OpenDroneMap distributed processing


This section is being edited and updated. Please let us know if you find any errors or omissions.

As of the 0.9.0 release of POSM, it is possible to leverage ClusterODM and two or more networked devices to distribute a large dataset split into chunks across multiple processing nodes.

Setting up

  • You’ll want more powerful hardware. We suggest either the Intel NUC NUC6i7KYK or the NUC8i7BEH1 with a 500 GB SSD and 32 GB RAM.

  • Install the SuperPOSM variant on one NUC, and the POSM AUX variant on the other(s).

  • Power down all the POSMs and connect them together via a switch or router. (Note that some routers have port 1 configured as a management port, and attempting to use it without adjusting the default router settings may fail.)

  • Power up the SuperPOSM first. Once it is up and running, connect to its wifi and check that WebODM has started and you can successfully reach the interface.

  • See what nodes are connected and working by opening http://webodm.posm:20000. It will bring up a UI that shows the connected nodes. We know it’s port 20000 from the --admin-web-port 20000 parameter setting in /kickstart/etc/systemd/system/clusterodm.service.hbs (link to file).

  • Click “Enable Auto Refresh” and then power up the AUX node(s) one at a time. They should automatically self register. If you wait for each node to appear in the list before powering on the next one, you can take note of its IP address. Writing it on a piece of tape stuck to the POSM can help with troubleshooting later.

  • Alternatively to see what’s connected and the status, connect to the SuperPOSM’s wifi and then type nc 28080 and then NODE LIST

  • Connect to the SuperPOSM wifi and then ssh into the device. For example by using ssh root@posm.local and entering posm as a password when prompted. Check the network settings with ifconfig eno1 and there should be a line with inet and an IP address. Go back to the WebODM interface and in the “Processing Nodes” menu, edit the “Cluster” entry by changing “Hostname” from localhost to the the IP address ( in the screengrab below).

  • You should now be ready to process an image set.


  • Set the processing node to “Cluster”.
  • Setting “split” to 400 and “split-overlap” to 120 are conservative values and a good starting point (if running on the hardware recommended above).
  • For challenging image sets (for example, lots of similar looking vegetation), you might try increasing the “min-num-features” but if good results aren’t achieved with 12,000 then the problem could be elsewhere.
  • Once a task starts, you should be able to see [INFO]    sm_cluster: True in the first lines of the log. If it’s set to None then the cluster processing isn’t working correctly.


Connect to a node

  • Option 1: Attach a monitor and keyboard to the AUX node POSM
  • Option 2: Connect via the SuperPOSM wifi - ssh root@posm.local then enter posm for the password when prompted - Now jump from the SuperPOSM to the AUX node with ssh root@ (Replace with the node’s address. Did you record the IP addresses as you powered up the AUX nodes?)

Mount a USB to copy files off a node

  • Connect to the node
  • Attach a USB drive
  • Try one of these to find the USB drive name: lsblk or sudo blkid or sudo fdisk -l
  • Create a folder, for example sudo mkdir /usb
  • Mount the USB drive using sudo mount /dev/sdb1 /usb` where ``sdb1 is the name of the USB drive
  • Copy files to the folder
  • When you’re done, disconnect the USB drive with sudo umount /usb

Copy files off a node using the public folder

  • Connect to the node
  • Enter the running docker container
  • Copy the file using cp file /var/www/public
  • Access the file via the NodeODM public port: http://ipofnodeodm:3000/file

Get logs of the NodeODM or ClusterODM worker processes

  • Connect to the node
  • Mount a USB to copy files off a node
  • Run journalctl -u webodm > ./usb/webodm_log.txt or journalctl -u nodeodm > ./usb/nodeodm_log.txt (where ./usb is the folder created and used to mount the USB)

Change NodeODM startup settings

  • Edit /etc/systemd/system/nodeodm.service
  • Run systemctl daemon-reload to reload the config
  • Restart NodeODM with the new options using systemctl restart nodeodm

Other useful commands

  • Check network settings - ifconfig eno1
  • Manually trigger the AUX node registration process - /usr/local/bin/