Slurm resource manager

Queue management system Slurm #

We use Slurm resource manager to schedule all user jobs on our cluster. The job is an ordinary shell script which is submitted to the queue by sbatch command. This script contains the information about requested resources (number of nodes, amount of RAM, required time). The user can use the usual bash commands inside this script. The script is executed by the system only on the first reserved core. The user should take care of executing his programs on other cores, e.g. with mpirun tool.

Example #

Let’s start with a simple example for job sleep for just one core and maximum execution time equal to 5 minutes. Create the file with the following content:

#SBATCH --job-name sleep
#SBATCH --nodes=1
#SBATCH --time=05:00

echo "Start date: $(date)"
sleep 60
echo "  End date: $(date)"

You can enqueue this job with sbatch command:


Strings starting with prefix #SBATCH define the parameters for sbatch command. You can also specify these parameters explicitly in the command line, e.g.:

sbatch  --job-name sleep  --nodes=1  --time=5:00

sbatch command #

The main parameters for sbatch command:

  • -D path or --chdir=path
    The working dir of the job, by default the current dir is used.
  • -e path/file or --error=path/file
  • -o path/file or --output=path/file
    The file names for standard error (stderr) and standard output (stdout) streams, by default both streams are joined in one file slurm-<job_id>.out in the current dir.
  • --mail-type=NONE,FAIL,BEGIN,END,ALL and others
    Select type of events for notifying the user via e-mail: NONE — no notifications, FAIL — in case of job abortion, BEGIN — job start, END — job finish. You can select several events. More details in the manual man sbatch.
  • --mail-user=e-mail
    The e-mail address for notifications, by default the owner of the job.
  • -J name or --job-name=name
    The name of the job.
  • -p queue or --partition=queue
    The execution queue for the job. The default queue is normal.
  • -n N or --ntasks=N
    Ask for N processes.
  • -N N or --nodes=N
    Ask for N nodes.
  • --nodes=N --ntasks-per-node=M
    Ask for N nodes with M processes on each node.
  • --cpus-per-task=N
    Ask for N CPU cores for each process (e.g. for MPI+OpenMP hybrid jobs). Default is 1 CPU core per process.
  • --mem=size
    The required memory size per each node. The size is a number with one of the suffixes K, M, G. E.g., --mem=16G will request 16 GB of memory per each node.
  • -t time or --time=time
    The maximum execution time for the job. The job will be terminated after this time is exceeded. Default time limit is 1 hour. The maximum time you can request is 7 days. E.g., walltime=1:45:00 will stop the execution of the job after 1 hour and 45 minutes.
  • -C list or --constraint=list
    A comma-delimited list of extra constraints for nodes. Current contraints are: ib – working InfiniBand, avx, avx2, avx512 – CPUs with support for AVX, AVX2 и AVX-512 CPU command extensions.

Some useful environment variables defined by the Slurm management system:

    The directory from which the user submitted the job.
    Unique ID of job.
    The hostname of the current node.
    Number of allocated CPU cores per job.

You can find more information in the manual man sbatch.

squeue command #

You can check the status of the jobs with squeue command. You will get the information for specific user running squeue -u user. The current state of the job is shown in ST column.

  • PD — the job is waiting in the queue for requested resources.
  • R — the job is running.
  • Other states are documented in the manual man squeue.

You can get the list of nodes allocated for your job in the NODELIST column.

The command squeue -l will show requested time for each job, and squeue --start will show an estimated time of a job start.

scancel command #

You can remove your job from the queue, e.g. in case you requested to much cores, with the command scancel <job_id>. You can also remove the running job the same way, in this case the job will be terminated first.

slurmtop program #

You can monitor the general statistics about cluster usage with slurmtop program. Press key q for exit.

Available queues #

Queue Nodes Total cores Max walltime
normal n[01-36] 1440 7 days
short n[37-38] 48 1 hour

The default queue is normal. Maximum walltime for a job is 7 days. The more nodes job is using the less the maximum walltime is. The general rule is the following: the amount of used nodes (including partially used) multiplied by the walltime should not exceed 432 node-hours.

Nodes amount Max cores Max walltime
1 40 7 days
2 80 7 days
3 120 6 days
4 160 108 h
6 240 72 h
8 320 54 h
12 480 36 h
16 640 27 h
18 720 24 h
24 960 18 h
36 1440 12 h
Node-hours limitations may be decreased. Please check the updates at that page.

Additional limit for long jobs (more than 24 hours): all running long jobs may use only up to 18 nodes simultaneously.

Additional queue short is used for tests, maximum walltime is 1 hour.

Queues x10core, x12core, x20core, mix and long have been completely removed in January, 2023.

Additional restrictions for guest users #

Several additional restrictions apply to jobs submitted by user student.

Starting from December 3, 2021, the total number of cores available for user student is restricted to 128. Any job requesting more than 128 cores will be rejected. Several jobs may run in parallel as long as their total usage of cores does not exceed 128 cores.

Starting from February 10, 2022, the maximum time limit for jobs submitted by user student is decreased to 4 hours. Similarly to earlier total core restrictions, an additional restriction is set to limit the total number of used nodes. Any job requesting more than 4 nodes will be rejected. Several jobs may run in parallel as long as they use no more than 4 nodes.