Long Running Jobs vs Runaways

For Linux users,

In general, a runaway is a program that’s been running for a few hours in the background by a user who is no longer logged in. Linux windowing systems, applications that aren’t shut down properly, and users testing their programs can cause runaways. We have a long standing policy to find and terminate any runaways.

It’s not always possible to determine what constitutes a runaway and what constitutes an “intentional” long running background job. Therefore, unless we have been given prior notice by a user who wants to have a long running background job, we will terminate it.

Send e-mail to: support@cat.pdx.edu and let us know that you need to have a long running background job. However, the background job must have some redeemable purpose, like having something to do with coursework or research.

Make sure you nice your job to something non-zero, so that interactive work by users will take precedence.

systemname.domain.pdx.edu> /usr/bin/nice -5 myprog


Run your background jobs on provided servers only:

ruby, rita, ada, babbage, auto, mo


For more information, see our full guidelines for locking workstations and long running jobs.