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HTC Exercise 1.2: Experiment With HTCondor Commands

The goal of this exercise is to learn about two foundational HTCondor commands, condor_q and condor_status. They will be useful for monitoring your jobs and available slots (respectively) throughout the week.

This exercise should take only a few minutes.

Viewing Slots

As discussed in the lecture, the condor_status command is used to view the current state of slots in an HTCondor pool.

At its most basic, the command is very straightforward:

username@learn $ condor_status

This command, running on our (CHTC) pool, will produce a lot of output; there is one line per slot, and we typically have over 10,000 slots. TIP: You can widen your terminal window, which may help you to see all details of the output better.

Here is some example output (what you see will be longer):

[email protected]        LINUX      X86_64 Unclaimed Idle      0.000 8053  0+01:14:34
[email protected]        LINUX      X86_64 Unclaimed Idle      0.000 8053  0+03:57:00
[email protected]        LINUX      X86_64 Unclaimed Idle      0.000 8053  1+00:05:17
[email protected]           LINUX      X86_64 Owner     Idle      0.300  250  7+03:22:21
[email protected]         LINUX      X86_64 Claimed   Busy      0.930 1024  0+02:42:08
[email protected]         LINUX      X86_64 Claimed   Busy      3.530 1024  0+02:40:24

This output consists of 8 columns:

Col Example Meaning
Name [email protected] Full slot name (including the hostname)
OpSys LINUX Operating system
Arch X86_64 Slot architecture (e.g., Intel 64 bit)
State Claimed State of the slot (Unclaimed is available, Owner is being used by the machine owner, Claimed is matched to a job)
Activity Busy Is there activity on the slot?
LoadAv 0.930 Load average, a measure of CPU activity on the slot
Mem 1024 Memory available to the slot, in MB
ActvtyTime 0+02:42:08 Amount of time spent in current activity (days + hours:minutes:seconds)

At the end of the slot listing, there is a summary. Here is an example:

                     Machines Owner Claimed Unclaimed Matched Preempting  Drain

        X86_64/LINUX    10831     0   10194       631       0          0      6
      X86_64/WINDOWS        2     2       0         0       0          0      0

               Total    10833     2   10194       631       0          0      6

There is one row of summary for each machine (i.e. "slot") architecture/operating system combination with columns for the number of slots in each state. The final row gives a summary of slot states for the whole pool.


  • When you run condor_status, how many 64-bit Linux slots are available? (Hint: Unclaimed = available.)
  • What percent of the total slots are currently claimed by a job? (Note: there is a rapid turnover of slots, which is what allows users with new submission to have jobs start quickly.)
  • How have these numbers changed (if at all) when you run the command again?

Viewing Whole Machines, Only

Also try out the -compact for a slightly different view of whole machines (i.e. server hostnames), without the individual slots shown.

username@learn $ condor_status -compact

How has the column information changed?

Viewing Jobs

The condor_q command lists jobs that are on this submit machine and that are running or waiting to run. The _q part of the name is meant to suggest the word “queue”, or list of job sets waiting to finish.

Viewing Your Own Jobs

The default behavior of the command lists only your jobs:

username@learn $ condor_q

The main part of the output (which will be empty, because you haven't submitted jobs yet) shows one set ("batch") of submitted jobs per line. If you had a single job in the queue, it would look something like the below:

-- Schedd: : < @ 07/12/19 09:59:31
aapohl CMD:   7/12 09:58      _      _      1      1 18801.0               

This output consists of 8 (or 9) columns:

Col Example Meaning
OWNER aapohl The user ID of the user who submitted the job
BATCH_NAME The executable or "jobbatchname" specified within the submit file(s)
SUBMITTED 7/12 09:58 The date and time when the job was submitted
DONE _ Number of jobs in this batch that have completed
RUN _ Number of jobs in this batch that are currently running
IDLE 1 Number of jobs in this batch that are idle, waiting for a match
HOLD _ Column will show up if there are jobs on "hold" because something about the submission/setup needs to be corrected by the user
TOTAL 1 Total number of jobs in this batch
JOB_IDS 18801.0 Job ID or range of Job IDs in this batch

At the end of the job listing, there is a summary. Here is a sample:

1 jobs; 0 completed, 0 removed, 1 idle, 0 running, 0 held, 0 suspended

It shows total counts of jobs in the different possible states.


  • For the sample above, when was the job submitted?
  • For the sample above, was the job running or not yet? How can you tell?

Viewing Everyone’s Jobs

By default, the condor_q command shows your jobs only. To see everyone’s jobs that are queued on the machine, add the -all option:

username@learn $ condor_q -all
  • How many jobs are queued in total (i.e., running or waiting to run)?
  • How many jobs from this submit machine are running right now?

Viewing Jobs without the Default "batch" Mode

The condor_q output, by default, groups "batches" of jobs together (if they were submitted with the same submit file or "jobbatchname"). To see more information for EVERY job on a separate line of output, use the -nobatch option to condor_q:

username@learn $ condor_q -all -nobatch

How has the column information changed? (Below is an example of the top of the output.)

-- Schedd: : < @ 07/12/19 11:58:44
18203.0   s16_alirezakho  7/11 09:51   0+00:00:00 I  0      0.7 pascal
18204.0   s16_alirezakho  7/11 09:51   0+00:00:00 I  0      0.7 pascal
18801.0   aapohl          7/12 09:58   0+00:00:00 I  0      0.0
18997.0   s16_martincum   7/12 10:59   0+00:00:32 I  0    733.0 1_0 run_perm.R 1 0 10
19027.5   s16_martincum   7/12 11:06   0+00:09:20 I  0   2198.0 1_5 run_perm.R 1 5 1000

The -nobatch output shows a line for every job and consists of 8 columns:

Col Example Meaning
ID 18801.0 Job ID, which is the cluster, a dot character (.), and the process
OWNER aapohl The user ID of the user who submitted the job
SUBMITTED 7/12 09:58 The date and time when the job was submitted
RUN_TIME 0+00:00:00 Total time spent running so far (days + hours:minutes:seconds)
ST I Status of job: I is Idle (waiting to run), R is Running, H is Held, etc.
PRI 0 Job priority (see next lecture)
SIZE 0.0 Current run-time memory usage, in MB
CMD The executable command (with arguments) to be run

In future exercises, you'll want to switch between condor_q and condor_q -nobatch to see different types of information about YOUR jobs.

Extra Information

Both condor_status and condor_q have many command-line options, some of which significantly change their output. You will explore a few of the most useful options in future exercises, but if you want to experiment now, go ahead! There are a few ways to learn more about the commands:

  • Use the (brief) built-in help for the commands, e.g.: condor_q -h
  • Read the installed man(ual) pages for the commands, e.g.: man condor_q
  • Find the command in the online manual; note: the text online is the same as the man text, only formatted for the web