Appendices > Appendix A: Commands overview > pbsdsh


Distribute tasks to nodes under pbs.


pbsdsh [-c copies] [-o] [-s] [-u] [-v] program [args]
pbsdsh [-n node] [-o] [-s] [-u] [-v] program [args]
pbsdsh [-h nodename] [-o] [-v] program [args]


Executes (spawns) a normal Unix® program on one or more nodes under control of the Portable Batch System, PBS. Pbsdsh uses the Task Manager API (see tm_spawn(3)) to distribute the program on the allocated nodes.

When run without the -c or the -n option, pbsdsh will spawn the program on all nodes allocated to the PBS job. The spawns take place concurrently – all execute at (about) the same time.

Users will find the PBS_TASKNUM, PBS_NODENUM, and the PBS_VNODENUM environmental variables useful. They contain the TM task id, the node identifier, and the cpu (virtual node) identifier.


Option Name Description
-c copies The program is spawned on the first Copies nodes allocated. This option is mutual exclusive with -n.
-h hostname The program is spawned on the node specified.
-n node The program is spawned on one node which is the n-th node allocated. This option is mutual exclusive with -c.
-o --- Capture stdout of the spawned program. Normally stdout goes to the job's output.
-s --- If this option is given, the program is run in turn on each node, one after the other.
-u --- The program is run once on each node (unique). This ignores the number of allocated processors on a given node.
-v --- Verbose output about error conditions and task exit status is produced.


The first operand, program, is the program to execute.

Additional operands are passed as arguments to the program.

Standard error

The pbsdsh command will write a diagnostic message to standard error for each error occurrence.

Exit status

Upon successful processing of all the operands presented to the command, the exit status will be a value of zero.

If the pbsdsh command fails to process any operand, or fails to contact the MOM daemon on the localhost the command exits with a value greater than zero.

Related topics 

Non-Adaptive Computing topics