Frequently Asked Questions

Below are answers to some frequently asked questions on the StarCluster mailing list.

Garbage Packet Received

If you’re using StarCluster and encounter the following error you most likely are not using a compatible StarCluster AMI:

Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "/usr/lib/python2.6/site-packages/starcluster/", line 32, in run
  File "/usr/lib/python2.6/site-packages/starcluster/", line 59, in run
    r = self.method(*self.args, **self.kwargs)
  File "/usr/lib/python2.6/site-packages/starcluster/", line 661, in set_hostname
    hostname_file = self.ssh.remote_file("/etc/hostname", "w")
  File "/usr/lib/python2.6/site-packages/starcluster/", line 284, in remote_file
    rfile =, mode)
  File "/usr/lib/python2.6/site-packages/starcluster/", line 174, in sftp
    self._sftp = ssh.SFTPClient.from_transport(self.transport)
  File "/usr/lib/python2.6/site-packages/ssh/", line 106, in from_transport
    return cls(chan)
  File "/usr/lib/python2.6/site-packages/ssh/", line 87, in __init__
    server_version = self._send_version()
  File "/usr/lib/python2.6/site-packages/ssh/", line 108, in _send_version
    t, data = self._read_packet()
  File "/usr/lib/python2.6/site-packages/ssh/", line 179, in _read_packet
    raise SFTPError('Garbage packet received')
SFTPError: Garbage packet received

In this case you should update your NODE_IMAGE_ID setting in one of your cluster templates in the config to point to a StarCluster AMI. You can get a list of currently available StarCluster AMIs using the listpublic command:

$ starcluster listpublic

You can also list available StarCluster AMIs in other regions:

$ starcluster -r sa-east-1 listpublic

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