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Monitoring Jobs


Continuously running squeue/sqs using watch, and especially multiple instances of "watch squeue/sqs" is not allowed. When many users are doing this at once it adversely impacts the performance of the job scheduler, which is a shared resource.

If you must monitor your workload, run only single instances of squeue or sqs. If watch is essential to your workflow then limit the refresh interval to 1 min (watch -n 60) and be sure to terminate the process when you are not actively using it.

Additionally the sacct command (sacct -X -s pd,r) uses less expensive queries for much of the same information, but the same advice about watch applies.

For users who are interested in monitoring their job's resource usage while the job is running, the section on how to log into compute nodes while jobs are running below.


sqs is a NERSC custom wrapper for the Slurm native squeue script with a chosen default format to view job information in the batch queue managed by Slurm. The sqs command without any flag displays queued jobs for the logged-in user. Invoking sqs -a displays the jobs of all users.

sqs is fully compatible with squeue in that it takes any flag that is accepted by squeue, thus enabling more flexibility in customizing the output. For example, you could choose to only see running jobs with -t R, or you could overwrite the default format of sqs with the -o flag to provide the list and format for fields of your own interest.


Please refer to sqs --help and the squeue man page for the available flags and more information.

JOBID            ST USER      NAME          NODES TIME_LIMIT       TIME  SUBMIT_TIME          QOS             START_TIME           FEATURES       NODELIST(REASON
32308177         R  elvis     myjob1        1024  1-00:00:00       0:00  2020-06-08T05:05:12  regular_0       2020-06-10T06:00:00  knl&quad&cache nid0[2435-2443,
32308268         PD elvis     myjob2        1024  1-00:00:00       0:00  2020-06-08T05:19:59  regular_0       2020-06-10T06:00:00  knl&quad&cache (ReqNodeNotAvai         knl&quad&cache (Priority)     
32305323         PD elvis     myjob3          48     6:00:00       0:00  2020-06-07T05:08:36  regular_1       N/A                  knl&quad&cache (Nodes required
32305332         PD elvis     myjob4          48     6:00:00       0:00  2020-06-07T05:09:06  regular_1       N/A                  knl&quad&cache (Nodes required


squeue provides information about jobs in Slurm scheduling queue, and is best used for viewing jobs and job step information for active jobs (PENDING, RUNNING, SUSPENDED). For more details on squeue refer to the squeue manual or run squeue --help, man squeue.

To view current user jobs:

squeue -u $USER

The same output can be retrieved via --me option which is equivalent to --user=<$USER>

squeue --me

To view all running jobs for the current user:

squeue --me -t RUNNING

To view all pending jobs for current user:

squeue --me -t PENDING

To view all pending jobs in QOS shared:

squeue -q shared -t PENDING

To view all running jobs for current user on shared qos:

$ squeue --me -q shared -t RUNNING  
             1000    shared netcdf_r   user1  R    1:16:47      1 nid00527

To view all jobs for a particular account (project), use -A <nersc_project>:

$ squeue -A <nersc_project>
          2000 debug_knl tokio-ab    admin1 PD       0:00    256 (Burst buffer pre_run error)
          2001 regular_h mpi4py-i   admin2 PD       0:00    150 (Priority)
          2002 regular_h mpi4py-i   admin3 PD       0:00    150 (Priority)
          2003 regular_h preproce    admin4 PD       0:00      1 (Priority)          

To view filter jobs, use the -j option followed by the job ID. You can specify multiple job IDs separated by commas.

$ squeue -j 2542,2560
          2542    shared wrfpostp user1 PD       0:00      1 (Dependency)
          2560    shared netcdf_r  user2 PD       0:00      1 (Resources)

To view a job step use the --steps option with the job step ID.

$ squeue --steps 1001.0            
     1001.0 vasp_std regular_k elvis   5:19:26 nid0[2520-2527]


sacct is used to report job or job step accounting information about active or completed jobs. You can directly invoke sacct without any arguments and it will show jobs for the current user. sacct can be used for monitoring but it is primarily used for Job Accounting.

For a complete list of sacct options please refer to the sacct manual or run man sacct.


jobstats provides slurm accounting and job details from sacct, sreport and squeue. You can run jobstats without any arguments and it will show a report for the current user from sreport for today. If you have any pending or running jobs it will show that as well.

$ jobstats
Default Account: YYYYY
User is part of the following slurm accounts ['YYYYY']
User Raw Share: 1
User Raw Usage: 0
Number of Pending Jobs: 0
Number of Running Jobs: 0
Total Jobs Completed: 0
Total Jobs Completed Successfully: 0
Total Jobs Failed: 0
Total Jobs Cancelled: 0
Total Jobs Timeout: 0

Today: 06/15/2020 12:13:37 sreport
Top 10 Users 2020-06-14T00:00:00 - 2020-06-14T23:59:59 (86400 secs)
Usage reported in CPU Hours
  Cluster     Login     Proper Name         Account         Used        Energy 
--------- --------- --------------- --------------- ------------ ------------- 

Shown below is a list of options for the jobstats command.

$ jobstats --help
usage: jobstats [-h] [-u USER] [-S START] [-E END] [-j]
                [--state {COMPLETED,FAILED,TIMEOUT,CANCELLED}] [-a]

slurm utility for display user job statistics, reporting, and account detail.

optional arguments:
  -h, --help            show this help message and exit
  -u USER, --user USER  Select a user
  -S START, --start START
                        Start Date Format: YYYY-MM-DD
  -E END, --end END     End Date Format: YYYY-MM-DD
  -j, --jobsummary      Display job summary for user
                        Filter by Job State
  -a, --account         Display information on account shares that user
                        belongs to

Developed by Shahzeb Siddiqui <>

For more information see jobstats documentation.


sstat is used to display various status information of a running job or job step. For example, one may wish to see the maximum memory usage (resident set size) of all tasks in a running job.

$ sstat -j 864934 -o JobID,MaxRSS
       JobID     MaxRSS 
------------ ---------- 
864934.0          4333K 

For a complete list of sstat options and examples please see sstat manual.

Email notification

You can add directives within your job script to notify you when your job starts, finishes, or fails. Using the --mail-type option, you can select one of begin, end, or fail (respectively), or two or more in a comma-separated list (as below). You should specify the email address to which the notifications should go with the --mail-user option.

#SBATCH --mail-type=begin,end,fail

How to log into compute nodes running your jobs

It can be useful for troubleshooting or diagnostics to log into compute nodes running one's job in order to observe activity on those nodes. Below is the series of steps required to log into a compute node while one's job is running.

Access to compute nodes is enabled only while the job is running

A user's SSH access to compute nodes is enabled only during the lifetime of the job. When the job ends, the user's SSH connections to all compute nodes in the job will be disconnected.

  1. Retrieve the list of nodes that your job is running on. This will either print the host name nid***** or a range of host names -- if the job has more than one node -- in square brackets.

    scontrol show job <jobid> | grep -oP  'NodeList=nid(\[.+\]|.+)'
  2. SSH into a mom node:

    ssh cmom01
  3. From the mom node, you can ssh into any nid***** node in the scontrol list generated in step 1.

Requesting the head-node ID

If you need the head-node only (eg. for DMTCP application) use BatchHost instead of NodeList:

scontrol show job <jobid>|grep -oP 'BatchHost=\K\w+'

Updating Jobs

Cancel jobs

To cancel a specific job:

scancel $JobID

You can also cancel more than one job in a single call to scancel:

scancel $JobID1 $JobID2

To cancel all jobs owned by a user


If you want to cancel several hundred jobs, do not perform this action in bulk change; cancel jobs by subset instead.

scancel -u $USER

Because scancel sends a remote procedure call to the Slurm daemon, a degradation of service can result from many scancel calls happening all at once. Therefore we recommend using as few individual calls to this function as possible. In particular, do not wrap scancel in a loop in a script or other function.

Change timelimit

scontrol update jobid=$JobID timelimit=$new_timelimit

Change QOS

scontrol update jobid=$JobID qos=$new_qos

Change account

scontrol update jobid=$JobID account=$new_project_to_charge


The new repo must be eligible to run the job.

Controlling Jobs

Prevent a pending job from being started:

scontrol hold $JobID


A held job will lose its accumulated wait time in the queue. Later if this job is released, it will have the same priority as a newly submitted job.

Release a previously held job (``scontrol hold```):

scontrol release $JobID

To requeue (cancel and rerun) a particular job:

scontrol requeue $JobID

Job Accounting

sacct example
$ sacct      
       JobID    JobName  Partition    Account  AllocCPUS      State ExitCode 
------------ ---------- ---------- ---------- ---------- ---------- -------- 
31170188             sh interacti+     nstaff        272     FAILED      1:0 
31170188.ex+     extern                nstaff        272  COMPLETED      0:0 
31170188.0         bash                nstaff          1     FAILED      1:0 
31170188.1        a.out                nstaff        272  COMPLETED      0:0 
31171781             sh       resv     nstaff        272  COMPLETED      0:0 
31171781.ex+     extern                nstaff        272  COMPLETED      0:0 
31171781.0         bash                nstaff          1  COMPLETED      0:0 
31172253             sh       resv     nstaff        272    TIMEOUT      0:0 
31172253.ex+     extern                nstaff        272  COMPLETED      0:0 
31172253.0         bash                nstaff          1  COMPLETED      0:0 

You can format columns as you wish using the --format option. For example, we can format columns based on User JobName State and Submit as follows

sacct format example
$ sacct --format=User,JobName,State,Submit
     User    JobName      State              Submit 
--------- ---------- ---------- ------------------- 
 user1         sh     FAILED 2020-05-27T07:49:18 
              extern  COMPLETED 2020-05-27T07:49:18 
                bash     FAILED 2020-05-27T07:49:41 
               a.out  COMPLETED 2020-05-27T07:52:31 
 user1         sh  COMPLETED 2020-05-27T08:28:34 
              extern  COMPLETED 2020-05-27T08:28:34 
                bash  COMPLETED 2020-05-27T08:28:42 
 user1         sh    TIMEOUT 2020-05-27T08:51:43 
              extern  COMPLETED 2020-05-27T08:51:43 
                bash  COMPLETED 2020-05-27T08:51:52     

We can retrieve historical data for any given user. For example if you want to filter jobs by Start Time 2020-05-20 and End Time 2020-05-27 for user elvis you can do the following

sacct format example with Start and End Date
$ sacct -u elvis -S 2020-05-20 -E 2020-05-27
       JobID    JobName  Partition    Account  AllocCPUS      State ExitCode 
------------ ---------- ---------- ---------- ---------- ---------- -------- 
30922369     test_node+     system     physics       8256    TIMEOUT      0:0      batch                physics         64  CANCELLED     0:15 
30922369.ex+     extern                physics       8256  COMPLETED      0:0 
30922369.0   test_node+                physics        320     FAILED      1:0 
30922369.1   test_node+                physics       1904     FAILED      1:0 
30922378     test_node+     system     physics         38    PENDING      0:0 

You can retrieve up to 31 days of job records within given time window, this was implemented as safe measure to avoid bringing down slurmdb. You may notice this error if you exceed the 31 day count

$ sacct --start 2021-01-04 
       JobID    JobName  Partition    Account  AllocCPUS      State ExitCode 
------------ ---------- ---------- ---------- ---------- ---------- -------- 
sacct: error: slurmdbd: Too wide of a date range in query
$ date
Thu Feb  4 14:12:41 PST 2021

If you want to query by job states you can use -s or long option --state with state name. For complete list of job states see JOB STATE CODES in sacct manual. In example below we will query all fail jobs. You must use a start and end window using --start and --end option to report job states.

sacct example with user, format fields and job states
$ sacct -X --format=User,JobName,State -s f --start=2021-02-01 --end=now 
     User    JobName      State 
--------- ---------- ---------- 
 elvis   81932_161+     FAILED 
 elvis   82105_161+     FAILED 

If you want to filter output by JobID you can specify the -j option with a list of comma separated job ids.

sacct filter by jobs
$ sacct -j 31170188,31171781
       JobID    JobName  Partition    Account  AllocCPUS      State ExitCode 
------------ ---------- ---------- ---------- ---------- ---------- -------- 
31170188             sh interacti+     nstaff        272     FAILED      1:0 
31170188.ex+     extern                nstaff        272  COMPLETED      0:0 
31170188.0         bash                nstaff          1     FAILED      1:0 
31170188.1        a.out                nstaff        272  COMPLETED      0:0 
31171781             sh       resv     nstaff        272  COMPLETED      0:0 
31171781.ex+     extern                nstaff        272  COMPLETED      0:0 
31171781.0         bash                nstaff          1  COMPLETED      0:0 

sacct will query job from the default slurm cluster (cori), however one can query jobs from a remote slurm cluster such as escori using the --clusters=<clustername> option or short option -M <clustername>.


JobID are unique to each slurm cluster

query jobs from a slurm cluster
$ sacct -X --format JobID,Cluster
       JobID    Cluster 
------------ ---------- 
34789454           cori 
34790830           cori 
34791745           cori 
34792974           cori 
34792988           cori 

$ sacct -X  -M escori --format JobID,Cluster
       JobID    Cluster 
------------ ---------- 
1066624          escori 
1066641          escori 
1066847          escori 
1066849          escori