Installation and Getting Started


Diagram showing a typical Faban configurationThe audience of Faban is divided into many roles, dependent on what your role is and what you want to make Faban do for you. Once you have Faban installed, knowing your role and objectives will prevent you from wading through the documentation and get you productive right away. So know your roles:

This picture illustrates a typical configuration of a Faban test environment.

A Faban rig composes of one Faban master and optionally a number of agent systems that drives the load to the SUT. The Faban master typically runs a web server listening to port 9980 and provides the user interface for Faban. It also controls the process of the benchmark runs. The driver agent systems drive the load. The master may or may not act as an load driving agent by itself, dependent on the configuration. The system under test - or SUT - runs the server software that is being tested. The system under test may also run a Faban command agent which is a small, quiet process acting as a proxy for starting/stopping server processes as well as collecting relevant statistics on these server systems.

As a special case, fhb (Faban HTTP Bench) does not support multiple driver agents. It also does not make use of the Faban master process for the web user interface. In contrast, fhb drives the load from a sinigle system and uses the command line interface for invocation. It also cannot control server processes on the SUT or collect any statistics for that matter. Faban is constrained to only one system acting as both the master and the driver agent.

As you now probably have a vague idea on how you want to use Faban and how a Faban rig looks like, lets dive straight into getting Faban installed.



  1. Login using the selected user on all the systems.

  2. Choose one of the machines not part of the SUT to be the master. Note that the master may or may not actually drive the load.

  3. Untar faban-kit-<build>.tar.gz in the chosen directory on the master system. This will create a sub-directory named faban. We will refer to this directory as FABAN_HOME. For instance, if you choose to untar the tar file in /opt directory (assuming the user name is faban), then /opt/faban is going to be the FABAN_HOME.

    Use the following command to untar the files:
    $ gunzip -c <filename> | tar xvf -

    Linux and some other Unix systems use gnu tar which automatically recognizes gzip-compressed files. If your system uses gnu tar, you can alternatively use the following command:
    $ tar xvf <filename>

    If you install Faban just to use fhb, you can go directly to the fhb resources listed in Next Steps.

  4. Install the Faban agent on all non-master systems in the rig that need the agent. The master already has the agent as part of the Faban installation. This step is not needed if the only system needing the agent is the master system itself. Note: This may include systems that are in the SUT, too. You may use the same command as in (3) above. Alternatively, you can also install the xtremely small Faban agent package instead. To do so, you'll need to generate the Faban agent package first using the following command:

    $ FABAN_HOME/bin/makeagent

    This will create a file called faban-agent.tar.gz in your system's tmp directory. You'll need to copy this faban-agent.tar.gz to all the systems and install it into the respective FABAN_HOME, i.e. possibly same FABAN_HOME for the whole rig.

    If rsh/ssh is already setup (please see Network Setup below), or you are just upgrading Faban, you can also use the provided pushagents script. This will implicitly call makeagent and try to install the agents on the target  systems. You can call the pushagents script as follows:

    $ FABAN_HOME/bin/pushagents <-s> agent1 agent2 ...

    The -s option is used for specifying the use of scp and ssh instead of the equivalend rcp and rsh.

    If it is not possible to install Faban in the same path for all path-compatible systems, symbolic links for FABAN_HOME work on all systems but the master.
  5. For Unix variants only, and only if you choose to install Faban as a non-root user, you need to run for all tools to work properly. Login as the root user or change user to root via the su or sudo command and run this script as following:

    # FABAN_HOME/bin/

    If you have sudo installed, you may also run the command as follows:

    $ sudo FABAN_HOME/bin/

Network Setup

Faban has two major ways to communicate with the agents: 1) By starting the agent daemons and 2) by having Faban start the agents using a remote shell facility such as rsh or ssh. Note that combinations between agent daemons and remote shells are allowed. However, we cannot mix between differen remote shell facilities. For example, mixing rsh and ssh in the same rig cannot be done.

The first step for setting up the network is, of course, ensuring that you have physical network connection to all systems in the rig. The ping utility is a good tool to ensure such connectivity. Make sure you can ping all network interfaces you may want to use, from all systems using those interfaces in the rig.

Next step is to choose between agent daemons or rsh/ssh. As mentioned earlier, combining agent daemons and rsh or ssh (or other remote shells) are supported. But no more than one remote shell is supported. Setting up each mechanism is discussed below

Starting the Agent as a daemon

Starting the Agent as a daemon is very straightforward. You'll want to run FABAN/bin/agent by hand or from an auto-invocation mechanism such as init.d on Unix or autoexec on Windows. Note that the agent daemon is to be started for all the systems wishing to use this mode of communications except the master itself. DO NOT start the agent daemon on the master.

Setting up rsh 

If you want to use rsh for bootstrapping the remote agents, follow the following procedure:

  1. Edit the .rhosts file of the selected user so that Faban can rsh to all the systems that are part of the setup without being prompted for a password. You just need to add '+' character in the /.rhosts file. Note that this step applies to all the systems but the master, including all systems in the SUT that will be managed by Faban.

  2. Check that the master and other clients can “rsh <hostname> ls” each other without being prompted usually saves some time. This command will ensure that the harness can startup, shutdown, and reconfigure services on all systems.

Setting up ssh

Setting up ssh is conceptually the same as setting up rsh. But due to the trust management of a secure shell, the process is actually much more complicated. First you will need to ensure that the systems can ssh to each others and run remote commands without requiring a password. This is system dependent and may be dependent on the ssh implementation. This is not discussed in this document. You may find Tim Cook's SSH Cheat Sheet blog entry a useful help for setting up ssh. After ssh is setup, the following process will test ssh and configure Faban to use ssh instead of rsh.

  1. Check that the master and other clients can “ssh <hostname> ls” each other without being prompted usually saves some time. This command will ensure that the harness can startup, shutdown, and reconfigure services on all systems.

  2. Edit the platform-specific command map on the master. The command map can be found at FABAN_HOME/config/<os>/cmdmap.xml. For example, on Solaris the file will be at FABAN_HOME/config/SunOS/cmdmap.xml. Edit the file and look for a command entry for rsh, such as follows:
            <exec>/usr/bin/rsh -n</exec>
    Change the <exec>
    element to use ssh instead, as follows:
            <exec>/usr/bin/ssh -n</exec>

Starting the Faban Harness

All done and ready to go! Now you just simply start the Faban harness using the following steps:

  1. You may need to set the JAVA_HOME environment variable to a JDK1.5 installation.

  2. Bring up the Faban harness on the master driver machine.

    On Unix: $ FABAN_HOME/master/bin/

    On Windows: > FABAN_HOME\master\bin\startup-using-launcher.bat

  3. Access the harness interface from a browser window. Point your browser to http://<hostname>:9980/ or http://localhost:9980/ if you run the browser on your local host.

Next Steps

Congratulations! You have Faban up and running. So what do you do next. Remember your roles? Go to the respective documentation to get you started for your specific roles:

Benchmark tester
    Faban Harness Users Guide
fhb user
   fhb manual page
   Tutorial: Creating and running a HTTP workload using fhb and a workload configuration file
Benchmark developer
    Faban Driver Framework Developers Guide
Benchmark integrator
    Faban Harness Developers Guide

Faban does not require any extra configuration. However, you may run into cases where you need certain administrative features such as security and auditing on a Faban master or special kinds of configurations allowing access to Faban through a Firewall. These many Faban features and a more detailed documentation on your Faban installation in general is provided in the Faban Harness Configuration Guide.

If you cannot find the information you need or are trying to solve a specific problem that is not documented or not well documented, please post your questions on our mailing list at Good luck & have fun.