Quick start with TORQUE on Gentoo

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If you do a lot of computational work, you’re probably familiar with PBS, the Portable Batch System. PBS is a specification for software that allows you to submit jobs to a computer cluster and have them executed. While it’s usually used on large, highly parallel cluster computers (with hundreds or thousands of processors), sometimes you might want a copy on a home computer for testing or just to queue up your own personal tasks.

Some time ago I installed TORQUE, an open-source PBS implementation, on my main desktop which runs Gentoo. Here are some tips on the basic procedure I followed.

Enable the server USE flag and emerge the package:

echo "sys-cluster/torque server" >> /etc/portage/package.use
emerge sys-cluster/torque
emerge --config sys-cluster/torque

Check the contents of /var/spool/torque/server_name to make sure it matches your hostname (output of hostname), and /var/spool/torque/server_priv/nodes to make sure that your computer is listed.

your_hostname np=1

where np is the number of processors on your system.

Then start it up!

/etc/init.d/pbs_server start
/etc/init.d/pbs_mom start
/etc/init.d/pbs_sched start

At this point you’re good to go. You can test the system by running echo sleep 30 | qsub, then qstat should show you that the job is running.