Connecting Gaia Sky instances

Gaia Sky offers a method to connect different instances together so that their internal state is synchronized. The model uses a primary-replica scenario, where one (and only one) instance acts as a primary and one or more instances act as replicas, getting their internal states updated over a network. The user interacts with the primary instance and all replicas are updated accordingly.

This section describes only how to configure the primary and the replica instances in order to connect them together. This method is used to provide multi-projector rendering support (i.e. planetarium domes), but extra steps are needed in order to configure the orientation, distortion warp and blend settings for each replica instance.

The various instances are connected using the REST API server feature of Gaia Sky.

Hint

Multi-projector configuration is covered in the “Planetarium mode multi-projector setup” section.

Configuration

The configuration is easy and painless. You will need to launch each instance of Gaia Sky using a different configuration file (config.yaml). You can run Gaia Sky with a specific configuration file by using the -p or --properties command line flags:

$  gaiasky -p ~/.config/gaiasky/config.master.yaml

The next sections explain how to configure the primary and the replica instances.

Configuration: replica instance(s)

You can have as many replica instances as you want, but here we’ll explain the process of setting up two replicas.

  1. Copy the current config.yaml file in your config folder (see folders) into config.replica0.yaml. The name is irrelevant, but choose something meaningful. Repeat with config.replica1.yaml.

  2. Set the property program::net::slave::active: true in each file and make sure that program::net::master::active is set to false.

  3. Set the desired port to listen to in program::net::restPort. For example, to use the port 13900 just set the property program::net::restPort: 13900. Use a different port for each replica (i.e. replica 0 listens to 13900, slave 1 listens to 13901, etc.). For example, to set up a replica in port 13900, make sure that the following lines are in its configuration file:

program:
    net:
        restPort: 13900
        master:
            active: false
        slave:
            active: true

The replica instances should be launched before the master. Launch the replica(s) with:

$  # Launch replica 0
$  gaiasky -p /path/to/config.replica0.yaml
$  # Launch replica 1
$  gaiasky -p /path/to/config.replica1.yaml

Once the replica(s) have been launched, you can verify that the API is working by visiting http://localhost:13900/api/help with your browser. Modify the port with whatever port you are using.

Hint

Only the primary instance is starting the scripting server. The replicas are automatically forbidden to do so!

Configuration: primary instance

Copy the current config.yaml file into config.primary.yaml and edit the following lines.

  1. Set the property progra::net::master::active: true and make sure that program::net::slave::active is set to false.

  2. Add the locations of all desired replicas under the settings program::net::master::slaves: [URL1, URL2, ...].

For example, in order to connect the primary with two replicas, both running locally (localhost) on ports 13900 and 13901, add the following to the config.primary.yaml file:

program:
    net:
        restPort: 13900
        master:
            active: true
            slaves: [http://localhost:13900/api/,http://localhost:13901/api/]
        slave:
            active: false

Then, just launch the primary (after the replicas are running!):

$  gaiasky -p /path/to/config.primary.yaml

Caveats

Even though this offers a very flexible system to connect several instances of Gaia Sky together, each instance is a fully-fledged application with its own copy of the scene graph and the data structures. This means that, if you run them locally, the data and scene graph will be replicated several times in memory, possibly consuming lots of gigabytes.

Handle it with care.