred provides an interface to Pixar's rendering services, both remote and local. Each user runs a licensed copy of Alfred to dispatch and manager their jobs. Alfred can render on the local host or to remote NetRenderMan servers; each renderer launched by Alfred will require access to a standard RenderMan license. The default installation assumes a single user running in stand-alone mode; multiple 'stand-alone' users can coexist on a network, although typically it is more efficient to coordinate their use of remote servers through an Alfred maitre-d server.


If you are using RenderMan Studio 1.0 and License 5.0 with RenderMan Pro Server 13.0.x (or any prman version that uses a license server earlier than License 5.0), you will need to temporarily disable "license pings" in the alfred schedule file. These are proactive queries made by the maitre-d to determine if prman licenses are available before launching prman, and they query the same license server that alfred itself is using; if prman is not also using that same license server, the preventative nature of the query can fail. To disable the pings, edit the alfred.schedule file and add a "0" (zero) as the sixth parameter to the "Alfping" query, thusly:

  Alfping nrm %h 2 1.25 0
becomes
  Alfping nrm %h 2 1.25 0 0
This should be done on the Alfred maitre-d server. Note that the limits mechanism can still be used as an alternate way to prevent launching too many of a particular type of application.


Files

The environment variable $RMSTREE is used during installation, and run-time, to determine the location of the various Alfred files (as well as the other Studio applications). If RMSTREE is not set, then an attempt is made to use the location of alfred executable as an RMSTREE guess. The default location for Pixar applications varies by operating system, and overriding these locations is not recommended.

INSTALLED FILES

 

$RMSTREE/bin/alfred
the Alfred executable; see the manual page for invocation options.

 

$RMSTREE/lib/alfred/alfred.ini
the system-wide default settings for preferences and tunable parameters.

 

$RMSTREE/lib/alfred/alfred.schedule
the system-wide definition of which remote servers are available to client applications launched by Alfred. This file also defines any user or time-of-day access restrictions to the remote servers. Typically this file is writable only by a production coordinator or whoever is organizing resources.

 

$RMSTREE/lib/alfred/resources/...
this directory contains icons and data used by the program. The alfred.help file contains the text of balloon help messages and the names used by the UI to display tasks states (e.g. Blocked, Ready, Active, etc). Some sites might want to modify this file to reflect the local environment (or language).
OPTIONAL FILES

 

alfred.icon
this small image file is located in the "$RMSTREE/lib/alfred/resources" directory, and can be installed, in either the system icon directory or into an individual user's personal icon directory, with the provided installation script: "$RMSTREE/system/linkraticons".

 

/etc/init.d/alfred_restart
/etc/config/alfred_restart.options
/etc/rc2.d/S98alfred_restart
/etc/rc0.d/K09alfred_restart
These restart-on-reboot scripts, option files, and symbolic links are installed, optionally, using the provided installation script: "$RMSTREE/system/Install-alfred_restart". Note that this script can only be run as superuser. See the rc2(1m) manpage, and the Alfred automatic restart discussion for more details.
RUN-TIME FILES

 

/usr/tmp/alfredSpool
the default location of the spooling directory, holds spooled scripts, checkpoint versions of executing scripts, and other temporary files. Note: the actual name and location of this directory is specified in the alfred.ini file.

 

~/.pixarPrefs/alfred.prefs
user-specific preference settings (in each home directory). These are overrides for a subset of the parameters set in the system-wide alfred.ini file.

 

/tmp/.alfdp.userid
each dispatcher records its process-id and UI communications port number in this file; it serves as both a lock to prevent multiple dispatchers from being started for each new job (per user) and as a place to record the port used for spooling and UI updates.

 

/tmp/.alfui.login.remoteID
each running UI records its process-id. This acts as a lock to prevent multiple UI windows from being started for a single user (per local machine, per remote dispatcher).

 

/tmp/.alfui.nimby.userid
recorded process-id of any Alfred running in NIMBY mode.

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