Time Limited System Loans

Author:Nick Coghlan
Target Release:TBD


Prompt return of system loans is currently entirely dependent on the user with the loan remembering to return the system, or another user with sufficient permissions on the system returning it on their behalf.

A time limiting mechanism is proposed for system loans, that automatically returns the loan when the nominated duration expires. Unlike time limited manual reservations (Time Limited Manual Reservations), users would not be able to extend their loans without appropriate permissions on the system (either loan_self to extend only their own loans, or loan_any to extend anyone’s loaning, including their own).

To avoid surprising users when their loans are returned automatically, the “alert email” mechanism described in Time Limited Manual Reservations would be updated to include notifications of expiring loans.

Proposal deferral

Further work on this proposal is currently deferred, as the remote API improvements in Beaker 0.15 now allow greater control of Beaker systems from external services, and the ability to force recipe execution on Manual systems in Beaker 0.17 will further enhance that capability.

This proposal needs to be reassessed after further experience has been gained with the impact of those changes.

Time limited loans

System loans will be separated out to be tracked explicitly (similar to the handling of reservations, only without the “type” field). When loaning the system, the user granting the loan will be able to specify a duration of the loan, which will be recorded as a loan expiry time. The default will continue to be no time limit, but if a time limit is requested, then the default will be 7 days (configurable as a global Beaker server setting).

While a loan is active, it may be extended. However, the user extending the loan must have loan-self (for their own loans) or loan-any (for other users’ loans) permissions on the system. This means that system loans can be used to impose hard deadlines on reservations, as a user that is granted a time limited loan but does not possess the reserve, loan-self or loan-any on the system can only receive more time by requesting it from a user with loan-any permissions on that system.

If a system loan has an expiry time configured, then all reservations (whether manually or through the scheduler) made by that user are automatically time limited, defaulting to the loan expiry time or the normal default reservation time, whichever is earlier. Attempts to extend the deadline of a system reservation beyond the end of the loan period will fail.

The Beaker scheduling daemon will periodically check for expired loans and automatically return them. For reserved systems where the reservation is from a user that is no longer permitted to access the system once the loan has been returned, it will also return the reservation or cancel the recipe as appropriate.

(See also: #651479)

Beaker usage report emails

The usage alert email mechanism described in Time Limited Manual Reservations will be updated to include a new alert condition and section in the alert email:

  • Expiring Loans
    • they have a time limited loan that will expire within 25 hours

The given limit would be a server configuration options, with this value as the default.

User interface proposals

Web UI


Command line