On localhost, how do I pick a free port number?

For the sake of snippet of what the guys have explained above:

import socket
from contextlib import closing

def find_free_port():
    with closing(socket.socket(socket.AF_INET, socket.SOCK_STREAM)) as s:
        s.bind(('', 0))
        s.setsockopt(socket.SOL_SOCKET, socket.SO_REUSEADDR, 1)
        return s.getsockname()[1]

Do not bind to a specific port. Instead, bind to port 0:

import socket
sock = socket.socket()
sock.bind(('', 0))

The OS will then pick an available port for you. You can get the port that was chosen using sock.getsockname()[1], and pass it on to the slaves so that they can connect back.

sock is the socket that you created, returned by socket.socket.