Local output file is missing: output pfn file does not exist

I tried to run a grid job and got this error saying

Local output file is missing: output pfn file does not exist. 

How do I fix it?

This is a very common error message from panda. Unfortunately it masks the real problem: something upstream failed so that no output file was produced. You need to find the log files to solve this.

  • First find the task that failed, it should have a URL like https://bigpanda.cern.ch/task/25897035/, where the last number is specific to your task.
  • You need to find the jobs that failed by clicking on the numbers in red
  • Scroll down a while and click on the “PanDA ID” for a failed job
  • This should take you to a page with a “logs” menu, you should click on “log files”
  • The exact name of the log file with your error will depend on the job. You typically want to look at one of the bigger files. You can sort them by size by clicking the “size” header.

    The error is usually not listed in the pilotlog.txt file, but names like payload.stdout are a good bet. The atlas production system also has a strange tendency to produce file names where the extension comes first, e.g. log.AODtoDAOD, which might contain the error you are looking for.
  • In Athena jobs, search for ERROR or FATAL, in other jobs finding the exact error might take some experience: error reporting isn’t very standard across analysis frameworks, you may have check with framework developers.
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