User documentation for the PLEIADES cluster at the University of Wuppertal

Slurm example: Job arrays

Job arrays can be used to submit many (e.g. thousands) similar small/short jobs. They can reduce the load from the central Slurm controller, so prefer job arrays over many small individual jobs!

A job script could look like this:

#SBATCH ... # Other options of sbatch

# Execute a single job (this script)
# with 16 steps (0-15)
# But only execute 4 job steps at the same time (%4)
#SBATCH --array=0-15%4

# Each job array step will run with the resource requirements:
#SBATCH -n16    # Each job array step requires 16 tasks
#SBATCH -N1-2   # Each job array step requires 1 or 2 nodes

# You can use %a to have different output files for each job step:
#SBATCH -o jobarraytests_%a.out
#SBATCH -e jobarraytests_%a.err

# Each job array step executes the following
srun hostname
srun sleep 10

It makes sense to use environment variables like ${SLURM_ARRAY_TASK_ID}, to decide which arguments should go to which process in the job array. More details are available at