useg -  A Graphical Interface for Batch Jobs


The PPPL Research Computing Center provides a variety of computational resources for running batch jobs.  There are several compute clusters with different characteristics.  Users submit jobs to the cluster and can monitor job progress.  The batch system can also provide exclusive interactive shells with selected resources such as number of CPUs and an amount of memory.  A graphical interface for submitting and managing interactive and queued jobs has been developed at PPPL.

Based on the use command, useg provides a graphical menu interface for submitting jobs to the cluster.

intro

Figure 1  -  The useg graphical interface.

Log in to one of the portal computers to run useg.  The full path to the program is /usr/pppl/ppplcluster/1.1/bin/useg.  It will be in your path when you do:  module load ppplcluster

The interface is organized in 4 tabs and shows your history of jobs.

1.  Terminal

The Terminal menu is for creating a dedicated shell with exclusive resources, as shown in Figure 1.  The pulldown menu for System Type lets you choose the type of cluster that will start the new shell.  You can request the number of CPUs and the amount of memory assigned to the shell.  If you select the GPU system then you can specify the number of GPUs.  The new shell will come up in an xterm.  There are many command line options for customizing an xterm.  You can enter options into the field and they will be applied.  Clicking on Start Session submits a request to the batch system to run an interactive job that starts the new shell.    The new shell will pop up and become active as soon as it starts running in the queue.  This job will be added to your run history as an Interactive Type.  The history entry will initially be color-coded yellow indicating that it is queued.  The entry will change to green when the shell starts running.  When the shell is finished the history entry will become cyan.

You can repeat a prior terminal run configuration by clicking on it in the History panel and clicking on the Re-Submit button.  This re-populates the menu fields with the prior configuration and submits a new request to the queue.

You can recall a prior configuration by clicking on it and then clicking on Load.  This re-populates the menu fields in case you want to make any changes before starting a new session.


2.  CPU/TIME

Go to the CPU/TIME page to submit a job and request cluster resources for running a PBS script.  The menu is shown in Figure 2.  You can request the number of CPUs, the amount of memory, and the amount of wall time for running your job.  Enter the full path of the script or click on Browse to bring up a file selection dialog.  The actual batch command is shown in the text field.  The command will automatically update as you enter items in the interface, such as wall time.  Click on Submit to send your script to the cluster.  The job will be added to your run history as a Batch type.  It will be color-coded according to run status.

You can repeat a prior script run configuration by clicking on it in the History panel and clicking on the Re-Submit button.  This re-populates the menu fields with the prior configuration and sends a new run request to the queue.

You can recall a prior configuration by clicking on it and then clicking on Load.  This re-populates the menu fields in case you want to make any changes before running it again.

Advanced users can edit the Batch Command text field with other command line arguments to qsub.

cpu/time

Figure 2 - Menu page for submitting batch job and selecting compute resources.

3.  Job Script

To run a job from a specific PBS script go to the Job Script page shown in Figure 3.  Enter the full path name of the PBS script or click the Browse button to bring up a file selection dialog.

You can also recall or resubmit a job script by selecting it in the history panel.

jobscript

Figure 3 - Menu page for submitting a PBS script that has its own resource description.

4.  Help

There are built-in help topics available on the Help tab as shown in Figure 4. 

The Interactive Terminal Help window describes the different clusters and their usage guidelines.  Check this list to determine the best location for starting a new shell. 

The Batch Help window provides information on the CPU/Time interface and the Job Script page.

The History Help window describes the color-coding of jobs in the history panel.  The color-coding automatically updates as a job progresses. 

Tooltips are also provided on many of the menu items.

help

Figure 4 - Help menus.

5.  History

A listing of all the jobs that you have submitted is maintained in the History panel.  Click on a line in the panel to select a job.

You can get the details about a job by selecting it and clicking on Info.  This brings up a window with the qstat job information and error output.  It also provides a Kill button if you want to force a queued or running job to exit.

The Load button takes the parameters of the selected job and loads them into the user interface fields.  This enables changing some fields before running a new job.

The Re-Submit button takes the parameters of the selected job and submits a new job to the batch system.

The Remove button removes the selected job from the history.

The run history is stored in a text file named .useg in your home directory.


Acknowledgements:  useg is developed at PPPL by Michael Knyszek, Eliot Feibush, Irena Johnson, Kevin Ying, and Paul Henderson.