PBS Shell Commands

When you submit and monitor jobs on compute clusters in the RCC, you are using TORQUE - a version of PBS.

A popular open-source resource manager, TORQUE is used at thousands of research sites globally. With the commands available through TORQUE you can allocate resources, schedule and manage execution, monitor and view the status of your jobs.

Some of TORQUE's commands are used at the shell command line, others are embedded in the shell script that runs your program. Here are the commonly used shell commands.

Frequently Used Shell Commands

Basic Usage


qsub submit a pbs job qsub [script] $ qsub job.pbs
qstat show status of pbs batch jobs qstat [job_id] $ qstat 44
qdel delete pbs batch job qdel [job_id] $ qdel 44
qhold hold pbs batch jobs qhold [job_id] $ qhold 44
qrls release hold on pbs batch jobs qrls [job_id] $ qrls 44


Shell Commands to Check Queue and Job Status

qstat -q list all queues
qstat -a list all jobs
qstat -au userid
list jobs for userid
qstat -r list running jobs
qstat -f job_id list full information about job_id
qstat -Qf queue list full information about queue
qstat -B list summary status of the job server
pbsnodes list status of all compute nodes

For complete documentation on the commands listed here, refer to the online man page: type man command at the shell prompt.

#PBS in your Job Script

The best way to control execution of your job is through the use of #PBS commands embedded in the job script. The job script is any shell script you normally run to execute your programs. The #PBS commands appear to be comments to the shell but when your script is submitted to the PBS job scheduler (via the qsub command), they can alter job attributes and select scheduler options.

Basic #PBS commands
#PBS -N myjob Set the job name
#PBS -m ae Mail status when the job completes
#PBS -M This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Mail to this address
#PBS -l nodes=4 Allocate specified number of nodes
#PBS -l walltime=1:00:00 Inform the PBS scheduler of the expected runtime

Download a PBS Template Script

Download an example script that includes descriptive comments: Example PBS Job Script