Suppose we want to dispatch jobs to a collection of servers using GNU parallel. What would happen if one of the servers die(power failure, thermal shutdown...) while busy executing a job? Will GNU parallel just dispatch the same job to another server or will that job be lost forever?

2 Answers 2


It will be lost forever unless you use --retries in which case it will be retried on another server. Also have a look at --filter-hosts to remove hosts that are down.

  • Thanks looking at the man pages, its seems --retries is what I am looking for. It should work well in conjunction with --resume-failed if the job server might go down as well.
    – niobe
    Nov 22, 2016 at 6:29

It seems I should have read the man pages more carefully. We can resume failed jobs by saving a joblog file and resuming from there, like so: parallel --resume-failed --joblog logfile

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