System software queries

What Linux distribution version am I running?

The following commands can be used:

cat /etc/redhat-release


lsb_release -a

What Linux kernel level am I running?

The following command works:

uname -r

What software levels are installed on the system?

The Module utility is used to install packages on the system. The following will give you a list of available software:

module spider

If you want to see information about your conda environment, you can issue:

conda info

and to see the packages installed, issue:

conda list

System hardware queries

What is my CPU configuration?

The lscpu command will give you information such as architecture, model name, sockets, cores per socket, threads per core, min/max CPU clockspeed, caches sizes:


How much RAM is there on my nodes?

The amount of RAM that is expected to be available on a system is summarized elsewhere. The command to interrogate a node for the total available memory is

grep MemTotal /proc/meminfo

Note that for Satori system, this will include the available GPU RAM as well.

What SMT mode are my nodes in?

The command to interrogate a node for the SMT mode is

ppc64_cpu --smt

What CPU governor is in effect on my nodes?

The command to establish the governor in effect for a node is

frequency-info | grep -A 2 "current policy"

What are the logical IDs and UUIDs for the GPUs on my nodes?

There should be four operational GPUs on every node. The command to obtain a brief pertinent summary for a node is

nvidia-smi -L

A less terse summary may be obtained from


Detailed information may be obtained from

nvidia-smi -q

What is the IBM model of my system?

It can also be obtained from the command

grep "model" /proc/cpuinfo

Which logical CPUs belong to which socket?

Each integrated circuit die on the system is a NUMA node in the output of the command

numactl --hardware


numactl -H

which will list the available logical CPUs and the NUMA nodes to which they belong.

Questions about my jobs

How can I establish which logical CPU IDs my process is bound to?

Establish your process’s ID (PID) using, e.g., the ps command,

ps -ef | grep ${USER}

and then use the taskset command

taskset -acp PID

against the retrieved PID.

Can I see the output of my job before it completes?

Yes. The command


will cat the current output of your job to screen. If your job generates a lot of output, you may prefer to pipe it through other commands: e.g.,

bpeek | tail
bpeek | more
bpeek | less
bpeek | grep ...

to control the output or filter it down to what you find interesting.

I have a job waiting in the queue, and I want to modify the options I had selected

You can use the bmod command to do this in many cases. The only alternative is to bkill your job and resubmit it with the options you prefer edited in.

I have submitted my job several times, but I get no output

There can be several reasons for this: for instance

You may have failed to submit the job properly: e.g., you forgot to use the appropriate redirection: i.e., you issued bsub myBatchScript instead of the correct form bsub < myBatchScript

In your batch script or command line, you may have failed to use one of options (-e, -eo, -o, -oo) that specify the filename that is to capture the stderr and/or stdout streams from your job. In such cases, LSF attempts to mail the output to you; if mail is not set up on the system, your output will never arrive by this route.

The output is not in the directory or filesystem you expect it to be in: this can happen for several reasons; three are: You did not specify a pathname for the output filename of your job, but you used the -cwd option of bsub to change the current working directory of your job; your output will then be in the directory that you specified with the -cwd option. You used a filesystem that has the same pathname on several nodes—e.g., /tmp or an NVMe filesystem—that is not a shared filesystem. You have exhausted your filespace quota.

How do I set a time limit on my job?

Use the -W [h:]m group of the bsub option: e.g., to set a (wall-clock) limit of 90 minutes, use either one of

#BSUB -W 1:30
#BSUB -W 90

Can I make a job’s startup depend on the completion of a previous one?

Yes. LSF provides significant functionality in this context. As a trivial example, consider the following, where the #BSUB -w “done (first_job)” in second_job ensures that it will only start after first_job is done:

$ cat first_job.lsf
#BSUB -J first_job
#BSUB -e "first_job.stderr.\%J"
#BSUB -o "first_job.stdout.\%J"
#BSUB -q "normal"
#BSUB -R "affinity[core]"
#BSUB -M "40"
#BSUB -R "rusage[mem=40]"
#BSUB -x

echo -n "Job first_job started: "; date
sleep 180
echo -n "Job first_job ended:   "; date
$ cat second_job.lsf
#BSUB -J second_job
#BSUB -e "second_job.stderr.\%J"
#BSUB -o "second_job.stdout.\%J"
#BSUB -q "normal"
#BSUB -R "affinity[core]"
#BSUB -M "40"
#BSUB -R "rusage[mem=40]"
#BSUB -w "done (first_job)"
#BSUB -x

echo -n "Job second_job started: "; date
$ bsub < first_job.lsf; bsub < second_job.lsf
Job <34445> is submitted to queue <normal>.
Job <34446> is submitted to queue <normal>.

The second job will start almost immediately after the completion on the first job. You can use the bjobs command to check the status of the jobs.

How do I select a specific set of hosts for my job?

By default, your jobs can be scheduled to any of the hosts that are available to your queue, which may be listed with

bqueues -l queue_name | grep HOSTS

To ensure that jobs are scheduled to some subset of these, add the bsub group -m “hostname1 hostname2 hostname3 … hostnamen”; for instance, to choose from the three hosts node0002, node0042, node0051 in a batch script, add the #BSUB line

#BSUB -m "node0002, node0042, node0051"

Note that the items in the double-quoted list are delimited by white space.

To select a specific node to be the first one in the allocation, follow its hostname by an exclamation mark: e.g.,

#BSUB -m "node0002, node0042, node0051!"

will ensure that node0002 will be the first node in the allocation list.

How do I deselect specific nodes for my job?

To ensure that jobs are not scheduled to specific nodes, say node0034 and node0045, one can add a #BSUB statement such as the following:

#BSUB -R "select[hname!=node0034&&hname!=node0045]"

My job’s runtime environment is different from what I expected

By default, LSF preserves the user’s submit-time environment. If this is not desirable, add the group -L shell_pathname to your bsub command or, e.g.,

#BSUB -L /bin/bash

to your batch script so that your batch job starts in a “pristine” bash shell.

I want to know precisely what my job’s runtime environment is

For serial, POSIX threads, or OpenMP jobs, simply add the line


to your job script after the #BSUB lines.

For jobs that employ Spectrum MPI or OpenMPI, do the above, and, in addition, modify the generic invocation

mpirun ./my_exe my_opts < my_inp > my_out


mpirun > my_out

where the content of (which must be executable: i.e., chmod +x is

./my_exe my_opts < my_inp > my_out

This will generate one file env.${OMPI_COMM_WORLD_RANK} for every extant value of ${OMPI_COMM_WORLD_RANK} in the job.