StarCluster documentation (v. 0.92rc1)

Welcome to StarCluster's main documentation. StarCluster is a utility for creating and managing general purpose computing clusters hosted on Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2). StarCluster utilizes Amazon's EC2 web service to create and destroy clusters of Linux virtual machines on demand. StarCluster aims at being simple, hackable, and extensible.

StarCluster is under constant development. The main implemented features are:

  • Easily Create and Configure Clusters on EC2 - Launch multiple clusters of 1-100 nodes using a simple start command
  • Automated Configuration - Configures users, NFS shares, Sun Grid Engine queuing system, password-less ssh between machines, etc
  • Attach and NFS Share EBS Volumes - Support for attaching and NFS-sharing both partitioned and unpartitioned Amazon Elastic Block Storage (EBS) volumes for persistent storage across a cluster
  • Publicly available Amazon Machine Images (AMI) - Configured for scientific computing. Includes OpenMPI, ATLAS, Lapack, NumPy, SciPy, and other useful libraries
  • User-contributed Plugins - Plugins allow users to perform additional setup routines on the cluster after StarCluster's defaults. Plugins are called when adding/removing a node as well as when restarting/shutting down the entire cluster
  • EBS-Backed Clusters - Support for starting/stopping EBS-backed clusters on EC2
  • Cluster Compute/GPU Instances - Support for the new Cluster Compute and GPU Cluster Compute instance types
  • Add/Remove Nodes - Support for adding/removing nodes to a running cluster
  • Restart Clusters - Reboot and reconfigure a running cluster
  • Elastic Load Balancing - Shrink and expand clusters based on Sun Grid Engine queue statistics
  • Multiple Instance Types - Specify multiple instance types on a per-node basis.

User Sections

StarCluster development

Indices and Tables


Current version: 0.92

Download StarCluster from the github project page (but first take a look at the install page).

For details on what's new, see the detailed version history.


Requests for help should be directed to the StarCluster mailing list.

You can file bugs, patches and feature requests on the StarCluster bug tracker, but it is a good idea to also drop us a note on the StarCluster Mailing List.


The StarCluster module is released under the LGPL license. See the license page for details.