Using Units

Each node that Juju manages is referred to as a "unit". Generally speaking, when using Juju you interact with the services at the service level. There are times when working directly with units is useful though, particularly for debugging purposes. Juju provides a few different commands to make this easier.

The juju ssh command

The juju ssh command will connect you, via SSH, into a target unit. For example:

juju ssh mysql/3

This will start an SSH session on the 3rd mysql unit. This is useful for investigating things that happen on a unit, checking resources or viewing system logs.

It is possible to run commands via juju ssh, for example, juju ssh 1 uname -a will run the uname command on node one. This works for simple commands, however for more complex commands we recommend using juju run instead.

See also the juju help ssh command for more information.

The juju scp command

Copying files to and from units can be a common task depending on your workload, so Juju provides a juju scp command for copying files securely to and from units.


Copy a single file from machine 2 to the local machine:

juju scp 2:/var/log/syslog .

Copy 2 files from two MySQL units to the local backup/ directory, passing -v to scp as an extra argument:

juju scp -v mysql/0:/path/file1 mysql/1:/path/file2 backup/

Recursively copy the directory /var/log/mongodb/ on the first MongoDB server to the local directory remote-logs:

juju scp -r mongodb/0:/var/log/mongodb/ remote-logs/

Copy a local file to the second apache2 unit of the environment "testing":

juju scp -e testing foo.txt apache2/1:

For more information, run the juju help scp command.

The juju run command

The run command can be used to invoke executables on Juju machines. These machines can be targetted using different options, with each associated with a possibly different user environment:

  • service (native root)
  • unit (native root)
  • specific machines (effective root)
  • all machines (effective root)

Effective root is achieved via passwordless sudo access (user 'ubuntu').

Commands for services or units are executed in a hook context. Charm authors can therefore use this command to develop and debug scripts that run in hooks.

For example, to run uname on every machine:

juju run "uname -a" --all

Or to run uptime on some machines:

juju run "uptime" --machine=2
juju run "uptime" --service=mysql
juju run "uptime" --unit=nfs1/0

When using juju run with the --service option, the command is run on every unit of that service.

When used in combination with certain services you can script certain tasks. For instance, in the 'hadoop' charm you can use juju run to initiate a terasort:

juju run --unit hadoop-master/0 "sudo -u hdfs /usr/lib/hadoop/"

For more information see the juju help run command.

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