Quest Quick Start Guide
This page provides help getting started with connecting to, accessing software on, and submitting jobs to the Quest computing cluster.
You will need to be logged in to Quest to get started. Visit
Logging into Quest
for further instructions.
For a video tutorial of Quest, see Introduction to Quest Fundamentals.
Once you've logged into Quest, you will begin in your Home directory: /home/<NetID>. The home directory has 80GB of storage and is backed up nightly. Backups are kept for two weeks.
You can navigate to the projects directory of your allocation by typing
Project directories are not backed up. You can check how much storage you have by typing
If you are not familiar with using command line, this tutorial, Learning the Shell, will help you learn the basics.
Note that throughout this guide, items in angle brackets (<>) in example commands are parameters you need to change relative to your account and work. Do not include <> around the values you substitute into the commands.
Moving Files onto Quest
Software available on Quest
Many applications are available on Quest. You can access them through modules, which modify your environment to enable you to run the software. Quest uses modules so that multiple versions of the same software can be available for different users.
See Modules Software Environment Manager for examples of loading software with modules and a list of common commands.
If you would like additional software packages installed on Quest, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Additionally, you can also install software in your own home or project directories.
Running Jobs on Quest
When you first log in to Quest, you will be on one of the four login nodes: quser10, quser11, quser12, or quser13. From the login nodes, you can submit jobs to the compute nodes, edit files, and perform small test jobs.
To take advantage of Quest's computing power, jobs can be submitted to the compute nodes in two ways: Interactive jobs, which are particularly useful for GUI applications, or Batch jobs, which are the most common jobs on Quest. Interactive jobs are appropriate for GUI applications like Stata, testing and prototyping of programs, running jobs with small core counts (< 6), and for short duration jobs. Batch jobs are appropriate for jobs with no GUI interface, large core counts, or long duration.See Submitting a Job on Quest for more details, example job submission commands, and an example of a submission script.
Managing Your Jobs on Quest
|showq -u <your_netID>||Shows your active jobs and their job numbers|
|showq –w account = <your_allocation>||Shows your allocation’s active jobs and their job numbers|
Shows information about your specific job, including job status
|checkjob -v <job_number>||Detailed report from checkjob which is useful for debugging|
|canceljob <job_number>||Cancels your job from the command line|
|canceljob ALL||Cancels all of your jobs from the command line|
For more information about managing your jobs visit Managing Jobs on Quest.
Learn more about using Quest. If you need more personalized assistance, send an email stating your issue to email@example.com and the Northwestern IT Research Computing Services team will assist you with your issue.