Rose Suite Configurations

Rose application configurations can be used to encapsulate the environment and resources required by a Cylc task.

Similarly Rose suite configurations can be used to do the same for a Cylc suite.

Configuration Format

A Rose suite configuration is a Cylc suite directory containing a rose-suite.conf file.

The rose-suite.conf file is written in the same format as the rose-app.conf file. Its main configuration sections are:

Environment variables for use by the whole suite.
Jinja2 variables for use in the suite.rc file.
EmPy variables for use in the suite.rc file.
Files and resources to be installed in the run directory when the suite is run.

In the following example the environment variable GREETING and the Jinja2 variable WORLD are both set in the rose-suite.conf file. These variables can then be used in the suite.rc file:


        graph = hello_{{WORLD}}

        script = echo "$GREETING {{WORLD}}"

Suite Directory Vs Run Directory

suite directory
The directory in which the suite is written. The suite.rc and rose-suite.conf files live here.
run directory
The directory in which the suite runs. The work, share and log directories live here.

Throughout the Cylc Tutorial we wrote suites in the cylc-run directory. As Cylc runs suites in the cylc-run directory the suite directory is also the run directory i.e. the suite runs in the same directory in which it is written.

With Rose we develop suites in a separate directory to the one in which they run meaning that the suite directory is different from the run directory. This helps keep the suite separate from its output and means that you can safely work on a suite and its resources whilst it is running.


Using Cylc it is possible to separate the suite directory and run directory using the cylc register command. Note though that suite resources, e.g. scripts in the bin/ directory, will remain in the suite directory so cannot safely be edited whilst the suite is running.

Running Rose Suite Configurations

Rose Application Configurations are run using rose app-run, Rose Suite Configurations are run using rose suite-run.

When a suite configuration is run:

  1. The suite directory is copied into the cylc-run directory where it becomes the run directory.
  2. Any files defined in the rose-suite.conf file are installed.
  3. Jinja2 variables defined in the rose-suite.conf file are added to the top of the suite.rc file.
  4. The Cylc suite is validated.
  5. The Cylc suite is run.
  6. The Cylc GUI is launched.

digraph Example { graph [rankdir="LR"] node [shape="none"] edge [color="blue"] size="7,5" ranksep=0.75 subgraph cluster_suite_directory { label="Suite Directory" fontsize=17 fontname="sanz bold" style="dashed" suite_rc_suite_dir [label="suite.rc"] rose_suite_conf_suite_dir [label="rose-suite.conf"] bin_suite_dir [label="bin/"] } subgraph cluster_run_directory { label="Run Directory" fontsize=17 fontname="sanz bold" style="dashed" suite_rc_run_dir [label="suite.rc"] rose_suite_conf_run_dir [label="rose-suite.conf"] files_run_dir [label="installed files"] bin_run_dir [label="bin/"] work [label="work/"] share [label="share/"] log [label="log/"] } jinja2 [label="Prepend Jinja2", shape="box", fontcolor="blue", color="blue"] install_files [label="Install Files", shape="box", fontcolor="blue", color="blue"] suite_rc_suite_dir -> jinja2 -> suite_rc_run_dir rose_suite_conf_suite_dir -> jinja2 [style="dashed", arrowhead="empty"] rose_suite_conf_suite_dir -> rose_suite_conf_run_dir rose_suite_conf_suite_dir -> install_files [style="dashed", arrowhead="empty"] install_files -> files_run_dir bin_suite_dir -> bin_run_dir }

Like rose app-run, rose suite-run will look for a configuration to run in the current directory. The command can be run from other locations using the -C argument:

rose suite-run -C /path/to/suite/configuration/

The --local-install-only command line option will cause the suite to be installed (though only on your local machine, not on any job hosts) and validated but not run (i.e. steps 1-4).

Start, Stop, Restart

Under Rose, suites will run using the name of the suite directory. For instance if you run rose suite-run on a suite in the directory ~/foo/bar then it will run with the name bar.

The name can be overridden using the --name option i.e:

rose suite-run --name <SUITE_NAME>
Running/Interacting With Suites
Suites must be run using the rose suite-run command which in turn calls the cylc run command.
Stopping Suites
Suites can be stopped using the cylc stop <SUITE_NAME> command, as for regular Cylc suites.
Restarting Suites (From Stopped)

There are two options for restarting:

  • To pick up where the suite left off use rose suite-restart. No changes will be made to the run directory. This is usually the recommended option.
  • To restart in a way that picks up changes made in the suite directory, use the --restart option to the rose suite-run command.

See the Cheat Sheet for more information.


rose suite-run installs suites to the run directory incrementally so if you change a file and restart the suite using rose suite-run --restart only the changed file will be re-installed. This process is strictly constructive i.e. any files deleted in the suite directory will not be removed from the run directory. To force rose suite-run to perform a complete rebuild, use the --new option.


In this tutorial we will create a Rose Suite Configuration for the weather-forecasting suite.

  1. Create A New Suite.

    Create a copy of the weather-forecasting suite by running:

    rose tutorial rose-suite-tutorial ~/rose-tutorial/rose-suite-tutorial
    cd ~/rose-tutorial/rose-suite-tutorial

    Set the initial and final cycle points as in previous tutorials.

  2. Create A Rose Suite Configuration.

    Create a blank rose-suite.conf file:

    touch rose-suite.conf

    You now have a Rose suite configuration. A rose-suite.conf file does not need to have anything in it but it is required to run rose suite-run.

    There are three things defined in the suite.rc file which it might be useful to be able to configure:


    The list of weather stations to gather observations from.


    The spatial resolution of the forecast model.


    The geographical limits of the model.

    Define these settings in the rose-suite.conf file by adding the following lines:

    station="camborne", "heathrow", "shetland", "aldergrove"

    Note that Jinja2 strings must be quoted.

  3. Write Suite Metadata.

    Create a meta/rose-meta.conf file and write some metadata for the settings defined in the rose-suite.conf file.

    • station is a list of unlimited length.
    • RESOLUTION is a “real” number.
    • DOMAIN is a list of four integers.


    For the RESOLUTION and DOMAIN settings you can copy the metadata you wrote in the Metadata Tutorial.



    Validate the metadata:

    rose metadata-check -C meta/

    Open the rose config-edit GUI. You should see suite conf in the panel on the left-hand side of the window. This will contain the environment and Jinja2 variables we have just defined.

  4. Use Suite Variables In The suite.rc File.

    Next we need to make use of these settings in the suite.rc file.

    We can delete the RESOLUTION and DOMAIN settings in the [runtime][root][environment] section which would otherwise override the variables we have just defined in the rose-suite.conf file, like so:

             # These environment variables will be available to all tasks.
                 # Add the `python` directory to the PYTHONPATH.
    -            # The dimensions of each grid cell in degrees.
    -            RESOLUTION = 0.2
    -            # The area to generate forecasts for (lng1, lat1, lng2, lat2).
    -            DOMAIN = -12,48,5,61  # Do not change!

    We can write out the list of stations, using the Jinja2 join filter to write the commas between the list items:

         UTC mode = True
             # A list of the weather stations we will be fetching observations from.
    -        station = camborne, heathrow, shetland, aldergrove
    +        station = {{ station | join(", ") }}
             # A list of the sites we will be generating forecasts for.
             site = exeter
  5. Install The Suite.

    Running rose suite-run will cause the suite to be installed, validated and run.

    Use the --local-install-only command-line option to install the suite on your local machine and validate it:

    rose suite-run --local-install-only

    Inspect the installed suite, which you will find in the run directory, i.e:


    You should find all the files contained in the suite directory as well as the run directory folders log, work and share.

Rose Applications In Rose Suite Configurations

In Cylc suites, Rose applications are placed in an app/ directory which is copied across to the run directory with the rest of the suite by rose suite-run when the suite configuration is run.

When we run Rose applications from within Cylc suites we use the rose task-run command rather than the rose app-run command.

When run, rose task-run searches for an application with the same name as the Cylc task in the app/ directory.

The rose task-run command also interfaces with Cylc to provide a few useful environment variables (see the command-line reference for details). The application will run in the work directory, just like for a regular Cylc task.

In this example the hello task will run the application located in app/hello/:

        script = rose task-run
default=echo "Hello World!"

The name of the application to run can be overridden using the --app-key command-line option or the ROSE_TASK_APP environment variable. For example the greetings task will run the hello app in the task defined below.

        script = rose task-run --app-key hello

Rose Bush

Rose provides a utility for viewing the status and logs of Cylc suites called Rose Bush. Rose Bush displays suite information in web pages.

Rose Bush screenshot

Screenshot of a Rose Bush web page.

If a Rose Bush server is provided at your site, you can open the Rose Bush page for a suite by running the rose suite-log command in the suite directory.

Otherwise an add-hoc web server can be set up using the rose bush start command argument.


In this practical we will take the forecast Rose application that we developed in the Metadata Tutorial and integrate it into the weather-forecasting suite.

Move into the suite directory from the previous practical:

cd ~/rose-tutorial/rose-suite-tutorial

You will find a copy of the forecast application located in app/forecast.

  1. Create A Test Configuration For The forecast Application.

    We have configured the forecast application to use test data. We will now adjust this configuration to make it work with real data generated by the Cylc suite. It is useful to keep the ability to run the application using test data, so we won’t delete this configuration. Instead we will move it into an Optional Configuration so that we can run the application in “test mode” or “live mode”.

    Optional configurations are covered in more detail in the Optional Configurations Tutorial. For now all we need to know is that they enable us to store alternative configurations.

    Create an optional configuration called test inside the forecast application:

    mkdir app/forecast/opt
    touch app/forecast/opt/rose-app-test.conf

    This optional configuration is a regular Rose configuration file. Its settings will override those in the rose-app.conf file if requested.


    Take care not to confuse the rose-app.conf and rose-app-test.conf files used within this practical.

    Move the following environment variables from the app/forecast/rose-app.conf file into an [env] section in the app/forecast/opt/rose-app-test.conf file:

    • MAP_FILE
    • DOMAIN


    The rose-app-test.conf file should look like this:


    Run the application in “test mode” by providing the option --opt-conf-key=test to the rose app-run command:

    mkdir app/forecast/run
    cd app/forecast/run
    rose app-run --opt-conf-key=test -C ../
    cd ../../../

    You should see the stdout output of the Rose application. If there are any errors they will be marked with the [FAIL] prefix.

  2. Integrate The forecast Application Into The Suite.

    We can now configure the forecast application to work with real data.

    We have moved the map template file (map-template.html) into the forecast application so we can delete the MAP_TEMPLATE environment variable from the [runtime]forecast section of the suite.rc file.

    Copy the remaining environment variables defined in the forecast task within the suite.rc file into the rose-app.conf file of the forecast application, replacing any values already specified if necessary. Remove the lines from the suite.rc file when you are done.

    Remember, in Rose configuration files:

    • Spaces are not used around the equals (=) operator.
    • Ensure the environment variables are not quoted.

    The [env] section of your rose-app.conf file should now look like this:

    WIND_CYCLES=0, -3, -6

    Finally we need to change the forecast task to run rose task-run. The [runtime]forecast section of the suite.rc file should now look like this:

        script = rose task-run
  3. Make Changes To The Configuration.

    Open the rose config-edit GUI and navigate to the suite conf > env panel.

    Change the RESOLUTION variable to 0.1

    Navigate to the forecast > env panel.

    Edit the WEIGHTING variable so that it is equal to the following list of values:

    0.7, 0.2, 0.1


    Click the “Add array element” button (+) to extend the number of elements assigned to WEIGHTING.

    Finally, save these settings via File > Save in the menu.

  4. Run The Suite.

    Install, validate and run the suite:

    rose suite-run

    The cylc gui should open and the suite should run and complete.

  5. View Output In Rose Bush.

    Open the Rose Bush page in a browser by running the following command from within the suite directory:

    rose suite-log

    On this page you will see the tasks run by the suite, ordered from most to least recent. Near the top you should see an entry for the forecast task. On the right-hand side of the screen click job-map.html.

    As this file has a .html extension Rose Bush will render it. The raw text would be displayed otherwise.