Distributed Computing

These guidelines are intended to illustrate the department's policies on distributed computing jobs on the department UNIX machines. These might include net-wide contests such as the RC5 encryption challenge and ongoing projects such as SETI@home. While CS UNIX machines can be used for distributed computing projects, such use must in no way compromise or interfere with the use of those machines for any academic or research use.

Within that limitation, the usual guidelines regarding system resource use must be followed. Any distributed computing job must be submitted to an automatic queuing system such as condor. On any platform where such a system is not installed, nonacademic distributed computing jobs may not be run.

The department has the right to kill any distributed computing job for any reason at any time. (The usual reason would be a failure to follow the above guidelines.)

If you believe you have a compelling reason not to follow the above guidelines, write gripe [at] cs [dot] utexas [dot] edu before doing so.

Resource use guidelines from the "UNIX Usage Guidelines" page include:

  • For those machines that have a batch processing system installed,
    • Any long-running CPU-intensive process should be submitted to the queueing system to run. It will automatically pick a lightly loaded machine, suspend the process when someone begins using the console, and ensure that no one hogs an excessive number of machines.
    • Any other long-running CPU-intensive jobs are subject to being killed at any time.
  • For those machines that do not support a batch processing queue,
    • No user should have more than one long-running CPU-intensive process on any public computer at any time.
    •  When possible, users should ensure that there is not already a long-running process on a computer before starting another one (the "top" command).
    • Long-running processes should be reniced to a lower priority if possible.

If processes appear to be in violation of these guidelines or are very idle and appear to have been abandoned, they will be killed by the staff. If users appear to be in violation of lab behavior guidelines, possible actions can range from a reprimand, to the loss of an account, to referral to school or state authorities for disciplinary action.

If you believe you have a compelling reason to ignore any of this policy, please send mail to gripe [at] cs [dot] utexas [dot] edu before you take action.