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Terra:Batch Job Files

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Building Job Files

While not the only method of submitted programs to be executed, job files fulfill the needs of most users.

The general idea behind job files follows:

  • Make resource requests
  • Add your commands and/or scripting
  • Submit the job to the batch system

Basic Job Specifications

Several of the most important options are described below. These basic options are typically all that is needed to run a job on Terra.

Basic Terra/Slurm Job Specifications
Specification Option Example Example-Purpose
Reset Env I --export=NONE Do not propagate environment to job
Reset Env II --get-user-env=L Replicate the login environment
Wall Clock Limit -t [hh:mm:ss] -t 01:15:00 Set wall clock limit to 1 hour 15 min
Job Name -J [SomeText] -J mpiJob Set the job name to "mpiJob"
Node Count -N [min[-max]] -N 4 Spread all tasks/cores across 4 nodes
Total Task/Core Count -n [#] -n 16 Request 16 tasks/cores total
Memory Per Node --mem=[K|M|G|T] --mem=32768M Request 32768 MB (32 GB) per node
Combined stdout/stderr -o [OutputName].%j -o mpiOut.%j Collect stdout/err in mpiOut.[JobID]

It should be noted that Slurm divides processing resources as such: Nodes -> Cores/CPUs -> Tasks

A user may change the number of tasks per core. For the purposes of this guide, each core will be associated with exactly a single task.

Optional Job Specifications

A variety of optional specifications are available to customize your job. The table below lists the specifications which are most useful for users of Terra.

Optional Terra/Slurm Job Specifications
Specification Option Example Example-Purpose
Set Allocation -A ###### -A 274839 Set allocation to charge to 274839
Email Notification I --mail-type=[type] --mail-type=ALL Send email on all events
Email Notification II --mail-user=[address] --mail-user=howdy@tamu.edu Send emails to howdy@tamu.edu
Specify Queue -q [queue] -q gpu Request only nodes in gpu subset
Submit Test Job --test-only Submit test job for Slurm validation
Request Temp Disk --tmp=M --tmp=10240 Request at least 10 GB in temp disk space
Request License -L [LicenseLoc] -L nastran@slurmdb:12

Alternative Specifications

The job options within the above sections specify resources with the following method:

  • Cores and CPUs are equivalent
  • 1 Task per 1 CPU
  • You specify: desired number of Tasks (equals number of CPUs)
  • You specify: desired number of Nodes (equal or less than number of Tasks)
  • You get: CPUs per Node equal to #ofCPUs/#ofNodes
  • You specify: desired Memory per node

Slurm allows users to specify resources in units of Tasks, CPUs, Sockets, and Nodes.

There are many overlapping settings and some settings may (quietly) overwrite the defaults of other settings. A good understanding of Slurm options is needed to correctly utilize these methods.

Alternative Memory/Core/Node Specifications
Specification Option Example Example-Purpose
Cores per Socket --cores-per-socket=# --cores-per-socket=5 Request 5 cores per socket
CPUs per Task -c # -c 4 Require 4 CPUs per task (default: 1)
Memory per CPU --mem-per-cpu=MB --mem-per-cpu=2000 Request 2000 MB per CPU
Memory per Node (All, Single) --mem=0 Request all available memory on a node
Memory per Node (All, Multi) --mem=0 Request the least-max available memory for any node across all nodes
Tasks per Core --ntasks-per-core=# --ntasks-per-core=4 Request max of 4 tasks per core
Tasks per Node I --ntasks-per-node=# --ntasks-per-node=5 Request exactly (or max) of 5 tasks per node
Tasks per Node II --tasks-per-node=# --tasks-per-node=5 Equivalent to Tasks per Node I
Tasks per Socket --ntasks-per-socket=# --ntasks-per-socket=6 Request max of 6 tasks per socket
Sockets per Node --sockets-per-node=# --sockets-per-node=2 Restrict to nodes with at least 2 sockets

If you want to make resource requests in an alternative format, you are free to do so. Our ability to support alternative resource request formats may be limited.

Using Other Job Options

Slurm has facilities to make advanced resources requests and change settings that most Terra users do not need. These options are beyond the scope of this guide.

If you wish to explore the advanced job options, see the Advanced Documentation.

Clarification on Memory, Core, and Node Specifications

For examples on calculating memory, core, and/or node specifications on Terra: Specification Clarification.