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Running Jobs on Slurm Clusters

This document complements the information provided on the Bebop and Swing Cluster pages, forming a comprehensive resource for running jobs effectively. Both pages should be referenced for a complete understanding.

Job Submission Commands

The 3 most common tools you will use to submit jobs are sbatch, srun and salloc.

You can reference the table below for a simple, quick cheat sheet on a few examples about jobs in Slurm:

Slurm Command Description
sbatch <job_script> Submit <job_script> to the Scheduler
srun <options> Run Parallel Jobs
salloc <options> Request an Interactive Job
squeue View Job Information
scancel <job_id> Delete a Job

Example sbatch Job Submission (Simple)

Here you'll find a couple of very simple submission scripts to get you started that you can use with sbatch to submit your job. For this example, the script can be named


#SBATCH --job-name=<my_job_name>
#SBATCH --account=<my_lcrc_project_name>
#SBATCH --partition=bdwall
#SBATCH --nodes=1
#SBATCH --ntasks-per-node=36
#SBATCH --output=<my_job_name>.out
#SBATCH --error=<my_job_name>.error
#SBATCH --mail-user=<your email address> # Optional if you require email
#SBATCH --mail-type=ALL                  # Optional if you require email
#SBATCH --time=01:00:00

# Run My Program
srun /bin/hostname

Example sbatch Job Submission (MPI)


# SBATCH --job-name=<my_job_name>
# SBATCH --account=<my_lcrc_project_name>
# SBATCH --partition=bdwall
# SBATCH --nodes=2
# SBATCH --ntasks-per-node=36
# SBATCH --output=<my_job_name>.out
# SBATCH --error=<my_job_name>.error
# SBATCH --mail-user=<your_email_address> # Optional if you require email
# SBATCH --mail-type=ALL # Optional if you require email
# SBATCH --time=01:00:00

# Setup My Environment
module load intel-parallel-studio/cluster.2018.4-xtm134f
export I_MPI_FABRICS=shm:tmi

# Run My Program
srun -n 72 ./helloworld

NOTE: I_MPI_FABRICS=shm:tmi – Use shared memory (shm) for communication within a single host, and the tag matching interface (tmi) (Omni-Path optimized) for host to host communication.

Example Interactive Job Submission

There are a couple of ways to run an interactive job on Bebop.

First, you can just get a session on a node by using the srun command in the following way:

srun --pty -p <partition> -t <walltime> /bin/bash

This will drop you onto one node. Once you exit the node, the allocation will be relinquished.

If you want more flexibility, you can instead have the system first allocate resources for the job using the the salloc command:

salloc -N 2 -p bdwall -t 00:30:00

This job will allocate 2 nodes from bdwall partition for 30 minutes. You should get the job number from the output. This command will not log you into any of your allocated nodes by default.

You can get a list of your allocated nodes and many other slurm settings set by the salloc command by doing:

printenv | grep SLURM

After the resources were allocated and the session was granted use srun command to run your job:

srun -n 8 ./myprog

This will start 8 threads on the allocated nodes. If you try and use more resources than you allocated (say 3 nodes worth of resources while you only asked for 2), this will create a separate reservation and the other will continue to run and use hours as well.

When you allocate resources via salloc, you can also now freely SSH to the nodes in your allocation as well if you prefer to run jobs from the nodes themselves.

Checking Queues and Jobs

To view job and job step information use squeue.

Here's a quick example of what the output may look like:


999     bdwall          test-joba   user2  R        2:40:31  2      bdw-[0010-0011]
998     bdwall          test-job2   user1  R        45:20    1      bdwd-0120
997     knld            test-job1   user1  R        3:04     1      knld-0030

Here are also some common options for squeue:

Option Description
-a Display information about all jobs in all partitions. This is the default when running squeue with no options.
-u Request jobs or job steps from a comma separated list of users. The list can consist of user names or user id numbers.
j Requests a comma separated list of job IDs to display. Defaults to all jobs.
-l Report more of the available information for the selected jobs or job steps.

Deleting a Job

To delete a job use scancel This command will take the job id as its argument. Your job id will be given to when you submit the job. You can also retrieve this from the squeue command detailed above.

scancel <job_id>

Other Useful Slurm Commands


scontrol can be used to report more detailed information about nodes, partitions, jobs, job steps, and configuration.

Common examples:

Option Description
scontrol show node node-name Shows detailed information about the nodes.
scontrol show partition partition-name Shows detailed information about a specific partition.
scontrol show job job-id Shows detailed information about a specific job or all jobs if no job id is given.
scontrol update job job-id Change attributes of submitted job.

For an extensive list of formatting options please consult scontrol man page.


sinfo allows you to view information about jobs, nodes and partitions located in the Slurm scheduling queue

Option Description
-a, --all Display information about all partitions.
-t, --states Display nodes in a specific state. Example: idle
-i , --iterate= Print the state on a periodic basis. Sleep for the indicated number of seconds between reports.
-l, --long Print more detailed information.
-n , --nodes= Print information only about the specified node(s). Multiple nodes may be comma separated or expressed using a node range expression. For example “bdw-[0001-0007]”
-o <output_format>, --format=<output_format> Specify the information to be displayed using an sinfo format string.

For an extensive list of formatting options please consult sinfo man page.


sacct displays accounting data for all jobs and job steps and can be used to display the information about the complete jobs.

Option Description
-S, --starttime Select jobs in any state after the specified time.
-E end_time, --endtime=end_time Select jobs in any state before the specified time.

Valid time formats are:


MMDD[YY] or MM/DD[/YY] or MM.DD[.YY]




# sacct -S2014-07-03-11:40 -E2014-07-03-12:00 -X -ojobid,start,end,state
JobID                 Start                  End        State
--------- --------------------- -------------------- ------------
2         2014-07-03T11:33:16   2014-07-03T11:59:01   COMPLETED
3         2014-07-03T11:35:21   Unknown               RUNNING
4         2014-07-03T11:35:21   2014-07-03T11:45:21   COMPLETED
5         2014-07-03T11:41:01   Unknown               RUNNING              

For an extensive list of formatting options please consult sacct man page.


sprio is used to view the components of a job’s scheduling priority when the multi-factor priority plugin is installed. sprio is a read-only utility that extracts information from the multi-factor priority plugin. By default, sprio returns information for all pending jobs. Options exist to display specific jobs by job ID and user name.

For an extensive list of formatting options please consult the sprio man page.

Why Isn’t My Job Running Yet?

If today is NOT LCRC Maintenance Day and you find that your job is in the pending (PD) state after running squeue, Slurm will provide a reason for this shown in the squeue command. Here are a few of the most common reasons your job may not be running.

First, check to the see reason code by querying your job number in Slurm:

squeue -j <job_id>

Then, you can determine why the job has not started by deciphering this sample reason list:

Reason Code Description
AccountNotAllowed The job isn’t using an account that is allowed on the partition. Certain projects may be restricted to certain partitions. For example, a project may only be allowed to run on the knl partitions. Bebop condo node users must use the ‘condo‘ account when running on their dedicated partitions.
AssocGrpBillingMinutes The job doesn’t have enough time in the banking account to begin.
BadConstraints The job’s constraints can not be satisfied.
BeginTime The job’s earliest start time has not yet been reached.
Cleaning The job is being requeued and still cleaning up from its previous execution.
Dependency This job is waiting for a dependent job to complete.
JobHeldAdmin The job is held by a system administrator.
JobHeldUser The job is held by the user.
NodeDown A node required by the job is down.
PartitionNodeLimit The number of nodes required by this job is outside of it’s partitions current limits. Can also indicate that required nodes are DOWN or DRAINED.
PartitionTimeLimit The job’s time limit exceeds it’s partition’s current time limit.
Priority One or more higher priority jobs exist for this partition or advanced reservation.
QOSMaxJobsPerUserLimit The job’s QOS has reached its maximum job count for the user at one time.
ReqNodeNotAvail During LCRC Maintenance Day, you may see this reason. In addition, jobs that have a walltime that runs into a scheduled maintenance period will also show this message. The job TimeLimit should be adjusted accordingly. Otherwise, some node specifically required by the job is not currently available. The node may currently be in use, reserved for another job, in an advanced reservation, DOWN, DRAINED, or not responding. Nodes which are DOWN, DRAINED, or not responding will be identified as part of the job’s “reason” field as “UnavailableNodes”. Such nodes will typically require the intervention of a system administrator to make available.
Reservation The job is waiting its advanced reservation to become available.
Resources The job is waiting for resources to become available.
TimeLimit The job exhausted its time limit.

While this is not every reason code, these are the most common on Bebop. You can view the full list of Slurm reason codes here.

Assuming your job is in the Priority/Resources state, you can use the sprio command to get a closer idea on when your job may start based on the priorities of other pending jobs. The priority is the sum of age, fairshare, jobsize and QOS (quality of service).

Command Line Quick Reference Guide

Command Description
sbatch <script_name> Submit a job.
scancel <job_id> Delete a job.

squeue -u <username>
Show queued jobs via the scheduler.

Show queued jobs from a specific user.
scontrol show job <job_id> Provide a detailed status report for a specified job via the scheduler.
sinfo -t idle Get a list of all free/idle nodes.