SLURM Workload Manager

DiaL3 use SLURM as its workload manager i.e. SLURM is responsible for scheduling and running jobs on the compute nodes as and when they are available.

Some of the useful SLURM commands are:-

salloc :- is used to allocate resources for a job in real time. Typically this is used to allocate resources and spawn a shell. The shell is then used to execute srun commands to launch parallel tasks.

sbatch :- is used to submit a job script for later execution. The script will typically contain one or more srun commands to launch parallel tasks.

scancel :- is used to cancel a pending or running job or job step. It can also be used to send an arbitrary signal to all processes associated with a running job or job step.

scontrol :- is the administrative tool used to view and/or modify SLURM state. Note that many of the scontrol commands can only be executed as user root.

sinfo :- reports the state of partitions and nodes managed by SLURM. It has a wide variety of filtering, sorting, and formatting options.

squeue :- reports the state of jobs or job steps. It has a wide variety of filtering, sorting, and formatting options. By default, it reports the running jobs in priority order and then the pending jobs in priority order.

srun :- is used to submit a job for execution or initiate job steps in real time. srun command has a wide variety of options to specify resource requirements, including: minimum and maximum node count, processor count, specific nodes to use or not use, and specific node characteristics (so much memory, disk space, certain required features, etc.). A job can contain multiple job steps executing sequentially or in parallel on independent or shared resources within the job's node allocation.


sbatch submits a batch script to SLURM. The batch script may be given to sbatch through a file name on the command line. If no file name is specified, sbatch will read in a script from standard input. The batch script may contain options preceded with #SBATCH before any executable commands in the script. sbatch will stop processing further #SBATCH directives once the first non-comment non-whitespace line has been reached in the script. sbatch exits immediately after the script is successfully transferred to the SLURM controller and assigned a SLURM job ID.


#! Example SLURM job script for DiRAC 3

#SBATCH --export=NONE
#SBATCH --job-name=test_slurm
#SBATCH --nodes=2
##SBATCH --ntasks=8
#SBATCH --ntasks-per-node=3
#SBATCH --mem=10G
#SBATCH --time=00:05:00
#SBATCH --output=%x-%j.out
#SBATCH --error=%x-%j.err


For submitting the above script to the job scheduler, use the following command.

$ sbatch

On DIaL3, the above script will lead to the following output:


Hint: To convert the $SLURM_JOB_NODELIST to a list of individual host names use scontrol show hostnames $SLURM_JOB_NODELIST. For example

$ scontrol show hostnames dnode[001-003,005]



Sbatch Options

--export= < [ALL,] environment variables| ALL | NONE >

Identify which environment variables from the submission environment are propagated to the launched application. Note that SLURM_* variables are always propagated.

--export=ALL :- Default mode if --export is not specified. All of the users environment will be loaded

--export=NONE :- Only SLURM_* variables from the user environment will be defined. User must use absolute path to the binary to be executed that will define the environment. User can not specify explicit environment variables with NONE.

-N, --nodes= < minnodes[-maxnodes] >

Request that a minimum of minnodes nodes be allocated to this job. A maximum node count may also be specified with maxnodes. If only one number is specified, this is used as both the minimum and maximum node count.

-n, --ntasks= < number >

sbatch does not launch tasks, it requests an allocation of resources and submits a batch script. This option advises the SLURM controller that job steps run within the allocation will launch a maximum of number tasks and to provide for sufficient resources. The default is one task per node, but note that the --cpus-per-task option will change this default.

--ntasks-per-node= < ntasks >

Request that ntasks be invoked on each node. If used with the --ntasks option, the --ntasks option will take precedence and the --ntasks-per-node will be treated as a maximum count of tasks per node. Meant to be used with the --nodes option. This is related to --cpus-per-task=ncpus, but does not require knowledge of the actual number of cpus on each node.

--mem= < size[units] >

Specify the real memory required per node. Default units are megabytes. Different units can be specified using the suffix [K|M|G|T]. Default value is DefMemPerNode and the maximum value is MaxMemPerNode.


Job name


Job id of the running job.


The job allocation can not share nodes with other running jobs (or just other users with the "=user" option or with the "=mcs" option). The default shared/exclusive behavior depends on system configuration and the partition's OverSubscribe option takes precedence over the job's option.

Use this option if you want to make sure that only your code runs on the node/s allocated to you and you are not sharing resources with anyone. For example, if you ask for 64 cores on a 1 node, it is highly likely that other users will also be sharing the node with you as there are still 64 cores which are free. If you specify the --exclusive option, the scheduler will not allocate any other job to your node irrespective of the number of cores you have asked for.


It is used to view job and job step information for jobs managed by Slurm.

Squeue Options

-a, --all

Display information about jobs and job steps in all partitions. This causes information to be displayed about partitions that are configured as hidden, partitions that are unavailable to a user's group, and federated jobs that are in a "revoked" state.

-i < seconds >, --iterate=< seconds >

Repeatedly gather and report the requested information at the interval specified (in seconds). By default, prints a time stamp with the header.

-u < user_list >, --user=< user_list >

Request jobs or job steps from a comma separated list of users. The list can consist of user names or user id numbers. Performance of the command can be measurably improved for systems with large numbers of jobs when a single user is specified.

For example, we can use the squeue command as follows:

$ squeue -a -u your_username -i 30


Task Slurm
Submit a job sbatch
Delete a job scancel job_id
Show job status squeue
Show expected job start time squeue --start
Show queue info sinfo
Show queue details scontrol show partition
Show job details scontrol show job job_id