LSF job exit codes

Exit codes are generated by LSF when jobs end due to signals received instead of exiting normally. LSF collects exit codes via the wait3() system call on UNIX platforms. The LSF exit code is a result of the system exit values. Exit codes less than 128 relate to application exit values, while exit codes greater than 128 relate to system signal exit values (LSF adds 128 to system values). Use bhist to see the exit code for your job.

How or why the job may have been signaled, or exited with a certain exit code, can be application and/or system specific. The application or system logs might be able to give a better description of the problem.


Termination signals are operating system dependent, so signal 5 may not be SIGTRAP and 11 may not be SIGSEGV on all UNIX and Linux systems. You need to pay attention to the execution host type in order to correct translate the exit value if the job has been signaled.

Application exit values

The most common cause of abnormal LSF job termination is due to application system exit values. If your application had an explicit exit value less than 128, bjobs and bhist display the actual exit code of the application; for example, Exited with exit code 3. You would have to refer to the application code for the meaning of exit code 3.

It is possible for a job to explicitly exit with an exit code greater than 128, which can be confused with the corresponding system signal. Make sure that applications you write do not use exit codes greater than128.

System signal exit values

Jobs terminated with a system signal are returned by LSF as exit codes greater than 128 such that exit_code-128=signal_value. For example, exit code 133 means that the job was terminated with signal 5 (SIGTRAP on most systems, 133-128=5). A job with exit code 130 was terminated with signal 2 (SIGINT on most systems, 130-128 = 2).

Some operating systems define exit values as 0-255. As a result, negative exit values or values > 255 may have a wrap-around effect on that range. The most common example of this is a program that exits -1 will be seen with "exit code 255" in LSF.

bhist and bjobs output

In most cases, bjobs and bhist show the application exit value (128 + signal). In some cases, bjobs and bhist show the actual signal value.

If LSF sends catchable signals to the job, it displays the exit value. For example, if you run bkill jobID to kill the job, LSF passes SIGINT, which causes the job to exit with exit code 130 (SIGINT is 2 on most systems, 128+2 = 130).

If LSF sends uncatchable signals to the job, then the entire process group for the job exits with the corresponding signal. For example, if you run bkill -s SEGV jobID to kill the job, bjobs and bhist show:
Exited by signal 7

In addition, bjobs displays the termination reason immediately following the exit code or signal value. For example:

Exited by signal 24. The CPU time used is 84.0 seconds.
Completed <exit>; TERM_CPULIMIT: job killed after reaching LSF CPU usage limit.

Unknown termination reasons appear without a detailed description in the bjobs output as follows:

Completed <exit>;


The following example shows a job that exited with exit code 130, which means that the job was terminated by the owner.

bkill 248
Job <248> is being terminated
bjobs -l 248
Job <248>, User <user1>, Project <default>, Status <EXIT>, Queue <normal>, Command
Sun May 31 13:10:51 2009: Submitted from host <host1>, CWD <$HOME>;
Sun May 31 13:10:54 2009: Started on <host5>, Execution Home </home/user1>, 
                          Execution CWD <$HOME>;
Sun May 31 13:11:03 2009: Exited with exit code 130. The CPU time used is 0.9 seconds.
Sun May 31 13:11:03 2009: Completed <exit>; TERM_OWNER: job killed by owner.