HTTPS Services with Tornado


This page summarizes the changes between DISET and HTTPS. You can all also see these presentations:

For installing HTTPs services, please refer to Note on HTTPs services in DIRAC administration page.


digraph {
TornadoServer -> YourServiceHandler [label=use];
YourServiceHandler ->  TornadoService[label=inherit];

TornadoServer  [shape=polygon,sides=4, label = "DIRAC.Core.Tornado.Server.TornadoServer"];
TornadoService  [shape=polygon,sides=4, label = "DIRAC.Core.Tornado.Server.TornadoService"];
YourServiceHandler  [shape=polygon,sides=4];


Service returns to Client S_OK/S_ERROR encoded in JSON

Each service exposes only one route of the form System/Component with a POST handler. The semantic of the POST call is described below.

Important changes between DISET server and Tornado Server

Internal structure

  • ServiceReactor is now TornadoServer

  • Service and RequestHandler are now merge into TornadoService

  • CallStack from S_ERROR are deleted when they are returned to client.

  • Common config for all services, there is no more specific config/service. But you can still give extra config files in the command line when you start a HTTPS server.

  • Server returns HTTP status codes like 200 OK or 401 Forbidden. Not used by client for now but open possibility for usage with external services (like a REST API)

How to write service

Nothing better than an example:

from DIRAC.Core.Tornado.Server.TornadoService import TornadoService
class yourServiceHandler(TornadoService):

  def initializeHandler(cls, infosDict):
    ## Called 1 time, at first request

  def initializeRequest(self):
    ## Called at each request

  auth_someMethod = ['all']
  def export_someMethod(self):
    ## Insert your method here, don't forget the return should be serializable
    ## Returned value may be an S_OK/S_ERROR
    ## You don't need to serialize in JSON, Tornado will do it

Writing a service for tornado and DISET is similar. You have to define your method starting with export_, and your initialization method is a class method called initializeHandler. Main changes in tornado are:

  • Service are initialized at first request

  • You should not write a method called initialize because Tornado already use that name, so the initialize from DISET handlers became initializeRequest

  • infosDict, arguments of initializedHandler is not really the same as for DISET: all transport related matters are removed.

  • There is no parameter type check any more: attributes like types_yourMethod are ignored.

  • Auth attributes are still there (auth_yourMethod).

The interface of the DISET request handler was preserved, in particular:

  • getCSOption

  • getRemoteAddress

  • getRemoteCredentials

  • srv_getCSOption

  • srv_getRemoteAddress

  • srv_getRemoteCredentials

  • srv_getFormattedRemoteCredentials

  • srv_getServiceName

  • srv_getURL.

How to start server

The easy way is to use command tornado-start-all which will start all services registered in configuration. To register a service you just have to add the service in the CS and Protocol = https. It may look like this:

    Tornado = DevInstance

Systems {
      Port = 443
          Protocol = https

But you can also control more settings by launching tornado yourself:

from DIRAC.Core.Tornado.Server.TornadoServer import TornadoServer
serverToLaunch = TornadoServer(youroptions)

Options available are:

  • services, should be a list, to start only these services

  • debugSSL, True or False, activate debug mode of Tornado (includes autoreload) and SSL, for extra logs use -ddd in the command line

  • port, int, if you want to override value from config. If it’s also not defined in config, it use 443.

This start method can be useful for developing new service or create starting script for a specific service, like the Configuration System (as master).

The master CS is different because it uses the same global variable (gConfig) but uses it also to write config. Because of that, it needs to run in a separate process. It needs to be started with tornado-start-CS script.


There is no specific client for transfering files anymore. In fact, the whole idea of directly serving file will eventually disapear and be replaced with redirections to real content streaming server. In the meantine, in order to keep some compatibility, the features were implemented, but require some changes on the server side:

  • transfer_toClient needs to be renamed export_streamToClient

  • It needs to return the whole file content at once

  • The parameter fileHelper is removed

For example:

def transfer_toClient(self, myFileToSend, token, fileHelper):

  # Do whatever with the token

  with open(myFileToSend, 'r') as fd:
    ret = fileHelper.DataSourceToNetwork(fd)
    return ret

Simply becomes:

def export_streamToClient(self, myFileToSend, token):

  # Do whatever with the token

  with open(myFileToSend, 'r') as fd:

From the client side, no change is needed since DIRAC.Core.Tornado.Client.TornadoClient.TornadoClient.receiveFile() keeps the interface

This procedure is not optimized server side (see commented export_streamToClient implementation in DIRAC.Core.Tornado.Server.TornadoService.TornadoService).

The transfer_fromClient equivalent has not yet been implemented as it concerns only very few cases (basically DIRAC SE and SandboxStore)


digraph {
TornadoClient -> TornadoBaseClient [label=inherit]
TornadoBaseClient -> Requests [label=use]

TornadoClient  [shape=polygon,sides=4, label="DIRAC.Core.Tornado.Client.TornadoClient"];
TornadoBaseClient  [shape=polygon,sides=4, label="DIRAC.Core.Tornado.Client.private.TornadoBaseClient"];
Requests [shape=polygon,sides=4]

This diagram present what is behind TornadoClient, but you should use DIRAC.Core.Base.Client ! The new client integrate a selection system which select for you between HTTPS and DISET client.

In your client module when you inherit from DIRAC.Core.Base.Client you can define httpsClient with another client, it can be useful when you can’t serialize some data in JSON. Here the step to create and use a JSON patch:

  • Create a class which inherit from TornadoClient

  • For every method who need a JSON patch create a method with the same name as the service

  • Use self.executeRPC to send / receive datas

You can also see this example:

class ConfigurationServerJSON(TornadoClient):
    The specific client for configuration system.
    To avoid JSON limitation the HTTPS handler encode data in base64
    before sending them, this class only decode the base64
    An exception is made with CommitNewData which ENCODE in base64
  def getCompressedData(self):
      Transmit request to service and get data in base64,
      it decode base64 before returning

      :returns str:Configuration data, compressed
    retVal = self.executeRPC('getCompressedData')
    if retVal['OK']:
      retVal['Value'] = b64decode(retVal['Value'])
    return retVal

Behind TornadoClient the requests library sends a HTTP POST request with:

  • method : str with method name

  • args: your arguments encoded in JSON

  • clientVO: The VO of client

  • extraCredentials: (if apply) Extra informations to authenticate client

Service is determined by server thanks to URL rooting, not with port like in DISET.

By default server listen on port 8443.

Contacting the service using DIRAC:

In [7]: from DIRAC.Resources.Catalog.FileCatalogClient import FileCatalogClient
  ...: FileCatalogClient().whoami()
{u'OK': True,
u'Value': {u'DN': u'/C=ch/O=DIRAC/OU=DIRAC CI/CN=ciuser',
  u'group': u'dirac_user',
  u'identity': u'/C=ch/O=DIRAC/OU=DIRAC CI/CN=ciuser',
  u'isLimitedProxy': False,
  u'isProxy': True,
  u'issuer': u'/C=ch/O=DIRAC/OU=DIRAC CI/CN=ciuser',
  u'properties': [u'NormalUser'],
  u'secondsLeft': 86141,
  u'subject': u'/C=ch/O=DIRAC/OU=DIRAC CI/CN=ciuser/CN=2409820262',
  u'username': u'adminusername',
  u'validDN': False,
  u'validGroup': False},
'rpcStub': (('DataManagement/FileCatalog',
  {'skipCACheck': True, 'timeout': 600}),

Contacting the service using requests:

In [20]: url = 'https://server:8443/DataManagement/TornadoFileCatalog'
    ...: cert = '/tmp/x509up_u1000'
    ...: kwargs = {'method':'whoami'}
    ...: caPath = '/home/dirac/ClientInstallDIR/etc/grid-security/certificates/'
    ...: with, data=kwargs, cert=cert, verify=caPath) as r:
    ...:     print r.json()
{u'OK': True, u'Value': {u'DN': u'/C=ch/O=DIRAC/OU=DIRAC CI/CN=ciuser', u'username': u'adminusername', u'secondsLeft': 85846, u'group': u'dirac_user', u'isProxy': True, u'validGroup': False, u'validDN': False, u'issuer': u'/C=ch/O=DIRAC/OU=DIRAC CI/CN=ciuser', u'isLimitedProxy': False, u'properties': [u'NormalUser'], u'identity': u'/C=ch/O=DIRAC/OU=DIRAC CI/CN=ciuser', u'subject': u'/C=ch/O=DIRAC/OU=DIRAC CI/CN=ciuser/CN=2409820262'}}

Client / Service interactions

Client/Service interactions

Important changes between TornadoClient and RPCClient

Internal structure

  • innerRPCClient and RPCClient are now a single class: TornadoClient. Interface and usage stay the same.

  • TornadoBaseClient is the new BaseClient. Most of code is copied from BaseClient but some method have been rewrited to use Requests instead of Transports. Code duplication is done to fully separate DISET and HTTPS but later, some parts can be merged by using a new common class between DISET and HTTPS (these parts are explicitly given in the docstrings).

  • BaseTransport, PlainTransport and SSLTransport are replaced by Requests

  • keepAliveLapse is removed from rpcStub returned by Client because Requests manage it himself.

  • Due to JSON limitation you can write some specifics clients who inherit from TornadoClient, there is a simple example with CSJSONClient who transfer data in base64 to overcome JSON limitations

Connections and certificates

Requests library check more than DISET when reading certificates and do some stuff for us:

  • Server certificate must have subject alternative names. Requests also check the hostname and you can have connection errors when using “localhost” for example. To avoid them add subject alternative name in certificate. (You can also see ).

  • If server certificates are used by clients, you must add clientAuth in the extendedKeyUsage (requests also check that).

  • In server side M2Crypto is used instead of GSI and conflict are possible between GSI and M2Crypto, to avoid them you can comment 4 lasts lines at DIRAC/Core/Security/

  • _connect(), _disconnect() and _purposeAction() are removed, _connect/_disconnect are now managed by requests and _purposeAction is no longer used is in HTTPS protocol.

How to install Tornado


Two special python packages are needed:

  • git+ : in place of the standard tornado. This adds configurable feature to tornado

  • git+ this allows to use tornado with M2Crypto

Install a service

Initial install: first modify one config (with port and so on) before running tornado-install

dirac-install-component is your friend. This will install a runit component running tornado-start-all. Nothing is ready yet to install specific tornado service, like the master CS.

Migrate from dips to https

comment out port, set Protocol = https, change handler

Start the server

To start the server you must define OPENSSL_ALLOW_PROXY_CERTS and run DIRAC/TornadoServices/Scripts/ (or if you try to run a configuration server):

OPENSSL_ALLOW_PROXY_CERTS=1 python /opt/dirac/DIRAC/TornadoServices/scripts/

Launch tests


Because for now Tornado does not have “Real” services, you must use some fakes services to compare and test with DISET. You need tornadoCredDict, diracCredDict, User, UserDirac to run tests. Each test explain how to configure in its docstring.

The only service available is the Configuration/Server, it will work with HTTPS and DISET services who needs to load configuration with a Configuration/Server.

Run performance tests

For performance test unset PYTHONOPTIMIZE if it is set in your environement:


Then you have to start some clients (adapt the port):

cd /opt/dirac/DIRAC/test/Integration/TornadoServices
multimech-run perf-test-ping -p 9000 -b

Modify first lines of DIRAC/TornadoServices/test/multi-mechanize/ and DIRAC/TornadoServices/test/multi-mechanize/ (follow instruction of each files)

On the server start DIRAC/test/Integration/TornadoServices/getCPUInfos (redirect output to a file)

Run [NameOfYourTest] at the end of execution, the command to plot is given. Before executing command, copy output of getCPUInfos on /tmp/results.txt (on your local machine).