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The most common reason: Insufficient Project Allocation

The job 1234567 is on hold because the project xy11 doesn't have sufficient allocation. It needs at least 14.4 kSU available in xy11's compute grant to be considered to run. 

$ qstat -sw 1234567
                                                                                                   Req'd  Req'd   Elap
Job ID                         Username        Queue           Jobname         SessID   NDS  TSK   Memory Time  S Time
------------------------------ --------------- --------------- --------------- -------- ---- ----- ------ ----- - -----
1234567.gadi-pbs               abc111          normal-exec     test_2x2          --     30       1440    400gb 05:00   H  --
   Project xy11 does not have sufficient allocation to run job (14.40 KSU required)

To confirm the project's grant position, please run `nci_account -P <project_code>`. For the <project_code>=xy11 example, run  

$ nci_account -P xy11
Usage Report: Project=xy11 Period=2020.q3
    Grant:    75.00 KSU
     Used:    64.22 KSU
 Reserved:     0.00 SU
    Avail:    10.78 KSU 
It shows the project xy11 has only 10.78 kSU available, not enough to support the job 1234567.  
In this case, the project's lead CI needs to contact the scheme manager to ask for more SUs. NCI will top up the compute grant according to the scheme manager's approval.

Other Common Reasons

There are also other common reasons for jobs not running. Please see below for more information and possible solutions. 

Job held, project <prj> is over storage allocation on <filesystem: scratch/gdata>: storage

           Your job is held up because the project storage space on scratch/gdata is over it's disk quota. 

Take action

Please run nci_account to know what has been exceeded: Allocation or Inode Allocation (number of files/dirs).
Project team members will have to cleanup that space and bring the storage usage sufficiently under Allocation/iAllocation.

Only after this can jobs be released.

Not Running: Insufficient amount of resource: ncpus 

Currently, there are not enough CPU cores available to start this job. 

Nothing is wrong. The job is simply waiting for its turn to run.

Not Running: Insufficient amount of resource: mem 

Currently,  there is not enough memory available to start this job.

Nothing is wrong. The job is simply waiting for its turn to run.

Not Running: Insufficient amount of resource: job_tags 

This comment suggests there are not enough nodes of the right specification available to start this job.

Nothing is wrong. The job is simply waiting for its turn to run.

Not Running: Job would conflict with reservation or top job 

The job is waiting for another job before it will have resources available to run.

Nothing is wrong. The job is simply waiting for its turn to run.

Not Running: PBS Error: Could not reserve allocation from project “<prj>” to run job 

This comment can be temporary for a job during the period that the job scheduler reconsiders to run it. When it is not transient, similar to the example shown above, it suggests that the project has not enough SU in the `Avail` account.

Jobs with this comment might be able to run when the `Reserved` SUs returns to `Avail` depending on the actual usage of the just-finished jobs.

Not Running: Job would cross dedicated time boundary 

Jobs with a walltime limit that would extend into a scheduled downtime will not be started until the scheduled maintenance finishes. If you know the job won't use all the requested walltime, please request it as close to the actual usage as possible.

If it is not possible to reduce the walltime limit to allow zero overlap between the job's potential execution time and the scheduled downtime, the job has to wait to be started after the downtime window.

Not Running: PBS Error: Waiting for software licences 

Jobs that flagged PBS with the directive `-lsoftware=<software_string>` may run into this when the LSD record shows there are not enough licence seats available for the job to run.

Most of the time, it is just a matter of waiting a bit longer. Once the licence seats are released from other jobs they will serve the next waiting job. To look up how many jobs waiting ahead of yours, please search the `<software_string>` in the licence status page.

If you believe the LSD record is wrong and there are actually enough licence seats for your job to checkout,  please launch a ticket and provide us with the jobIDs.

Not Running: PBS Error: Execution server rejected request 

This comment should be transitional. It suggests the job was scheduled to run just now but the compute node that was scheduled to run the job had some issues and is unable to run the job at that time.

If you see it in your job for more than 10 minutes, please launch a ticket and provide us with the jobIDs, and we will endeavour to fix the problem.

Job held, too many failed attempts to run 

This comment appears when a job has had too many failed attempts to start, similar to the error message above `Execution server rejected request`. PBS was trying to start the job several times, but failed every time. This is an indication that either there is something seriously wrong in the job submission script or every attempted start sends the job to the same failed but not yet detected node(s).

The job is put on hold to allow our HPC team to investigate. You can't release the job, but you can certainly try to submit it again after making sure that the script is OK. If the jobs is put again on hold, please launch a ticket along with the jobID's, and we will look into the issue for you. 

Can't find your error here? Try looking in out PBS FAQ and see if your error is listed there.

If not, please contact the NCI Helpdesk, or contact, and we will endeavour to assist you.

Authors: Yue Sun, Andrew Wellington, Mohsin Ali