BOSCO is a job submission manager designed to help researchers manage large numbers (~1000s) of job submissions to the different resources that they can access on a campus (initially a PBS cluster running Linux).

If you find any problems or need help installing or running BoSCO, please email

Bosco offers the following capabilities:

  • Jobs are automatically resubmitted when they fail. The researcher does not need to babysit their jobs.
  • Job submissions can be throttled to meet batch scheduler settings (e.g. only 10 jobs running concurrently). The researcher does not need to make multiple submissions. BOSCO handles that for them.
  • BOSCO is designed to be flexible and allows jobs to be submitted to multiple clusters, with different job schedulers (e.g. PBS, LSF, HTCondor, SGE, and SLURM).

The primary advantage for the researcher is that they only need to learn one job scheduler environment even if the clusters utilize different native environments.

BOSCO definitions, versions and documents

  • The BOSCO submit node is the host where BOSCO is installed and where user's login to submit jobs via BOSCO.
  • The multiple clusters added to BOSCO (i.e. where the user's can submit jobs via BOSCO) are referred as BOSCO resources.
  • BOSCO resources can be a traditional cluster or a pool of resources connected via HTCondor, another BOSCO installation, Grid, or some other technology. Anyway all BOSCO resources have a submit node (where you would login to submit jobs if you had no BOSCO) and worker nodes (where the jobs run).

This page explains how to use BOSCO. Before using BOSCO you, or someone for you, will have to install a version of BOSCO and add at least one BOSCO resource. Adding, testing and removing BOSCO resources is part of the BOSCO configuration.

BOSCO Single User allows a researcher to install BOSCO in her/his (non-privileged) account, to configure it and to use it. If you plan (at least initially) to connect a single cluster (BOSCO Single User Single Cluster) then use the BOSCO Quick Start Guide. Otherwise, to install and configure BOSCO Single-user read BOSCO Single User Installation.

BOSCO Multi User is installed, configured and started on a host by the system administrator (root) and is available to all the users on the host. To install and configure BOSCO Multi-user read BOSCO Multi User Installation.

Later in this document we'll assume that BOSCO has been already installed and configured correctly. For the installation or to change the configuration (e.g. to add or remove BOSCO resources) please check the other documents: BOSCO Single User Installation and BOSCO Multi User Installation.


There are specific requirements for the BOSCO resources that are specified in the install documents.

To use BOSCO you need a BOSCO submit host with BOSCO installed and configured correctly. All requirements for the BOSCO submit host and the BOSCO resources, as well as the requirements to include BOSCO in a more complex Condor setup, are described in the install documents.

How to Install

Either you or a system administrator for you will have to install and setup BOSCO. The installation consists in downloading and installing the BOSCO software. The setup consists in managing which clusters are included in the BOSCO pool and will execute your jobs; it includes all the operations performed using the bosco_cluster command. The installation and setup are covered in two separate documents:

  • To install and setup BOSCO so that it is used and configured from a single user account please refer to Bosco Installation
  • To install and setup BOSCO so that it is configured from a single user account but it can be used by all the accounts on the host please refer to Bosco Multiuser

How to Use

In order to use BOSCO and submit a job:

  1. BOSCO must be installed
  2. BOSCO must be running (it must have been started)
  3. At least one cluster must have been added to BOSCO
  4. You must setup the environment

Starting/Stopping and Configuring BOSCO

Each time I mention "you" in this section refers either to you or to a system administrator that acts on your behalf, probably the same person that installed BOSCO.

BOSCO has some persistent services that must be running. You'll have to start it at the beginning and probably after each reboot of your host. You should stop BOSCO before an upgrade and possibly before a shutdown of your host. If you will not use BOSCO anymore, uninstall will remove it from your system.

You need to add to BOSCO all the clusters of which you like to use the resources. In order to run jobs you need at least one.

Please refer to the Bosco Installation or Bosco Multiuser documents for operations including:

  • starting BOSCO
  • stopping BOSCO
  • updating BOSCO
  • uninstalling BOSCO
  • adding one or more clusters to BOSCO


Setup the environment before using Since BOSCO is not installed in the system path. An environment file must be sourced all the times you use BOSCO (start/stop/job submission or query, anything):

source ~/bosco/bosco_setenv


Useful Configuration and Log Files

BOSCO underneath is using Condor. You can find all the Condor log files in ~/bosco/local.HOSTNAME/log

Known Issues

  • Make sure that BOSCO is running. BOSCO may not survive after you log out. When you log back in after sourcing the setup (source ~/bosco/bosco_setenv), if you are using BOSCO single-user you should start BOSCO (bosco_start) specially if the command condor_q is failing. More details about starting BOSCO are in BoscoInstall and BoscoMultiUser

Get Help/Support

To get assistance you can send an email to