Why does "msub" give the error "qsub: illegal -d value"?


When jobs are submitted using "msub", the following error is observered, either returned on the command-line or in the "checkjob" messages:
job submit failed - [qsub: illegal -d value]

This may only happen for some users, and only when jobs are submitted from certain directories. 


By default, Torque will verify that the user submitting a job has access to the directory specified in the "-d" option.  When jobs are submitted via "msub", Moab will add the "-d" option for the directory the job was submitted from.  

When a job is being submitted from a host other than the Torque server, that directory may not be mounted, or may have different access permissions, resulting in the verification failing.  Note that the directory might be mounted on all of the compute nodes, and the job might run just fine, but Torque is unable to verify that. 


There are two ways to resolve this:

  1. Simply make sure the Torque server has all the directories required by the job mounted with the correct permissions.   When a user submits a job from a given directory on a login or compute node, they should also be able to "cd" to that path on the server. 
  2. Tell Torque not to check the directory specified by the "-d" option.  This is done be setting an option in the configuration file (<torque-home>/torque.cfg).  Set the option to false by adding this line (creating the file if necessary), then restarting pbs_server:    VALIDATEPATH   FALSE

Either of these approaches should resolve this.

Tags: invalid path, VALIDATEPATH
Last update:
2019-01-07 21:40
Rob Greenbank
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