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Monitoring Batch Jobs

See this article in context within the following user guides: Eos | Lens | Titan

PBS and Moab provide multiple tools to view queue, system, and job status. Below are the most common and useful of these tools.

Job Monitoring Commands

The Moab utility showq can be used to view a more detailed description of the queue. The utility will display the queue in the following states:

Active These jobs are currently running.
Eligible These jobs are currently queued awaiting resources. Eligible jobs are shown in the order in which the scheduler will consider them for allocation.
Blocked These jobs are currently queued but are not eligible to run. A job may be in this state because the user has more jobs that are “eligible to run” than the system’s queue policy allows.

To see all jobs currently in the queue:

$ showq

To see all jobs owned by userA currently in the queue:

$ showq -u userA

To see all jobs submitted to partitionA:

$ showq -p partitionA

To see all completed jobs:

$ showq -c
Note: To increase response time, the MOAB utilities (showstart, checkjob) will display a cached result. The cache updates every 30 seconds. But, because the cached result is displayed, you may see the following message:

NOTE: The following information has been cached by the remote server
      and may be slightly out of date.

The Moab utility checkjob can be used to view details of a job in the queue. For example, if job 736 is a job currently in the queue in a blocked state, the following can be used to view why the job is in a blocked state:

$ checkjob 736

The return may contain a line similar to the following:

BlockMsg: job 736 violates idle HARD MAXJOB limit of X for user (Req: 1 InUse: X)

This line indicates the job is in the blocked state because the owning user has reached the limit for jobs in the “eligible to run” state.


The PBS utility qstat will poll PBS (Torque) for job information. However, qstat does not know of Moab’s blocked and eligible states. Because of this, the showq Moab utility (see above) will provide a more accurate batch queue state.

To show show all queued jobs:

$ qstat -a

To show details about job 1234:

$ qstat -f 1234

To show all currently queued jobs owned by userA:

$ qstat -u userA