Introduction to Unix and SGE for beginners

Quickstart and basics


Login to the head node: ssh username@login1, you can not do any computation here (see [cluster abuse]). The point of the head node is to distribute and schedule your jobs based on the resources demanded by you. Here is how you can start a job:

username@login1:~$ qsub -V -b n -cwd
Your job 1 ("") has been submitted
  • The -V option to qsub states that the job should have the same environment variables as the shell executing qsub.
  • The -b option to qsub states that the command being executed could be a single binary executable or a bash script. In this case the command hostname is a single binary. This option takes a y or n argument indicating either yes the command is a binary or no it is not a binary.
  • The -cwd option to qsub tells Sun Grid Engine that the job should be executed in the same directory that qsub was called.
  • The last argument to qsub is the command to be executed or script to be run. The qsub command, if successful, will print the job number to stdout. See [How to submit a job using qsub] section for more.

what is is a shell script that has the specific commands to run our program. It basically looks like a bash script on section 1.7 but it can have some additional variables that can be used to configure the resources that the job demands. Command line options explained above (-V,-cwd etc.) can also be declared in via special syntax. More on qsub in later sections.

Specifying resources:

The main resources you will be asking for are CPU(slots) and memory.

The memory can be requested with h_vmem, this is the maximum amount of memory a slot can take, if it exceeds this amount your job will be automatically killed. Another memory related option is mem_free

Here is how you can request those resources:

username@login1:~$ qsub -l h_vmem=4G

will ask for a machine that has 4GB memory

Now, we can also ask for more CPU using -pe option. This option stands for "parallel environment" and each cluster sets up a set of parallel environments for parallel processing. The syntax for the option is as follows:-pe [environment name] [number of slots]. The following will start a job with 4 slots using "smp" environment.

username@login1:~$ qsub -pe smp 4 -l h_vmem=4G