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Python Bindings for DAOS API

Motivation for Python API

The Python API for DAOS provides access to DAOS API functionality with an emphasis on test use cases. While the majority of unit tests are written in C, higher-level tests are written primarily using the Python API. Interfaces are provided for accessing DAOS management and DAOS API functionality from Python. This higher level interface allows a faster turnaround time on implementing test cases for DAOS.



The Python API is split into several files based on functionality:

High-level abstraction classes exist to manipulate DAOS storage:

class DaosPool(object)
class DaosContainer(object)
class DaosObj(object)
class IORequest(object)

DaosPool is a Python class representing a DAOS pool. All pool-related functionality is exposed from this class. Operations such as creating/destroying a pool, connecting to a pool, and adding a target to a storage pool are supported.

DaosContainer is a Python class representing a DAOS container. As with the DaosPool class, all container-related functionality is exposed here. This class also exposes abstracted wrapper functions for the flow of creating and committing an object to a DAOS container.

DaosObj is a Python class representing a DAOS object. Functionality such as creating/deleting objects in a container, 'punching' objects (delete an object from the specified transaction only), and object query.

IORequest is a Python class representing a read or write request against a DAOS object.

Several classes exist for management purposes as well:

class DaosContext(object)
class DaosLog
class DaosApiError(Exception)

DaosContext is a wrapper around the DAOS libraries. It is initialized with the path where DAOS libraries can be found.

DaosLog exposes functionality to write messages to the DAOS client log.

DaosApiError is a custom exception class raised by the API internally in the event of a failed DAOS action.

Most functions exposed in the DAOS C API support both synchronous and asynchronous execution, and the Python API exposes this same functionality. Each API takes an input event. DaosEvent is the Python representation of this event. If the input event is NULL, the call is synchronous. If an event is supplied, the function will return immediately after submitting API requests to the underlying stack and the user can poll and query the event for completion.


Ctypes is a built-in Python module for interfacing Python with existing libraries written in C/C++. The Python API is built as an object-oriented wrapper around the DAOS libraries utilizing ctypes.

Ctypes documentation can be found here

The following demonstrates a simplified example of creating a Python wrapper for the C function daos_pool_tgt_exclude_out, with each input parameter to the C function being cast via ctypes. This also demonstrates struct representation via ctypes:

// daos_exclude.c

#include <stdio.h>

daos_pool_tgt_exclude_out(const uuid_t uuid, const char *grp,
                          const d_rank_list_t *svc, struct d_tgt_list *tgts,
                          daos_event_t *ev);

All input parameters must be represented via ctypes. If a struct is required as an input parameter, a corresponding Python class can be created. For struct d_tgt_list:

struct d_tgt_list {
	d_rank_t	*tl_ranks;
	int32_t		*tl_tgts;
	uint32_t	tl_nr;
class DTgtList(ctypes.Structure):
    _fields_ = [("tl_ranks", ctypes.POINTER(ctypes.c_uint32)),
                ("tl_tgts", ctypes.POINTER(ctypes.c_int32)),
                ("tl_nr", ctypes.c_uint32)]

The shared object containing daos_pool_tgt_exclude_out can then be imported and the function called directly:


import ctypes
import uuid
import conversion # utility library to convert C <---> Python UUIDs

# init python variables
p_uuid = str(uuid.uuid4())
p_tgts = 2
p_ranks = DaosPool.__pylist_to_array([2])

# cast python variables via ctypes as necessary
c_uuid = str_to_c_uuid(p_uuid)
c_grp = ctypes.create_string_buffer(b"daos_group_name")
c_svc = ctypes.POINTER(2) # ensure pointers are cast/passed as such
c_tgt_list = ctypes.POINTER(DTgtList(p_ranks, p_tgts, 2))) # again, DTgtList must be passed as pointer

# load the shared object
my_lib = ctypes.CDLL('/full/path/to/')

# now call it
my_lib.daos_pool_tgt_exclude_out(c_uuid, c_grp, c_svc, c_tgt_list, None)

Error Handling

The API was designed using the EAFP (Easier to Ask Forgiveness than get Permission) idiom. A given function will raise a custom exception on error state, DaosApiError. A user of the API is expected to catch and handle this exception as needed:

# catch and log
except DaosApiError as e:
    self.d_log.ERROR("My DAOS action encountered an error!")


Python API Usage in Tests

The following example demonstrates a simple use case for the Python API for DAOS, creating and connecting to a pool, creating a container within the pool, and inserting a single value:

# initialize DAOS environmental context
with open('../../../.build_vars.json') as f:
    data = json.load(f)

context = DaosContext(data['PREFIX'] + '/lib/')

# create a DAOS pool
pool = DaosPool(context)
pool.create(448, os.getuid(), os.getgid(), 1024 * 1024 * 1024, b'daos_server')
print("Pool UUID is {0}".format(pool.get_uuid_str()))

# connect to it
pool.connect(1 << 1)

# query the pool
pool_info = pool.pool_query()
print("Pool has {0} storage targets".format(pool_info.pi_ntargets))
print("Pool created with {0} permissions".format(pool_info.pi_mode))

# create a container in the pool and open it
container = DaosContainer(context)

# prep an object to write to the container
thedata = "data to write to this object"
size = 28
dkey = "this is the dkey"
akey = "this is the akey"

# write it
obj, tx = container.write_an_obj(thedata, size, dkey, akey, None, 5)

Changing the API

Extending DAOS Python API

Once a function has been added to the DAOS C API, it must be represented in the Python API. In the following example, the function table is extended to reference a new C API function hello_world(), and a corresponding Python function is created.

  1. A C function is added to the DAOS API:
hello_world(int *a, int b);
  1. The C function is added to the function table in the DaosContext class in
class DaosContext(object):
    def __init__(self, path):

        # table defining relationship between Python and C function calls
        self.ftable = {
            'create-pool'    : self.libdaos.daos_pool_create,
            'hello-world'    : self.libdaos.daos_hello_world # this is the new function
  1. A corresponding Python function is added in Consideration must be given to whether the added function is an operation on an existing Python class or if a new class must be created:
# a corresponding hello_world Python API function is added
def hello_world(self):

    # retrieve new function from function table
    func = self.context.get_function('hello-world')

    # ensure arguments passed are of the correct type
    a = ctypes.byref(1)
    b = ctypes.c_int(2)

    # call it
    rc = func(a, b)
    if rc != 0:
        raise DaosApiError("function hello_world encountered an error!")

C API Modifications

If an existing function is modified, a corresponding update must be made to the Python API. For example, if the member foo of my_struct were to change from int foo to int *foo, the Python class representing my_struct must also be modified:

typedef struct {
    int *foo;
} my_struct;
class MyStruct(ctypes.Structure):
    # field 'foo' updated to correctly cast as pointer vs. int
    _fields_ = [("foo", ctypes.POINTER(ctypes.c_int))]

Similarly, if existing APIs add or remove an input parameter, the relevant parameters must be modified in the respective Python APIs.

C API Removal

If an existing C API is removed, the corresponding Python function must also be removed.


The Python DAOS API exposes functionality to log messages to the DAOS client log. Messages can be logged as INFO, DEBUG, WARN, or ERR log levels. The DAOS log object must be initialized with the environmental context in which to run:

from daos_api import DaosLog

self.d_log = DaosLog(self.context)

self.d_log.DEBUG("Debugging code")
self.d_log.WARNING("Be aware, may be issues")
self.d_log.ERROR("Something went very wrong")
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