A job consists of a name, a node/node pool, a list of actions, a schedule, and an optional cleanup action. They are periodic events that do not interact with other jobs while running.

If all actions exit with status 0, the job has succeeded. If any action exists with a nonzero status, the job has failed.

Required Fields

Jobs are defined in the form of a dictionary, where the name is the key. The Name of the job is used in tronview and tronctl. Here is an example:

    "schedule": ...
    "command": ...
        "command": ...

Reference to the node or pool to run the job in. If a pool, the job is run in a random node in the pool.


When to run this job. Schedule fields can take multiple forms. See Scheduling.


List of actions.

Optional Fields

monitoring (default {})

Dictionary of key: value pairs to inform the monitoring framework on how to alert teams for job failures.

If you’re using PaaSTA, for any monitoring fields not specified for a job, Tron will default to those set in monitoring.yaml in your soa-configs.

You can see more about this behavior in the PaaSTA docs.


Team responsible for the job. Must already be defined in the monitoring framework.

page (default False)

Boolean on whether or not an alert for this job is page-worthy.


Runbook associated with the job.

tip (default None)

A short 1-line version of the runbook.


A comma-separated string of email destinations. Defaults to the “team” default.


A list of Slack channels to send alerts to. Defaults to the team setting. Set an empty list to specify no Slack notifications.

ticket (default False)

A Boolean value to enable ticket creation.

project (default None)

A string representing the JIRA project that the ticket should go under. Defaults to the team value.

priority (default None)

A JIRA ticket priority to use when creating a ticket. This only makes sense to use when in combination with the ticket parameter set to True. This value should be a string value like ‘0’, ‘1’, ‘3.14’, etc. If not set, the default will be the default_priority setting for the sensu team or the default priority used for the JIRA project.

tags (default None)

A list of arbitrary tags that can be used in handlers for different metadata needs.

component (default None)

A list of components affected by the event. A good example here would be to include the job that is being affected.

description (default None)

Human readable text giving more context on any monitoring events.

check_that_every_day_has_a_successful_run (default False)

If True, the latest job run each day will be checked to see if it was successful.

If False, only the latest overall run will be checked to see if it was successful.

page_for_expected_runtime (default False)

If True, when either a job or an action exceeds its configured expected_runtime, the generated alert will be considered “critical” and will page the user.

If False, then an alert will not page the user.

queueing (default True)

If a job run is still running when the next job run is to be scheduled, add the next run to a queue if this is True. Otherwise, cancel the job run. Note that if the scheduler used for this job is not defined to queue overlapping then this setting is ignored.

allow_overlap (default False)

If True new job runs will start even if the previous run is still running. By default new job runs are either cancelled or queued (see queuing).

run_limit (default 50)

Number of runs which will be stored. Once a Job has more then run_limit runs, the output and state for the oldest run are removed. Failed runs will not be removed.

all_nodes (default False)

If True run this job on each node in the node pool list. If a node appears more than once in the list, the job will be run on that node once for each appearance.

If False run this job on a random node from the node pool list. If a node appears more than once in the list, the job will be more likely to run on that node, proportionate to the number of appearances.

If node is not a node pool, this option has no effect.


Action to run when either all actions have succeeded or the job has failed. See Cleanup Actions.

enabled (default True)

If False the job will not be scheduled to run.

max_runtime (default None)

A time interval (ex: “2 hours”) that limits the duration of each job run. If the job run is still running after this duration, all of its actions are sent SIGTERM.

time_zone (default None)

Time zone used for calculating when a job should run. Defaults to None, which means it will use the default time_zone set in the master config.

expected_runtime (default 24h)

A time interval (ex: “2 hours”) that specifies the maximum expected duration of each job run. Single units like (20m, 1h, 2d) are accepted, but you can’t use mixed units like (1h 20m) Monitoring will alert if a job run is still running after this duration. Use max_runtime instead if hard limit is needed.


Actions consist primarily of a command. An action’s command is executed as soon as its dependencies (specified by requires) are satisfied. So if your job has 10 actions, 1 of which depends on the other 9, then Tron will launch the first 9 actions in parallel and run the last one when all have completed successfully.

If any action exits with nonzero status, the job will continue to run any actions which do not depend on the failed action.

Required Fields

Actions are defined as a dictionary, where the Name of the action is the key. The Name is used in tronview and tronctl.


Command to run. Commands are run using /bin/sh so bash expressions will not work, and could cause the job to fail.

Optional Fields


List of action names that must complete successfully before this action is run. Actions can only require actions in the same job.


Node or node pool to run the action on if different from the rest of the job.


An integer representing how many times Tron is allowed to automatically retry the command. Tron will immediately re-run the command if it fails, and the action will not enter the failed state until retries are exhausted. Defaults to None (0 retries allowed).


A timedelta to wait in between retries.

expected_runtime (default 24h)

A time interval (ex: “2 hours”) that specifies the maximum expected duration of each action run. Monitoring will alert if a action run is still running after this duration.

trigger_downstreams (bool or dict)

Upon successfull completion of an action, will emit a trigger for every item in the dictionary. When set to true, a default dict of {shortdate: "{shortdate}"} is assumed. Emitted triggers will be in form: <namespace>.<job>.<action>.<dict key>.<rendered value>. See triggered_by for more information.

triggered_by (list)

When list is not empty, action will not start until all required triggers have been emitted by upstream actions. Unlike with requires attribute, dependent actions don’t have to belong to the same job. triggered_by template may contain any pattern allowed in command attribute. See What does shortdate in triggers mean? for an explantion of shortdate



triggered_by: - “other_namespace.some_job.action1.shortdate.{shortdate-1}”

trigger_timeout (default 24h)

How long will action wait for dependencies listed in triggered_by before failing. Is not included in expected_runtime. If upstream job fails, no trigger event will be emitted and downstream jobs will fail with trigger timeout. Re-running upstream job will emit the trigger upon successful completion and if any downstream job is still waiting - it will proceed normally. Timed out downstream jobs will not be re-started, and you need to use tronctl publish to trigger it manually. .

Example Actions

    node: node1
      start_time: 04:00:00
        command: "ls /var/log/app/log_{shortdate-1}.txt"
        command: "convert_logs /var/log/app/log_{shortdate-1}.txt /var/log/app_converted/log_{shortdate-1}.txt"
        requires: [verify_logs_present]


Tron supports four methods for configuring the schedule of a job. Schedulers support a jitter parameter that allows them to vary their runtime by a random time delta.


Run the job on specific days at a specific time. The time expression is HH:MM:SS[ MTWRFSU].

Short form:

schedule: "daily 04:00:00"

Short form with days:

schedule: "daily 04:00:00 MWF"

Long form:

    type:   "daily"
    value:  "07:00:00 MWF"
    jitter: "10 min"            # Optional


Schedule a job using cron syntax. Tron supports predefined schedules, ranges, and lists for each field. It supports the L in day of month field only (which schedules the job on the last day of the month). Only one of the day fields (day of month and day of week) can have a value.

Short form:

schedule: "cron */5 * * 7,8 *"  # Every 5 minutes in July and August
schedule: "cron 0 3-6 * * *"    # Every hour between 3am and 6am

Long form:

schedule:                       # long form
    type: "cron"
    value: "30 4 L * *"         # The last day of the month at 4:30am


More powerful version of the daily scheduler based on the one used by Google App Engine’s cron library. To use this scheduler, use a string in this format as the schedule:

("every"|ordinal) (days) ["of|in" (monthspec)] (["at"] HH:MM)

Comma-separated list of 1st and so forth. Use every if you don’t want to limit by day of the month.


Comma-separated list of days of the week (for example, mon, tuesday, with both short and long forms being accepted); every day is equivalent to every mon,tue,wed,thu,fri,sat,sun


Comma-separated list of month names (for example, jan, march, sep). If omitted, implies every month. You can also say month to mean every month, as in 1,8th,15,22nd of month 09:00.


Time of day in 24 hour time.

Some examples:

2nd,third mon,wed,thu of march 17:00
every monday at 09:00
1st monday of sep,oct,nov at 17:00
every day of oct at 00:00

In the config:

schedule: "every monday at 09:00"
    type: "groc daily"
    value: "every day 11:22"
    jitter: "5 min"

Notes on Daylight Saving Time

Some system clocks are configured to track local time and may observe daylight savings time. For example, on November 6, 2011, 1 AM occurred twice. Prior to version 0.2.9, this would cause Tron to schedule a daily midnight job to be run an hour early on November 7, at 11 PM. For some jobs this doesn’t matter, but for jobs that depend on the availability of data for a day, it can cause a failure.

Similarly, some jobs on March 14, 2011 were scheduled an hour late.

To avoid this problem, set the Time Zone config variable. For example:

time_zone: US/Pacific

If a job is scheduled at a time that occurs twice, such as 1 AM on “fall back”, it will be run on the first occurrence of that time.

If a job is scheduled at a time that does not exists, such as 2 AM on “spring forward”, it will be run an hour later in the “new” time, in this case 3 AM. In the “old” time this is 2 AM, so from the perspective of previous jobs, it runs at the correct time.

In general, Tron tries to schedule a job as soon as is correct, and no sooner. A job that is schedule for 2:30 AM will not run at 3 AM on “spring forward” because that would be half an hour too soon from a pre-switch perspective (2 AM).


If you experience unexpected scheduler behavior, file an issue on Tron’s Github page.

Cleanup Actions

Cleanup actions run after the job succeeds or fails. They are specified just like regular actions except that there is only one per job and it has no name or requirements list.

If your job creates shared resources that should be destroyed after a run regardless of success or failure, such as intermediate files or Amazon Elastic MapReduce job flows, you can use cleanup actions to tear them down.

The command context variable cleanup_job_status is provided to cleanup actions and has a value of SUCCESS or FAILURE depending on the job’s final state. For example:

    # ...
      command: "python -m --terminate MY_POOL"


The following are the possible states for a Job and Job Run.

Job States


A run is scheduled and new runs will continue to be scheduled.


No new runs will be scheduled, and scheduled runs will be cancelled.


Job run currently in progress.

Job Run States


The run is scheduled for a specific time


The run is currently running


The run completed successfully


The run failed


The run has actions that are waiting for dependencies


The run is queued behind another run(s) and will start when said runs finish


The run was scheduled, but later cancelled.


The run is in an unknown state. This state could indicate a bug in Tron, or an exceptional situation with the infrastructure that requires manual inspection. Actions for this job may in fact still be running, but Tron cannot reach them.


My job doesn’t start even though the trigger are emitted?

Check that both jobs are in the same tron master. A “tron master” refers to a cluster; like tron-norcal-devc, tron-nova-prod, etc. Triggers don’t work across tron masters! You can emit the event manually using command line or API

S3 consistency issues

If your downstream job relies on s3 list to process data you may see it triggered before S3 had finished replicating. This was previously masked by log_done continuously polling S3 to determine if upstream finished. See STREAMINT-269 for details.

What does shortdate in triggers mean?

There are two concepts of shortdate here.

shortdate in triggered_by: this shortdate is technically the run_date, indicating when the tron job runs shortdate in command: this shortdate is used by batch jobs to specify which s3 dir it is writing to or polling.