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It is quite painful to discover that a few-day long job is going to be prematurely killed due to an error in setting walltime limit for it.

Is there a way to change it for a running PBS job?

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This is system-specific, but you are looking for the qalter command.

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    $\begingroup$ And usually, if you don't have managing privilege on that system, you will only be able to lower resources, which is probably not what you want... $\endgroup$ – FrenchKheldar Nov 30 '11 at 20:17
  • $\begingroup$ @FrenchKheldar I got the impression that giving this privilege to users is fairly common. It can be of course used to abuse the queue, yet it is trivial to track such behavior. $\endgroup$ – mbq Dec 1 '11 at 0:17
  • $\begingroup$ @mbq I guess my experience is with government machines where I guess there could be more restrictions than in other environments. And as a user always looking for access to computational resources, I would definitely look into this kind of loophole if this was allowed. This means you could circumvent the priority queue by asking for fewer resources... $\endgroup$ – FrenchKheldar Dec 1 '11 at 0:24
  • $\begingroup$ Interesting, I always thought qalter could only increase time limits before the job starts (which I believe I read in the man page). $\endgroup$ – David Z Dec 1 '11 at 2:19
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Contact the IT administrators over your cluster. I know of people that have had other problems, such as jobs that won't start. Once our IT admin's found out, they took care of it.

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For lazy people:

qalter -l walltime=<new walltime> <jobid>
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old question, but I'm adding some additional information for anyone that lands here from Google

Note that once a job is running in TORQUE, any request to lengthen the walltime will be ignored unless the qalter command is executed by a TORQUE manager or operator. To extend the walltime of a running job, you must contact an administrator. You can shorten the walltime of your own running jobs, and if your job is not running (queued or held) you can increase the walltime with qalter.

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