Link to CHTC Home Page

Logins have changed for users with accounts on submit1 and submit2: please see the login guide for details on your new login information.

HTC System Overview

High-Throughput Computing at CHTC

The CHTC high-throughput computing (HTC) cluster provides support a variety of computational research tasks. The HTC system offers CPUs/GPUs, high-memory nodes, and other specialized hardware. Workflows that run well on this system include RNA/DNA sequencing, machine learning workflows, weather modeling, monte carlo simulations, etc.

To get access to the HTC System, please complete our New User Consultation Form. After your request is received, a Research Computing Facilitator will follow up to discuss the computational needs of your research and connect you with computing resources (including non-CHTC services) that best fit your needs.

HTC System User Policies

See our User Policies and Expectations for details on general CHTC policies.

HTC System Specific Policies

Below are some of the default limits on CHTC’s HTC system. Note that as a large-scale computing center, we want you to be able to run at a large scale - often much larger than these defaults. Please contact the facilitation team whenever you encounter one of these limits so we can adjust your account settings or discuss alternative ways to achieve your computing goals.

  • Jobs with long runtimes. There is a default run limit of 72 hours for each job queued in the HTC System, once it starts running. Jobs longer than this will be placed in HTCondor’s “hold” state. If your jobs will be longer, contact the CHTC facilitation team, and we’ll help you to determine the best solution.
  • Submitting many jobs from one submit file. HTCondor is designed to submit thousands (or more) jobs from one submit file. If you are submitting over 10,000 jobs per submit file or want to queue more than 50,000 total jobs as a single user, please email us as we have strategies to submit that many jobs in a way that will ensure you have as many jobs running as possible without also compromising queue performance.
  • Submitting many short jobs from one submit file. While HTCondor is designed to submit thousands of jobs at a time, many short jobs can overwhelm the submit server, resulting in other jobs taking much longer to start than usual. If you plan on submitting over 1000 jobs per submit file, we ask that you ensure each job has a minimum run time of 5 minutes (on average).
  • The default disk quota is 20 GB in your /home directory, as a starting point. You can track your use of disk space and your quota value, using our Quota Guide. If you need more space for concurrent work, please send an email to
  • Submitting jobs with "large" files: HTCondor's normal file transfer mechanism ("transfer_input_files") is good for files up to 100MB in size (or 500MB total, per job). For jobs with larger files, please see our guide on File Availability Options, and contact us to make arrangements.

HTC Hardware and Configuration

The HTC System consists of several submit servers and many compute (aka execute) nodes. All users log in at a login node, and submit their workflow as HTCondor jobs that run on execute points.

HTC Operating System and Software

Submit servers in the HTC System are running CentOS 7 Linux.

Due to the distributed and independent nature of the HTC system’s execute points, there can be a variety of operating systems on the pool of execution point resources (especially for users that opt into running jobs on the globally available OSPool operated by the OSG). However, the default operating system is CentOS 8 Stream Linux unless users request to run on a different operating system using their HTCondor submit file.

The HTC system is a test bed for the HTCondor Software Suite, and thus is typically running the latest or soon-to-be-released versions of HTCondor.

To see more details of other software on the cluster, see our HTC Guides page.

HTC Submit Servers

There are multiple submit servers for the HTC system. The two most common submit servers are and (formerly and, respectively). All users will be notified what submit server they should log into when their account is created.

HTC Execute Nodes

Only execute nodes will be used for performing your computational work.

By default, when users submit HTCondor jobs, their jobs will only run on execute points owned and managed by CHTC staff. As of January 2024, there are approximately 40,000 CPU slots and 80+ GPU slots available in the CHTC execute pool.

Some users, particularly those requesting GPUs, may wish to access additional execute points so that they may have more jobs running simultantiously. HTC users can opt in to allowing their jobs to run on additional execute points not owned or managed by CHTC staff. There are two additional execute pools that users can opt into using: the UW Grid and the OSG’s OSPool. There are many advantages to opting into running on these execute pools, such as accessing more GPUs, accessing different computer architectures, and having more jobs running in parallel. However, because these machines are not managed by CHTC and thus are backfilling on hardware owned by other entities, it is recommended that users only opt into using these resources if they have short (<~10 hours), inturruptable jobs. For more information, see the Scaling Beyond Local HTC Capacity guide.

Fair Share Allocation

To promote fair access to HTC computing resources, all users are subject to a fair-share policy. This “fair-share” policy means that users who have run many jobs in the near-past will have a lower priority, and users with little recent activity will see their waiting jobs start sooner. (The HTC system does not have a strict “first-in-first-out” queue policy.)

Resource requests will also impact the number of jobs a user has running. Smaller jobs (those requesting smaller amounts of CPUs, memory, and disk) as well as more flexible jobs (those requesting to use a variety of GPUs instead of a specific GPU type) are able to match to more execute points than larger, less flexible jobs. Thus, these jobs will start sooner and more jobs will run in parallel.

Data Storage and Management

Data space in the HTC system is not backed-up and should be treated as temporary by users. Only files necessary for actively-running jobs should be kept on the filesystem, and files should be removed from the system when jobs complete. A primary copy of any essential files (e.g. software, submit files, input) should be kept in an alternate, non-CHTC storage location.

CHTC Staff reserve the right to remove any significant amounts of data on the HTC System in our efforts to maintain filesystem performance for all users.

Tools for Managing /home and /staging Space

Check /home Quota and Usage

To see what disk and items quotas are currently set for your /home direcotry, use the quota -vs command. See the example below:

[alice@submit]$ quota -vs
Disk quotas for user alice (uid 20384): 
     Filesystem   space   quota   limit   grace   files   quota   limit   grace
      /dev/sdb1  12690M  20480M  30720M            161k       0       0        

The output will list your total data usage under blocks on the /dev/sbd1 filesystem that manages user /home data:

  • space (MB): the amount of disk space you are currently using
  • quota (MB): your soft quota. This is the value we recommend you consider to be your “quota”.
  • limit (MB): the hard limit or absolute maximum amount of space you can use. This value is almost always 10GB larger than your soft quota, and is only provided as a helpful spillover space. Once you hit this hard limit value, you and your jobs will no longer be allowed to save data.
  • files: the number of files in your /home directory. /home does not typically restrict the number of files a user can have, which is why there are no values for file quota and limit

Each of the disk space values are given in megabytes (MB), which can be converted to gigabytes (GB) by dividing by 1024.

Check /staging Quota and Usage

To see your /staging quota and usage, use the get_quotas <NetID> command. For example,

[NetID@ap2001 ~]$ get_quotas /staging/NetID

If the output of this command is blank, it means you do not have a /staging directory. Contact CHTC staff to request one at any time.

Alternative Commands to Check Quotas

Alternatively, the ncdu command can also be used to see how many files and directories are contained in a given path:

[NetID@ap2001 ~]$ ncdu /home/NetID
[NetID@ap2001 ~]$ ncdu /staging/NetID

When ncdu has finished running, the output will give you a total file count and allow you to navigate between subdirectories for even more details. Type q when you're ready to exit the output viewer. More info here:

Request a Quota Increase

Increased quotas on either of these locations are available upon email request to after a user has cleared out old data and run relevant test jobs to inform the request. In your request, please include both size (in GB) and file/directory counts. If you don't know how many files your installation creates, because it's more than the current items quota, simply indicate that in your request.