Parallel batch jobs on beowulf?

Gary Stiehr gary at
Mon Oct 1 15:34:02 PDT 2001

   PBS is perfectly acceptable for this type of use.  Each job can 
request all of the nodes or just a subset of them.  The job is queued 
until the requested number of nodes is available.  You are still able to 
run MPI/PVM programs on the nodes in an interactive way when using PBS 
but this may be confusing/misleading to the users of the cluster.
    You can also set PBS to use your nodes in a "time-shared" manner. 
This way, PBS can allocate more than one job to each node.  When you 
need to have only one job per node, you can configure the nodes as 
"exclusive" nodes.  I hope this helps.

Gary Stiehr
gary at

Eray Ozkural (exa) wrote:

> Hash: SHA1
> We have a small research cluster at our CS dept., it's got 32 compute nodes. 
> We run debian and the setup is a typical beowulf. (locally installed 
> software, nfs, nis, mpich, lam, etc.)
> An instructor asked us whether it would be possible to run a parallel job 
> system. I know a regular batch system (like pbs) could be used to that end, 
> but what is the recommended way of providing parallel batch jobs on a Beowulf 
> system?
> What he asked of course was the ability to allocate the whole cluster to a 
> single job so that people can do benchmarks. Now, that is only useful while 
> you're doing benchmarks and not necessary otherwise since development is 
> usually done in an interactive manner and in case of severe resource 
> conflicts developers can agree rather easily...  
> Therefore, what do you think is the best practice in such research clusters?
> Regards,
> - -- 
> Eray Ozkural (exa) <erayo at>
> Comp. Sci. Dept., Bilkent University, Ankara
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