MC2 Operations Manual


MC2 is a distributed LBS server, offering functionality like routing, geocoding, reverse geocoding and user management. Developed in C++, running on a cluster of computers with a Linux OS. A database (MySQL) is used for managing users and related information, but the maps are stored in a proprietary (read-only) database. The system is truly distributed with two categories of components:

  • Front-ends; The connection point for the clients. The front-ends are responsible for interpreting the client request and compiling the complete reply based on internal requests to the back-end modules. The front-ends are also referred to as Interfaces and Servers (since they can be seen as a server from the clients point of view). The two front-ends that are typically used today are handling the
    • XML protocol (traditionally called the XMLServer) serving the web applications and the Java based clients.
    • NGP, Next Generation Protocol (traditionally called NavigatorServer) serving C++ based clients
  • Back-ends; Responsible for carrying out tasks within a specific area, like Map, Search, Route and User. All tasks requiring a significant amount of resources (memory and/or CPU) should be handled by a back-end. There can (and probably are) several instances of each back-end type to share the work load, and each type of back-ends have one leader distributing the tasks between the available modules. The leader is selected via an internal voting mechanism between the available back-ends to handle failures. Internally also referred to as Modules.

A set of running components sharing the same configuration form an MC2 instance.

Intended audience

Experienced system administrators with good Linux skills.

Hardware Requirements

The hardware requirements to run MC2 varies depending on the level of service, the amount of map data and the number of users. For simple demonstration purposes a desktop class PC with 1 or 2 cores and 2-4 GB of RAM will work fine. For large scale operations with world wide map coverage and hundreds of thousands of global users you will need 20+ servers, gigabit switches, load balancers, etc.

Unfortunately large scale deployments are not possible on any of the big cloud providers such as AWS due to a lack of multicast support, which is crucial for the MC2 components with the current design.

Software Requirements

Operating system

MC2 can run on several different operating systems. The main target platform has been clones of Red Hat Enterprise Linux with RHEL 4 being mostly used but verified and used also on both RHEL 5 and 6. MC2 works very well with CentOS and has been deployed in production use on CentOS 4.x, which is a good fit since it allows for easy use of file systems other than ext3.

The recommended way to to install the OS and dependencies for a production system is to install the minimal Base group of packages and then add the necessary additional packages and configuration.


At Wayfinder all systems, including development systems, were fully managed by WFConf (see below) and were installed using kickstart. In the WFConf example you will also find the kickstart environment used, it’s included in the management node role. It consists of a few configuration files and a perl CGI script. In the configuration file you use the MAC address of a server to specify the building blocks for the kickstart file to use for it. This allows for automatically setting root passwords based on the role of the server (eg dev vs test vs production), disk partitioning scheme based on hard drives available, etc. On the management / kickstart server there is a full mirror of the CentOS version including up to date copies of all updates, managed by mrepo. In /kick you will find the CentOS files as well as the config files:

  • /kick/ - defines where the kickstart files are and what the different installation targets are.
  • /kick/ - a hash with the MAC address as a key with the value being a hash of the kickstart file parts. There is also a default section with the kickstart file parts default values.
  • /kick/TARGET/ks - the location of the kickstart template and fragments, where TARGET is the distribution directory, eg c48x64 for CentOS 4.8 x86_64.

mc2-base.ks is a regular kickstart file with a twist, some sections are left out and instead replaced with a placeholder, eg <ROOT_PASSWORD>. The name within brackets is the fragment key, it’s used within to assign a certain fragment to that section of the file.

Other software and libraries

ComponentWhere to get itComment
JTC3rd party, see belowUsed for thread handling including synchronization, “Java Like Threads for C++”
boostIncluded in RHEL/CentOS 4/5/6 
opensslIncluded in RHEL/CentOS 4/5/6 
libtecla3rd party, see belowSmall library for interactive line editing
freetypeIncluded in RHEL/CentOS 4/5/6 
ImageMagickIncluded in RHEL/CentOS 4/5/6 
gd2.0.33 or higher, included in RHEL/CentOS 5/6 
librsvg2Included in RHEL/CentOS 4/5/6 
cairo1.4.6 or newer, included in RHEL/CentOS 5/6 
zlibIncluded in RHEL/CentOS 4/5/6 
postgresqlIncluded in RHEL/CentOS 4/5/6 
MySQL-shared-standardIncluded in RHEL/CentOS 4/5/6 
memcached3rd party, see belowMemcached is only used for experimental features not yet proven in production use
libmemcached3rd party, see belowMemcached is only used for experimental features not yet proven in production use
XercesC3rd party, see belowXML parsing library
screenIncluded in RHEL/CentOS 4/5/6 
zshIncluded in RHEL/CentOS 4/5/6 

If a newer version is needed or if it’s not available in the different versions of RHEL/CentOS you can find the packages as RPMs in both source and binary format for RHEL/CentOS 4 i386/x86_64 and RHEL6 i686 here: wayfinder-rpms

Additional packages, such as gtkmm24, is needed to compile some tools like MapEditor, but these are not necessary to operate the server.

MC2 has support for several different databases but the only one that’s up to date and has had any large scale production use is MySQL. By default both MySQL and PostgreSQL support is compiled and linked.

Setting up


It’s recommended to use a separate dedicated ethernet interface or at least a dedicated VLAN for the internal MC2 communication. Allocate private IP address space for this and setup the default multicast route to use the same interface/VLAN in /etc/sysconfig/network/static-routes/

any net netmask dev eth0.2

Note that MC2 uses the host name for the server to find the IP address to use for communication, so make sure that the host names resolves to the IP adress space you’ve setup for the internal communication.

The interconnecting switch should have IGMP snooping enabled, if not all switch ports will be flooded with all of the multicast traffic.

It is not recommended to use DHCP for IP address assignment in a production environment for other purposes than initial installation.


MySQL needs to be configured to use InnoDB. InnoDB tuning is not within the scope of this document and is not necessary for small scale production use. A minimal MySQL config could look like this:

port                    = 3306
socket                  = /var/lib/mysql/mysql.sock

port                    = 3306
socket                  = /var/lib/mysql/mysql.sock
datadir                 = /var/lib/mysql
max_connections         = 300
table_cache             = 600
set-variable            = key_buffer=32M
set-variable            = max_allowed_packet=1M
set-variable            = table_cache=128
set-variable            = sort_buffer=2M
set-variable            = net_buffer_length=8K
set-variable            = myisam_sort_buffer_size=8M

### innodb ###

innodb_data_file_path = ibdata1:10M:autoextend
innodb_data_home_dir = /var/lib/mysql/
innodb_log_group_home_dir = /var/lib/mysql/
innodb_log_arch_dir = /var/lib/mysql/
set-variable = innodb_mirrored_log_groups=1
set-variable = innodb_log_files_in_group=4
set-variable = innodb_log_file_size=5M
set-variable = innodb_log_buffer_size=16M
set-variable = innodb_buffer_pool_size=32M
set-variable = innodb_additional_mem_pool_size=4M
set-variable = innodb_file_io_threads=6
set-variable = innodb_lock_wait_timeout=50

Create at least one database and grant usage to at least one dedicated user. It’s recommended to use separate databases and users for the MC2 UserModule and one for InfoModule to easily keep track of connections but it works fine with a single database and user. Here’s an example with a single DB and user, please note that giving acccess for the user using a wildcard host like in the example is not recommended for production use unless you limit access to the database in other ways.

GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON mc2db.* TO mc2@"%" IDENTIFIED BY 'secretpasword';

Both UserModule and InfoModule will create the tables they need automatically on first startup.

MapModule also connects to a database in case dynamic POI info fields are used. You can use the user and database already setup also for MapModule in case you don’t need this feature. MapModule only performs reads from the database.

Internal caching web proxy

The mercator bitmap tile handling in MC2 requires a web proxy to work. The outside URL is rewritten by the frontend and requested towards the proxy, the particular bitmap is then either fetched from the proxy cache or the proxy will request it from the frontend using the rewritten URL. The proxy needs to be configured to cache requests which look dynamic, ie includes a question mark and the proxy URL needs to be set in mc2.prop using the setting called INTERNAL_SQUID_URL. Wayfinder used Squid but any web proxy that’s correctly configured should work fine. Example setting:



There are many different configuration files used for different purposes in MC2. Apart from the major configuration file mc2.prop there is also configuration files for major features, for client configurations and for managing instances.


The mc2.prop file is the main configuration file for MC2. Here you will find most of the settings within MC2 and the configuration file itself documents what settings are available and what they are used for. In this section we will go into some detail on the most important ones.

The mc2.prop format is a simple ASCII file based on key/value pairs. It also supports simple expansion of variables (keys) within the value by enclosing a key name in curly brackets. Example:

FOO = Hello
BAR = {FOO} World

Will assign Hello to the key FOO and Hello World to the key BAR.



MAP_PATH sets the path to the set of M3 maps you want to use. Simply point this to the directory containing the maps. MODULE_CACHE_PATH sets the path to the module map cache, which should normally be generated in advance. The recommended way to set this is to do it based on the MAP_PATH:

MAP_PATH = /maps/world-2010-06-01
*_NET - Multicast network

Setup which multicast network and ports to use by setting the different *_NET variables. Best practice is to set the network to use with one variable and point the rest to it. For advanced setups where some modules are shared among many instances you would use more than one.

Here’s a simple example of setting the *_NET variables:



An example where you might share components is in a development environment where a set of servers are running a development instance based on the latest development code branch. A developer working on a certain module can the use these components while testing his changes and will then not have to start all of the other necessary modules. In this example the developer is working with /TileModule/

Here’s an advanced example of setting the *_NET variables:



There are several settings for limiting the memory used by each module, please refer to the sample mc2.prop for more information. Play around with the settings to get a feeling for the effect they have.

Tile cache

When MC2 generates the vectorized map data used by the clients it needs to be cached in the file system. The TILE_MAP_CACHE is used to control where the cache is stored. Best practice is to put this on a separate file system, preferably using an LVM logical volume, or by using a loop mounted file. use ReiserFS for this file system if available since the cache consists of many small files. The reason for keeping the cache in a separate file system is that it makes purging the cache quick and easy, simple unmount it, reformat and mount it again. The cache can quickly ramp up to contain a great amount of files, to make this work with a reasonable performance also for ext2 or ext3 file systems MC2 employs a simple scheme where a hierarchy of folders is used to put the cached tile files in.

Database settings

There are three modules in MC2 that uses a connection to a database, the most important one is UserModule which uses the database to store all user related data. InfoModule uses the data for persistent storage of traffic information and speed cameras, MapModule uses it to fetch dynamic information field in POIs (Points of Interest).

All three modules are configured the same way, in these examples we will configure only the UserModule. Simply replace the USER_ prefix with either INFO_ or POI for the other two module types.

Simple example using MySQL driver

USER_SQL_DRIVER    = mysql
USER_SQL_HOST      = db1
USER_SQL_USER      = mc2user
USER_SQL_PASSWORD  = secretpassword

A more advanced example would use the mysqlrepl driver for all database accesses, which supports a very simple failover mechanism when MySQL replication is being used. This example also demonstrates the recommended practice of using helper variables to set the driver and host.

Advanced example using the MySQL replication driver:

# Default SQL settings
DEFAULT_SQL_DRIVER    = mysqlrepl
DEFAULT_SQL_HOST      = dbmaster,dbslave

# User Module specific settings
USER_SQL_DATABASE  = prod_user
USER_SQL_USER      = mc2produser
USER_SQL_PASSWORD  = verysecretpassword

Note that this method was used for a while in production at Wayfinder to fail over from a MySQL master to a slave, but we later created functionality to deal with failover in a more transparent way to allow several different writers to the database to switch consistenly in case of a failure. The mysqlrepl approach has a risk of a temporary issue causing a partial failover.

Maps and map sets

MC2 supports multiple sets of maps. This is used when you have geographically separated sets of maps. This could be one map set for North and South America, one for Europe, Asia, Africa and one for Australia and New Zealand. To configure for three map sets set MAP_SET_COUNT to 3 and set the corresponding MAP_PATH variables.

Example where three map sets is used:

MAP_PATH_0 = /maps/americas-2010-06-01
MAP_PATH_1 = /maps/europe_africa_asia-2010-06-10
MAP_PATH_2 = /maps/australia_nz-2010-06-15

You will also need to configure multiple map using modules (Map/Search/Route/Info), at least one running module per map set, use the --mapSet command line option for this.

NOTE: It is a recommended practice to put the module specific map cache files in directories named according to the map set since they need to be generated and used with the same map set number!


The individual MC2 components are managed using a simple scheme based on the GNU screen tool. This allows for easy starting and stopping of all components on a server while still retaining the possibility to easily look at the component output as well as controlling it.

The overall settings for an instance is in mc2control.settings. It contains a few settings you will probably not have to use (some are deprecated, some were only used for development environments). The minimal configuration needs to properly set two of these; mc2screenprefix and mc2BinDir.

An example of a mc2control.settings file:


This will use the /mc2/bin-1.0.1 directory as the working directory for this instance and use the string myinstance to set the screen name.

The host names of all the servers running components for an instance is put in the mc2control.hosts file.


You then have one mc2control.HOST file for each server, where HOST is the hostname corresponding to a line in mc2control.hosts. This file is actually a screenrc file, so it can also include screen settings, here’s an example for the server dev-1,

setenv LOGFILE_PATH /logs/
screen -t shell /bin/zsh
screen -t Map ./runBin /mc2/bin-1.0.1/MapModule -p /mc2/etc/mc2.prop
screen -t Srch ./runBin /mc2/bin-1.0.1/SearchModule -p /mc2/etc/mc2.prop
screen -t Route ./runBin /mc2/bin-1.0.1/RouteModule -p /mc2/etc/mc2.prop
screen -t Gfx ./runBin /mc2/bin-1.0.1/GfxModule -p /mc2/etc/mc2.prop
screen -t Email ./runBin /mc2/bin-1.0.1/EmailModule -p /mc2/etc/mc2.prop
screen -t Tile ./runBin /mc2/bin-1.0.1/TileModule -p /mc2/etc/mc2.prop
screen -t Ext ./runBin /mc2/bin-1.0.1/ExtServiceModule -p /mc2/etc/mc2.prop
screen -t XML ./runBin /mc2/bin-1.0.1/XMLServer -p /mc2/etc/mc2.prop
hardstatus alwayslastline "%w"

The above example uses the runBin wrapper to run all components, for details have a look a the Running MC2 section. It uses binaries located in /mc2/bin-1.0.1 and includes a basic set of modules and one frontend. LOGFILE_PATH sets the location of all log files (used in runBin) and the hardstatus line tells screen to always include a line at the bottom of your terminal showing the windows in the screen session.

The mc2control script is used to control the instance, please refer to the section Running MC2 for more information.

Using multiple mc2controls

If you are running several instances or large instances on a group of servers it’s often advisable to also have multiple mc2control instances. A typical configuration could be one mc2control per MC2 instance, or as recommended separate the components per role into different MC2 instance. A best practice is to put the frontends (Servers) in one, map using modules in a second and other shared modules in a third. If you’re using map sets we advice having one mc2control for each map set. To use multiple instances of mc2control you simply create a symlink that reflects the name:

ln -s mc2control mc2control-prod

If you split it up depending on role as described above and the MC2 instance is named prod it would typically look like this:

ln -s mc2control mc2control-prodservers
ln -s mc2control mc2control-prodmap
ln -s mc2control mc2control-prodcommon

The configuration files reflects the names, so they would for instance be named mc2control-prodservers.hosts, mc2control-prodservers.host1 and mc2control-prodservers.settings.


Handling mc2control files manually with more than a handful of servers and instances can quickly become a mess. To make this a bit easier you can use the simple tool called MC2Conf. Just like WFConf it’s written in perl and instead of it having a configuration file you create a a perl script that uses functions from the module.

The configuration has a list of all the servers in your server cluster, and then sections for each mc2control instance you want to create. You typically have one of these configuration file for each environment (dev / test / preprod / prod) which in turn has several instances as described above.

Here’s a small example with only a few servers:

#!/usr/bin/perl -w

# config for test environment

use MC2Conf;
use strict;
use POSIX qw(strftime);

my $timestamp = strftime "%Y%m%d%H%M%S", localtime;
my %all_nodes = (
   'server1' => { 'fqdn' => 'server1', },
   'server2' => { 'fqdn' => 'server2', },
   'server3' => { 'fqdn' => 'server3', },
   'server4' => { 'fqdn' => 'server4', },
   'server5' => { 'fqdn' => 'server5', },
   'server6' => { 'fqdn' => 'server6', },

# it can be convenient to specify lists of servers if they are configured and used differently:

my @frontend_nodes = gen_nodes('server', (1..3));
my @backend_only_nodes = gen_nodes('server', (4..6));
my @nodes = keys %all_nodes;

# common variables

my $version = '1.0.1';
my $path = "/mc2/bin-$version";
my $nav_params = '';
my $log_path = "/logs/";
my $default_server_params  = '--client_settings=' . $path . '/navclientsettings.txt --server_lists=' .
                             $path . '/namedservers.txt --minnumberthreads=30 --maxnumberthreads=30';
my $default_nav_params     = '--boxtype=1 --categories=' . $path . '/wfcat/ ' . $default_server_params;
my $default_testenv_nav_params      = $default_nav_params;
my $default_testenv_nav_http_params = $default_nav_params . ' --httpport=8080';
my $default_testenv_xml_params      = "--port=11199 --unsecport=19911 " .  $default_server_params;

# the different mc2control instances

# Common Modules
my $instance='test-com';
my $log_prefix = 'test-com';
my $mc2_prop='/mc2/etc/mc2-testenv.prop';
create_hosts($instance, @nodes);
create_settings($instance, $path);
my $CONFIG = open_and_add_header($instance, $log_path, @nodes);
write_all($CONFIG,        module(add_path($path, 'GfxModule'),   "-p $mc2_prop", $log_prefix, undef, 'Gfx'));
write_all($CONFIG,        module(add_path($path, 'EmailModule'), "-p $mc2_prop", $log_prefix, undef, 'Email'));
write_all($CONFIG,        module(add_path($path, 'TileModule'),  "-p $mc2_prop", $log_prefix, undef, 'Tile'));
write_one($CONFIG, 'server5', module(add_path($path, 'UserModule'),          "-p $mc2_prop -r 20", $log_prefix, undef, 'User'));
write_one($CONFIG, 'server6', module(add_path($path, 'UserModule'),          "-p $mc2_prop -r 10", $log_prefix, undef, 'User'));
write_many($CONFIG, \@backend_only_nodes, module(add_path($path, 'ExtServiceModule'),    "-p $mc2_prop", $log_prefix, undef, 'Ext'));
write_many($CONFIG, \@backend_only_nodes, module(add_path($path, 'CommunicationModule'), "-p $mc2_prop", $log_prefix, undef, 'Com'));

# Europe/Africa Modules (map set #0)
my $instance='test-com';
$log_prefix = 'test-modemea';
create_hosts($instance, @backend_only_nodes);
create_settings($instance, $path);
$CONFIG = open_and_add_header($instance, $log_path, @nodes);
write_all($CONFIG, module(add_path($path, 'MapModule'),    "-p $mc2_prop --mapSet=0", $log_prefix, undef, 'Map'));
write_all($CONFIG, module(add_path($path, 'SearchModule'), "-p $mc2_prop --mapSet=0", $log_prefix, undef, 'Srch'));
write_all($CONFIG, module(add_path($path, 'RouteModule'),  "-p $mc2_prop --mapSet=0", $log_prefix, undef, 'Rte'));
write_one($CONFIG, 'server4', module(add_path($path, 'InfoModule'), "-p $mc2_prop --mapSet=0 -r 20", $log_prefix, undef, 'Info'));
write_one($CONFIG, 'server5', module(add_path($path, 'InfoModule'), "-p $mc2_prop --mapSet=0 -r 10", $log_prefix, undef, 'Info'));

# North America Modules (map set #1)
$log_prefix = 'test-modamericas';
create_hosts($instance, @backend_only_nodes);
create_settings($instance, $path);
$CONFIG = open_and_add_header($instance, $log_path, @nodes);
write_all($CONFIG, module(add_path($path, 'MapModule'),    "-p $mc2_prop --mapSet=1", $log_prefix, undef, 'Map'));
write_all($CONFIG, module(add_path($path, 'SearchModule'), "-p $mc2_prop --mapSet=1", $log_prefix, undef, 'Srch'));
write_all($CONFIG, module(add_path($path, 'RouteModule'),  "-p $mc2_prop --mapSet=1", $log_prefix, undef, 'Rte'));
write_one($CONFIG, 'server4', module(add_path($path, 'InfoModule'), "-p $mc2_prop --mapSet=1 -r 20", $log_prefix, undef, 'Info'));
write_one($CONFIG, 'server5', module(add_path($path, 'InfoModule'), "-p $mc2_prop --mapSet=1 -r 10", $log_prefix, undef, 'Info'));

# Frontends
$log_prefix = 'test-srv';
create_hosts($instance, @frontend_nodes);
create_settings($instance, $path);
$CONFIG = open_and_add_header($instance, $log_path, @nodes);
write_all($CONFIG, server(add_path($path, 'NavigatorServer'), $default_testenv_nav_http_params . " -p $mc2_prop", $log_prefix . '-HT', undef, 'NavHT'));
write_all($CONFIG, server(add_path($path, 'NavigatorServer'), $default_testenv_nav_params . " -p $mc2_prop", $log_prefix, undef, 'Nav'));
write_all($CONFIG, server(add_path($path, 'XMLServer'),       $default_testenv_xml_params . " -p $mc2_prop", $log_prefix, undef, 'XML'));

You simply run the config/script to generate the files. You can also use the helper script called to run it and synchronize the configuration to all servers. If a symlink called pointing to is created you can run to only sync all of the mc2control files. ç needs a config file called çluster.conf that should be in /mc2/etc.

NOTE: and cluster.conf is available in the Operations repository at:

Other configuration files


The complete category handling within MC2 is not within the scope of this document. Unfortunately there are several different methods to provide categories to client depending on their age. This is a list of all category related configuration files:

  • poi_category_tree.xml
  • ConfigFiles/Categories/wfcat.txt
  • ConfigFiles/Categories/category_tree_default_configuration.xml
  • ConfigFiles/Categories/category_tree_region_configuration.xml
  • wfcat/*

Client settings (navclientsettings.txt)

Each client that is allowed to talk to a frontend is assigned a client type. These are configured in the navclientsettings.txt file. This file has a CSV format with lots of fields per entry, a lot of these are old and deprecated. You set things such as the initial rights assigned to a user account, length of a trial, map coverage for a trial, etc. The file itself has lots of details in the comments. To view it in a more easily readable HTML format you can use the CGI script.

Region definitions

You can define regions that can later be used in user rights, these are configured in the region_ids.xml file. The file will let you create a region such as /Scandinavia/, which would include Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland.

Map colors

The colors used by clients when rending vector (tile) map data is controlled in these XML files:

  • tile_map_colors.xml
  • tile_map_night_colors.xml
  • tile_map_colors_v2.xml
  • tile_map_night_colors_v2.xml

Running MC2

Managing the MC2 binaries

When you want to run MC2 on a non-development server the recommended way to get a deployable set of files is to use the tools/packaging/ in the server repository. Set MC2VER and run it and you will get a bin-x.x.x directory with everything necessary. example including output and bin directory listing

$ MC2VER=1.0.1 tools/packaging/
BASEDIR: /devel/ckk/mc2-opensource
BIN: bin-centos4-x86_64
Installing MC2 in /devel/ckk/mc2-opensource/bin-1.0.1, using /devel/ckk/mc2-opensource as the source
  - Creating directories
  - Installing modules
  - Installing servers
  - Installing utilities
  - Installing scripts
  - Copying configuration files, etc except mc2.prop
  - Copying html files etc
  - Copying files for XMLServer
  - Copying other files
  - Making symlinks, patching scripts, etc
/devel/ckk/mc2-opensource/bin-1.0.1 /devel/ckk/mc2-opensource
$ ls bin-1.0.1
CommunicationModule*  InfoModule*               namedservers.txt       tile_map_colors_v2.xml
ConfigFiles/          isab-mc2.dtd@             navclientsettings.txt  tile_map_colors.xml
EmailModule*          KeyedData/                NavigatorServer*       tile_map_night_colors_v2.xml
ExtServiceModule*     map_generation-mc2.dtd    poi_category_tree.xml  tile_map_night_colors.xml
Fonts/                MapModule*                poi_scale_ranges.xml   TileModule*
GfxModule*            mc2control*               public.dtd@            TrafficServer*
HtmlFiles/            mc2control-modules@       region_ids.xml         UserModule*
httpd.pem             mc2controlscreenstarter*  RouteModule*           wfcat/
httpdwrap*            mc2control-servers@       runBin*                XML/
httpdwrap.c           mc2.prop@                 SearchModule*          XMLServer*
httpfile*             MessageTemplate/          SMSModule*
Images/               ModuleTestServer*         Supervisor*


Use the mc2control command or if you have multiple instances the corresponding symlink to it (see above). The most common commands are: start, stop, and restart. All of these commands accepts an optional hostname which will then only stop/start/restart on that particular host.

There is also a very useful but unfortunately disabled command called inscreenrestart which will without any downtime restart a frontend. It’s disabled since the required shutdown scripts and functionality is not in the OSS version. But if these missing pieces are added the functionality is still there in mc2control

Component control

The components have a direct control interface with a limited set of actions. The most common one used is the shutdown command, which will cleanly shut down the component. You can also press Ctrl-D to initiate a shutdown. Related to this is the quit command which will cause an immediat exit of the process without a clean shut down and the abort command which works like quit with the addition that it tries to provoke a core dump.

There are other commands available, depending on the component type. Use the help command for a list. This is what it looks like for the MapModule: `

MapModule help

  help         - This help
  quit         - quit immediately [exit(0)]
  shutdown     - Shutdown this component gracefully (also Ctrl-D)
  abort        - Abort this component (immediate shutdown with core dump)
  config       - Configuration details
  status       - Overall status of this component
  heapstatus   - Displays information about the heap
  set rank     - Set the rank of this module
  vote         - Initiate a vote
  queuestat    - Display Module queue status
  queuedump    - Display Module queue dump
  mapstatus    - Displays data about the module's maps

And this is the help output for XMLServer:

XMLServer help

  help         - This help
  quit         - quit immediately [exit(0)]
  shutdown     - Shutdown this component gracefully (also Ctrl-D)
  abort        - Abort this component (immediate shutdown with core dump)
  config       - Configuration details
  status       - Overall status of this component
  heapstatus   - Displays information about the heap

Two useful commands for modules are set rank and vote; set rank changes the rank used when voting for a leader (higher is better) and vote will initiate a vote. You can use this if you in a controlled fashion want to switch the module leader role away from a server, simply do a set rank of a higher value (0 is default) and then use vote.


The runBin wrapper is typically used to run a component. It will restart the component if it is shutdown or restarted and also handles the logging. If wftee is available it will be used to also enable automatic log rotation (see below).


Supervisor is a simple tool that visualizes the current state of the backend modules. It will show basic data for each module showing queue lenght, processing time, load averages and a list of loaded modules. If you have few servers and modules simply run Supervisor, if you have a lot run Supervisor -m -c to group each module type and hide the complete list of maps (it will show a count instead). There is also some keyboard commands you can use while Supervisor runs.

Supervisor also has a raw mode which you can use to process the data in scripts. In the operations repository you’ll find a perl module and a few scripts that uses the raw mode, including one which generate rrdtool RRDs for the data and one which monitors the different values and alerts you if the configured thresholds are exceeded.

log files (wftee)

wftee is an extended version of tee(1) which will ignore temporary write errors due to a full file system for instance. It can also perform automatic log rotation and compression.

wftee usage

./operations/wftee/wftee [-v] [-d] [-c] [-m path] file_template

  -v - turn on verbose mode
  -d - turn on debug messages
  -c - turn on compression
  -m - set directory to move files to after rotation

file_template is a filename with optional strftime(3) format specifiers
and is rotated when the expanded name changes. Use double % characters to include
the data but not use it for rotation
  example: log_file_%Y%m%d.txt will name the log file according to todays
  date, e.g. log_file_20100615.txt, and automatically rotate it every day,
  the next file name would be log_file_20100616.txt
  Too also include the hour and minute in the file name but still rotate
  when the date changes use log_file_%Y%m%d%%H%%M.txt

Compile wftee by running make, strip it using strip and put it in /usr/local/bin/wftee on your servers.

Database maintenance

There are a few tables in the database which you will have to do some maintenance on:

ISABDebitDetails on user transactionsClean this regularly if not used, it will grow pretty large otherwise and it contains user location data
ISABRouteStorageRoute data cacheClean this regularly, it grows a lot otherwise. If a route is not found here it will be recalculated using data from ISABRouteStorage
ISABRouteStorageCoordsStart and end points for stored routesClean this occasionally, but only during periods with little traffic and not as often as ISABRouteStorage
changelog tablesChangelog tables for various other tablesClean these occasionally when the grow to large. Only useful to track changes, not used in any other ways.

The hardware and software configuration of a cluster depends on a few variables, the most important ones are the number of users, the usage patterns for the apps and/or users and the map coverage.

The total amount of memory you need is heavily dependent on the map coverage. For complete map coverage of the world using one of the major commercial providers you will need a lot more than a smaller map set using OSM data (at least currently). Easiest way to determine the memory needs is to test loading the data. Make sure to allow for redundancy, have at least memory capacity corresponding to two servers as spares.

For large scale production instances we recommend putting frontends and backends on dedicated servers instead of mixing frontend and backend components on the same server.

If you have specific loads that you need to handle, such as a large amount of bitmap generation, just add more copies of GfxModule. If noone ever uses routing on a certain cluster instance you do not have to run any copies of RouteModule.

The database you use can become a bottleneck, tune it and scale up the hardware if needed. See also the section below on large scale use.


You can have a smaller development environment if you use a smaller set of maps. Remember that several developers working on different parts in the same branch of the code can share running components by setting the multicast net property (see above).


It’s recommended to have full map coverage for the testing environment, but unless it’s used for full-scale simulated load testing it can still be a lot smaller than a production cluster.

Make sure that it’s big enough to give your testers or testing community a performance that will match the user experience when running in the production environment.


Make sure that you allow for growth, monitor response times in both frontend and backends and add hardware early. Use tools such as ganglia or munin to also monitor low-level metrics.

Since MC2 components are separate components that you typically run many of on the same servers multiple CPU cores will give you better performance.

Always use at least gigabit ethernet in a production environment.

User account administration


The web based user administration site is not ready for release but will hopefully be available soon, this section will then be updated.

Setting up

site content and configuration

Using it

Description of the included functionality

User rights

Basic information about user rights


We recommend using ganglia for monitoring low level metrics. You can use ganglia_fs_mon and the corresponding cron.d file available in the Operations repo to also monitor file system metrics.

The is nagios monitoring plugin that can be used to monitor any metric available in ganglia. This script is also available in the Operations repo.


It’s easy to backup an MC2 cluster, make sure that you have offsite copies of the map data and the binaries and then backup the database using eg xtrabackup ( Combined with using automated installations (eg kickstart + WFConf) and you will have a complete backup and recovery system in place.

Large scale use

Load balancing

Load balance across multiple frontends using LVS (Linux Virtual Server) or a commercial IP load balancer. Wayfinder used LVS/keepalived in production use for several years with great success. Note that the load balancer must support session stickiness for full functionality and best performance since some features require that the clients talks to the same server (eg precaching map data for routes).

memcached and multiple database read slaves

There is experimental code in MC2 to use MySQL replication slaves for reading from UserModule availables and also to do caching using memcached. This has never been used in a production environment and requires a setup that can migrate IPs for both MySQL and memcached when doing failovers.


WFConf is a very simple Configuration Management system that is quite generic but was written and used only within Wayfinder. In general we would recommend that you use eg Puppet or Ansible instead, but WFConf is a simple and lightweight alternative for managing a homogenous collection of servers with the same operating system. WFConf is not a requirement to install and operate an MC2 server, you can skip this section if you want to.

WFConf is written in perl but all of the actions needed to be taken to configure a machine is handled by shell script code that WFConf generates. The WFConf configuration file is actually perl code, which is a simple and quick approach but unfortunately makes troubleshooting a bit difficult.

WFConf allows for applying almost all of the configuration needed on a server to run MC2. Only some basic boot strapping needs to be performed during a kickstart install for it to work. It can manage LVM based file systems, users, groups, files, packages etc.


In WFConf you describe different roles a certain server can have. To do this you start by defining different configurations. An example covering a lot of the functionality is a web server config, in this case requiring a dedicated file system for content, packages for Apache httpd, PHP and a bunch of config files.

web server config

$config{'web_server'} = <<EOF
packages('httpd-2.0.63', 'mod_ssl', 'php', 'php-gd', 'php-mysql');
file_system('sysvg/www', '/var/www/sites', '15G', 'root.root', '755', 'ext3', '150000');
file('php/php.ini',                 '/etc/php.ini',                          '644', 'root.root');
file('apache/site-example.conf',    '/etc/httpd/conf.d/site-example.conf',   '644', 'root.root');
file('apache/mime.types',           '/etc/mime.types',                       '644', 'root.root');
file('logrotate/httpd',             '/etc/logrotate.d/httpd',                '644', 'root.root');
file('apache/certs/the-web-server-cert.cer',  '/etc/httpd/conf/the-web-web-server.cer',    '644', 'root.root');
file('apache/certs/the-web-server-cert.key',  '/etc/httpd/conf/the-web-web-server.key',    '644', 'root.root');
# Start apache if not already running
service('httpd', 'on', 'start');
# Reload apache if it was already running
service('httpd', 'on', 'reload');

You would typically also have a base config that is shared among all roles, in this example everything we want a generic server to have configured:

$config{'generic_server'} = <<EOF
group('mc2', 500);
user('mc2', 500, '/mc2', '/bin/zsh', 'mc2', undef);
file_system('sysvg/mc2',   '/mc2',             '2G',    'mc2.mc2',     '1755', 'ext3',     '150000');
file_system('sysvg/wayf',  '/wayf',            '128M',  'mc2.mc2',     '1755', 'ext3',     '150000');
packages('bind','bind-chroot','ntp','OpenIPMI-tools', 'vim-enhanced', 'strace', 'sysstat');
dir('/etc/wayf', '755', 'root.root');
# SSH host keys
dir('/root/.ssh', '700', 'root.root');
file('ssh/keys.$cluster/$host/ssh_host_key',         '/etc/ssh/ssh_host_key',         '600', 'root.root');
file('ssh/keys.$cluster/$host/ssh_host_dsa_key',     '/etc/ssh/ssh_host_dsa_key',     '600', 'root.root');
file('ssh/keys.$cluster/$host/ssh_host_rsa_key',     '/etc/ssh/ssh_host_rsa_key',     '600', 'root.root');
file('ssh/keys.$cluster/$host/',     '/etc/ssh/',     '644', 'root.root');
file('ssh/keys.$cluster/$host/', '/etc/ssh/', '644', 'root.root');
file('ssh/keys.$cluster/$host/', '/etc/ssh/', '640', 'root.root');
file('ssh/keys.$cluster/root/authorized_keys',       '/root/.ssh/authorized_keys',    '644', 'root.root');
file('ssh/keys.$cluster/root/id_dsa',                '/root/.ssh/id_dsa',             '600', 'root.root');
file('ssh/keys.$cluster/root/',            '/root/.ssh/',         '644', 'root.root');
file('ssh/sshd_config',                              '/etc/ssh/sshd_config',          '644', 'root.root');
# wfconf init file
file('wfconf_hg.init',                               '/etc/init.d/wfconf',             '755', 'root.root');
# Updatedb configuration file
file('updatedb/updatedb.conf',          '/etc/updatedb.conf',     '644', 'root.root');
# Network related
file('network/hosts.$cluster',          '/etc/hosts',             '644', 'root.root');
file('network/resolv.conf.$cluster',    '/etc/resolv.conf',       '644', 'root.root');
# Yum repos
file('yum/Wayfinder-CentOS.repo', '/etc/yum.repos.d/Wayfinder-CentOS.repo', '644', 'root.root');
file('yum/Wayfinder-EL4.repo',    '/etc/yum.repos.d/Wayfinder-EL4.repo',    '644', 'root.root');
file('ntp/ntp.conf',     '/etc/ntp.conf',             '644', 'root.root');
file('ntp/step-tickers', '/etc/ntp/step-tickers',     '644', 'root.root');
# unpackaged tools
file('bin/wftee.$arch',                 '/usr/local/bin/wftee',                            '755', 'root.root');
# sysctl
file('misc/sysctl.conf',     '/etc/sysctl.conf',             '644', 'root.root');
# logrotate
file('logrotate/logrotate.conf', '/etc/logrotate.conf',      '644', 'root.root');
# mail / sendmail
file('mail/aliases',         '/etc/aliases',                 '644', 'root.root');
file('mail/$cluster', '/etc/mail/', '644', 'root.root');
# ganglia
file('ganglia/gmond.conf.$cluster',          '/etc/gmond.conf',                  '644', 'root.root');
file('ganglia/cron.ganglia_fs_mon', '/etc/cron.d/ganglia_fs_mon',       '644', 'root.root');
file('ganglia/',   '/usr/local/bin/', '755', 'root.root');
perms('/usr/bin/gmetric', '511', 'root.root');
service('gmond', 'on', 'restart');
# turn on named
service('named', 'on', 'restart');
# Turn of kudzu
service('kudzu', 'off', 'stop');
# Turn on loading of the IPMI local device driver
service('ipmi', 'on', 'start');
# Make sure that ssh is on and restart it to catch any changes
service('sshd', 'on', 'restart');
# Make sure that ntpd is on and restart it to sync the time
service('ntpd', 'on', 'restart');
service('sendmail', 'on', 'restart');
# CentOS default yum repo defs are inside the centos-release RPM
# generate new aliases

The above example includes even more WFConf functionality, such as adding users and running additional commands through a shell.

The configs are then used to define a role. A web server role could be defined lke this given the above configs:

$role_configs{'web_server'}               = [
     'generic_server', 'web_server',

You then assign roles to individual servers, in this case the two servers called web1 and web2 are assigned the web server role:

$roles{'web_server'}          = ['web1', 'web2', 'web3'];

At this stage the documentation for WFConf is very limited, please have a look at the available example config in the <ops repo> for more complete examples.

As mentioned above WFConf needs some minimal boot strapping to work, how much depends a little bit on what you use in your configuration. For example if you want to use reiserfs or XFS on CentOS you need to make sure that the necessary kernel, modules and tools are available. This is a complete example to bootstrap WFConf, taken from the %post section of a kickstart file for CentOS 4.7 x86_64:

WFConf bootstrapping

# Mount /kick so we can access the config files
mkdir /tmp/kick
echo "* Mounting kickstart:/kick"
mount kickstart:/kick /tmp/kick
echo "* Setting up the network and hostname"
# fix hostname, removes 'int-' prefix assigned when installing
sed -i -e 's/int-//g' /etc/sysconfig/network
source /etc/sysconfig/network
echo "

* Fix yum/rpm"
cp -v /tmp/kick/wfconf/yum/Wayfinder-CentOS.repo /etc/yum.repos.d/Wayfinder-CentOS.repo
cp -v /tmp/kick/wfconf/yum/Wayfinder-EL4.repo /etc/yum.repos.d/Wayfinder-EL4.repo
cp -v /tmp/kick/wfconf/yum/Wayfinder-3rd.repo /etc/yum.repos.d/Wayfinder-3rd.repo
rm /etc/yum.repos.d/CentOS-Base.repo
rpm --import /usr/share/doc/centos-release-4/RPM-GPG-KEY-centos4
rpm --import /tmp/kick/wfconf/rpm/RPM-GPG-KEY-wayfinder
echo "* Installing CentOS plus kernel"
echo "  - Removing old normal kernel"
rpm -e kernel
echo "  - Updating kernel-smp with centosplus kernel"
rpm -Uv /tmp/kick/dist/src/centos-4.7-x86_64/centosplus/
rpm -Uv /tmp/kick/dist/src/centos-4.7-x86_64/centosplus/
echo "* Installing additional critical packages"
echo "  - Installing ReiserFS tools"
rpm -Uv /tmp/kick/dist/src/centos-4.7-x86_64/centosplus/reiserfs-utils-3.6.19-2.4.1.x86_64.rpm
echo "  - Installing XFS tools"
rpm -Uv /tmp/kick/dist/src/centos-4.7-x86_64/centosplus/xfsprogs-2.9.4-1.el4.centos.x86_64.rpm
echo "* wfconf config provisioning"
echo " - Copying current wfconf tree to /tmp"
cp -a /tmp/kick/wfconf /tmp
echo " - Add service file and enable it"
install --verbose -C --mode 755 --preserve-timestamps --owner root --group root \
/tmp/kick/wfconf/wfconf_hg.init /etc/init.d/wfconf
chkconfig --add wfconf
echo "* Unmounting kickstart:/kick"
umount /tmp/kick
rmdir /tmp/kick
) 2>&1 | tee /root/kick-post.log > /dev/console