Schumer lab: Submitting slurm jobs

From OpenWetWare
Jump to navigationJump to search

Getting started

There are some great resources for using slurm, including a guide for the Sherlock cluster:

[[1]] and FAS research computing's guide [[2]].

The very basics

Example slurm script header for Sherlock:


#SBATCH --job-name=short_queue_test_job

#SBATCH --time=00:01:00

#SBATCH --ntasks=1

#SBATCH --cpus-per-task=1

#SBATCH --mem=32000


You will probably want to edit the following for each job:

name your job: --job-name

give it a time limit: --time=hours:minutes:seconds

memory and resources details, see Sherlock documents for more details: --cpus-per-task, --ntasks,--mem

To actually run this job, you need to generate a file with this header, followed by the job command you'd like to run. See the following example:

cat /home/groups/schumer/

To submit this example job, navigate to that directory and type:


To check on the status of your job, type:

squeue -u $USER

To cancel your job, copy the job id that you see when checking the queue status and type:

scancel [job id]

Remember to load modules you need to run your job inside the slurm script after the header. For example:

module load biology

module load bwa

bwa index ref_genome.fa


You can run slurm jobs on a number of different sets of nodes, called partitions, on Sherlock. The partition you choose to run your job on depends on how much time and memory you want to allocate to complete your job.

There are two kinds of slurm jobs: interactive and batch jobs.

Interactive jobs

You can work interactively on a compute node by launching a session with the partition sdev, by running:


This allocates a core with 4GB memory for one hour to you. If you want your session to last longer than an hour, you can specify the amount of time you want to keep the session open for (ex. 2 hr):

sdev -t 2:00:00

Batch jobs

Below is a list of slurm partitions available to all Sherlock users for batch jobs:

queue name default time limit per job max runtime per job max cores per user default memory per core max jobs per user max jobs in queue per user purpose
normal 2 hr 48 hrs 512 4 GB 256 3000 normal production
dev 1 hr 2 hrs 2 4 GB 2 4 interactive and/or development
bigmem 2 hr 16 hrs 32 48 GB 1 20 large memory 48 GB/core, 32 cores/node
gpu 2 hr 48 hrs 32 16 GB 16 300 16 GPU/node, 16 cores/node, 16 GB/core
long 2 hr 7 days 256 16 GB 16 64 queue for long-running jobs, user can use up to 16 jobs and/or 128 cores use "--qos=long" option.

There are 2 nodes with 1.5TB of RAM. Use these if your job needs more than 64 GB of RAM by adding '#SBATCH --qos=bigmem --partition=bigmem' to your slurm script.

There are three additional partitions available to our lab group:

  • hns - for all users in Humanities and Sciences
  • owners - for all users whose lab group has purchased compute nodes
  • schumer - our personal compute nodes (see "Lab specific nodes" section)

A note about the "owners" partition:

This partition is the set of all lab group compute nodes. So when you run a job on "owners", your job is allocated to a currently free compute node from a different lab group. Lab groups get priority over their own nodes, so if they were to start a job on their node while your job is running on it, your job will be killed. If you choose to use this partition, be aware that this is a possibility, and be sure to monitor your slurm output for "JOB KILLED" error messages. However, this seems to be a fairly rare issue unless your job is exceedingly large.

To run your job on a specific partition, add the following to your slurm script:

#SBATCH -p schumer

Typically, it's helpful to specify several partitions, ranked in order of preference. The scheduler will send your job to the highest ranked partition with the available specified time and memory resources. This way, you don't have to wait until sufficient resources are available on a single partition.

#SBATCH -p schumer,owners,hns,normal

Lab specific nodes

We have 96 dedicated cores for the lab on Sherlock! To use these instead of the general queue simply add this line to your slurm script:

#SBATCH -p schumer

You can also compare how long it will take a job to start running on our lab nodes versus the normal queue:

sbatch --test-only -p schumer

sbatch --test-only -p normal

Useful slurm commands

Cancel all of your jobs:

scancel -u $USER

Cancel all of you pending jobs:

scancel -t PENDING -u $USER

Cancel a job by job name:

scancel --name [job name]

for example:

scancel --name bwa-mem

Estimate how long it will take for a job to start running (does not actually submit the job):

sbatch --test-only

There is also a script in Lab_shared_scripts that will take a list of slurm job ids or slurm stdout files and cancel those jobs. Usage is:

perl /home/groups/schumer/shared_bin/Lab_shared_scripts/ list_to_cancel

For example, if you want to cancel a batch of submitted jobs which all start with 3161, you could do the following to generate your list of jobs to cancel:

squeue -u $USER | grep 3161 | perl -pi -e 's/ +/\t/g' | cut -f 2 > list_to_cancel

or if you'd like to stop all jobs that are currently running in a folder:

ls slurm-*.out > list_to_cancel

To submit a job to run after another job is done you can add a job (or multiple job) dependencies. For example, to submit after job id 39584578 has finished:

sbatch --dependency=afterok:39584558

To submit after job 39584578 and 39584579 have finished:

sbatch --dependency=afterok:39584558:39584579