Houdini 20.0 Reference Stand-alone utilities


Message Queue Server for PDG/TOPs

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Lightweight message queue server that uses request-reply over TCP. Uses a push-pull message mechanism where messages are pushed by any client and pulled by other clients.

mqserver.exe [-i ip] [-p port]
                [-n max_connections]
                [-l log_level] [-c connection_file]
                [-g log_file]
                [-w port max_connections urlpath]
                [-t max_idle_seconds]
                [-m max_events]


To...Do this

Start a persistent MQ Server

Callback Port is set to 53001 and Relay Port is set to 53000. HTTP server port is what is used by the pdg jobs (their Callback Port). The ports may have been chosen because they are accessible through machine firewalls. The Callback Port port must be open for outgoing connections on the farm machines, and incoming connections on the machine running MQ Server. Likewise the Relay Port must be open for incoming connections on the machine running MQ Server, and open for outgoing connections on the submitter’s machine (the machine running the TOP Cook).

/mnt/hq/houdini_distros/hfs.linux-x86_64/bin/mqserver -s -p ${RELAYPORT} -n 1024 -l 2 -w ${HTTP_CALLBACK_PORT} 1024 result

Connect to the persistent MQ Server

With the above running on for example host, the TOP Scheduler Node should be configured with:

  • Message Queue option Type should be set to Connect

  • Address set to

  • Task Callback Port set to 53001

  • Relay Port set to 53000


If the -i option is provided, the server will use it as the IP address for the client endpoint. Not specifying or using * results in server automatically using the IP assigned to it. E.g. -i

If the -p option is provided, the server will be run on the specified port. Otherwise, the program will automatically scan for the first available port.

The -n option specifies the maximum number of connections. If it is not specified, the maximum number of connections will default to 1024.

The -l option specifies the log level. The log levels are: 0 - None, 1 - Errors, 2 - Warnings, 3 - All. If this option is not provided, the log level will be set to 1 (Errors).

If the -c option is provided, the server will write a connection details file to the specified path.

If the -g option is provided, the server will direct all logging to the specified file by redirecting stdout and stderr.

If the -w option is provided, a HTTP server will also be started at specified port, with max connections, and url relative path (e.g. '-w 5001 64 report/result' will listen at with 64 max connections).

If the -t option is provided, then this will automatically shutdown the server after the specified time in seconds if there hasn’t been any network activity during the time.

If the -m option is provided, then the maximum number of events per tick will be set to the specified value. The default is 50.

If the -k option is provided, the server will authenticate itself to clients using TLS with the certificate and private key in the file given. This can also be provided using an environment variable with the name PDG_MQ_SERVER_CERT_KEY.

If the -a option is provided, TLS authentication will be required for clients to connect; clients will be verified using the CA chains given. CA chain file names must be comma separated without spaces; you can also use standard 'globbing' syntax, ex: '-a *.pem,dir/extra.pem'. This can also be provided using an environment variable with the name PDG_MQ_SERVER_CA_CHAINS (files should be semicolon separated on windows and colon separated on mac/linux). Clients can connect using the tls+tcp protocol by setting the environment variables PDG_MQ_CLIENT_CERT_KEY and PDG_MQ_CLIENT_SERVER_NAME to their certificate/private key file path and server name (if present in the server’s certificate) respectively. The enviroment variable PDG_MQ_CLIENT_CA_CHAIN can also be set to the server’s certificate file path if clients should be required to authenticate the server.

If the -r option is provided, the server will use round robin load balancing when sending messages to clients with the same name.

If the -s option is provided, then this will run as a persistent server (e.g. service) which means it cannot be remotely shutdown nor will it timeout when no clients are connected.

Stand-alone utilities

  • abcconvert

    Convert between Alembic formats.

  • abcecho

    Print information about an Alembic file.

  • abcinfo

    Print information about an Alembic file.

  • chchan

    Copies channel collection to/from action channel format.

  • chcp

    Copies channel collection file to another format.

  • chinfo

    Prints information about a channel collection file.

  • claudio

    Copies CHOP data (clip) to/from audio formats.

  • clchan

    Copies CHOP data (clip) to/from action channel format.

  • clchn

    Copies CHOP data (clip) to/from channel collection format.

  • clcp

    Copies CHOP data (clip) to another format.

  • clinfo

    Prints information about a CHOP data (clip) file.

  • dsmconvert

  • dsmmerge

  • dsparse

    Parses and displays dialog scripts.

  • gabc

    Convert between Alembic and Houdini geometry.

  • gconvert

    Convert between Houdini polygon formats.

  • gdxf

    Converts DXF polygons to/from Houdini format.

  • geodiff

    Display Geometry Differences.

  • geps

    Converts EPS files to Houdini polygon format.

  • giges

  • ginfo

    Prints polygon file statistics.

  • glightwave

    Converts LightWave files to/from Houdini format.

  • gpdb

    Converts .pdb files to/from Houdini format.

  • gplay

    Geometry viewer.

  • gply

    Converts .ply files to/from Houdini format.

  • gptex

    Makes a ptexture image file from a geometry file.

  • greduce

    Reduces polygons in a file.

  • gwavefront

    Converts .obj files to/from Houdini format.

  • hcollapse

    Collapses a directory structure.

  • hcpio

  • hexpand

    Expands hip files into a directory structure.

  • hkey / License Administrator

    Opens a graphical user interface for viewing and managing licenses and license server options.

  • hoiiotool

    Swiss-army knife of image operation tools.

  • hotl utility

    Command line utility to work with .hda/.otl files.

  • hrender

  • hsc

  • hscript

    Command line HScript interpreter.

  • hserver

    Houdini communicates through this proxy server to the sesinetd licensing daemon.

  • htexcache

    Query or modify the disk texture cache.

  • husk

    Command line utility for rendering a USD file using Karma or some other Hydra client.

  • i3dconvert

  • iautocrop

    Crops images based on pixel values.

  • icineon

    Convert images from 10-bit Cineon format to an 8 bit format.

  • icomposite

  • iconvert

    Converts an image of one type to another type.

  • icp

    Isolate a region of an image in a new image.

  • idenoise

    Removes noise from an image file.

  • idiff

    Display Image Differences.

  • iflip - Flip Image

  • iinfo

    Outputs information about an image.

  • ilut

    Generates a lookup table (LUT) from standard channel formats or another LUT.

  • ilutcomp

    Generates a single lookup table (LUT) from from two LUTs.

  • ilutinfo

    Prints information about a lookup table (LUT) file.

  • imaketx

    Creates mipmapped .exr or .rat textures from image files.

  • imdisplay

    Sends an image to an mdisplay window.

  • iprint

    Prints the RGBA values for an image as text.

  • iquantize

    Reduces the number of colors in an image.

  • isixpack

    Generates an environment/reflection map from six images representing the six sides of a cube, or a cross image.

  • itilestitch

    Assemble a series of image files with crop windows into a single image.

  • izg

    Converts Z-depth images to 8-bit grayscale images.

  • Launcher

    The Houdini Launcher downloads, installs, upgrades, and uninstall Houdini and its components.

  • mcacclaim

    Converts an Acclaim motion file to a Houdini script and channel file(s).

  • mcbiovision

    Converts a BioVision motion file to a Houdini script and channel file(s).

  • mcmotanal

    Converts a Motion Analysis TRC motion file to a Houdini script and channel file(s).

  • mcp

    Convert an image sequence to a movie file.

  • minfo

    Prints information about movie files.

  • mqserver

    Message Queue Server for PDG/TOPs

  • py23convert

    Convert Python 2 expressions in HDAs to Python 2/3.

  • renderstatsoverlay

    Generates a (possibly scaled down) version of a rendered image with render statistics baked in.

  • renderstatsreport

    Generates an HTML page containing render statistics from an EXR image.

  • sesictrl

    Sets Houdini license server options from the command line.

  • sesinetd

    The Houdini license server. This program runs in the background managing Houdini licenses.

  • siminfo

    Prints simulation cache file statistics.

  • spiff

    Display Text Differences.

  • spy

    Shell utility for navigating the UNIX filesystem.

  • usdview

    Command line utility for viewing and inspecting USD scenes.

  • vexcache

    Query or modify the VEX compile cache.

  • vexexec

    Execute a cvex shader.