[GE users] Big Problem With SGE on MacOS X (process priority)

jlforrest jlforrest at berkeley.edu
Wed Mar 25 22:44:50 GMT 2009

With Chris Dagdigian's excellent workaround, I'm
successfully running SGE 6.2u2 on Mac OS 10.5.6.
But there's one big problem.

The Macs I'm using are not in a cluster in a dark
room. They're user desktop machines. The problem
I'm having is that even though I configured the
SGE queue to run jobs at a lower than interactive
priority (e.g. +10), the SGE jobs still get
CPU time even when higher priority interactive
processes are being run.

I was under the impression that a higher priority
process will totally preempt lower priority processes.
This apparently isn't true, and the users are
starting to revolt because they're feeling the
effects of the "background" SGE jobs while they
run their interactive jobs.

This problem would not have happened if the
Macs were in a traditional cluster, which
would not have any interactive users.

Does anybody have any ideas on how to solve this
problem? What I've done is to configure SGE
to not start jobs on nodes when the load average
is higher than 6 (these are 8-core machines).
This isn't a good solution because at night,
when there are no interactive users, 2 cores
on each machine remain unused.

Jon Forrest
Research Computing Support
College of Chemistry
173 Tan Hall
University of California Berkeley
Berkeley, CA
jlforrest at berkeley.edu


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