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Yet Another Slurm Python Interface

Project description

yaspi - yet another slurm python interface

The goal of yaspi is to provide an interface to submitting slurm jobs, thereby obviating the joys of sbatch files. It does so through recipes - these are collections of templates and rules for generating sbatch scripts.


Install via pip install yaspi. If you prefer to hack around with the source code, it's a single python file.

It should be considered (highly) experimental.


yaspi makes heavy usage of slurm job arrays.

Supported recipes:

  • cpu-proc - a generic recipe for submitting CPU jobs via a job array.
  • gpu-proc - a generic recipe for submitting GPU jobs via a job array.
  • ray - job submissions for the ray scheduler.


  • Python >= 3.6
  • watchlogs


yaspi has been tested on CentOS Linux release 7.7.1908 with slurm 18.08.7 and Python 3.7. YMMV on other platforms.

Usage and outputs

yaspi can be used either from the command-line or directly from a python program. Command-line usage is shown in the following examples (the effect of each argument is documented in the implementation).

Code - scheduling a slurm job array with CPUs:

prep_command='echo \"optional preparation cmd\"'
command='echo \"I am running on a CPU node\"'
yaspi --job_name=example \
       --job_array_size=2 \
       --cpus_per_task=5 \
       --cmd="$command" \
       --prep="$prep_command" \
       --recipe=cpu-proc \

Effect: This will run the command value on two workers as part of a slurm job array. Each worker will be allocated 5 CPUs and 10G of memory by the scheduler. Each worker will also be passed two extra flags, --slurm (without options) and --worker_id (which will be given the 0-indexed value of the current worker index in the job array) which can be used to assign tasks to the worker. The --prep flag is optional, and will run a commands prior to the main job (e.g. to change into an appropriate code directory). The effect of the command will be to produce the following:

# run on CPU job array worker 0
optional preparation cmd
I am running on a CPU node --slurm --worker_id 0

# run on CPU job array worker 1
optional preparation cmd
I am running on a CPU node --slurm --worker_id 1

When launched, a slightly more verbose (and colourized) output will be produced by watchlogs (this assumes your terminal supports color sequences):


Code - scheduling a slurm job array with GPUs:

prep_command='echo \"optional preparation cmd\"'
job_queue="\"flags for worker 0\" \"flags for worker 1\""
command='echo \"I am running on a GPU node\"'
yaspi --job_name=example \
      --job_array_size=2 \
      --cpus_per_task=5 \
      --gpus_per_task=1 \
      --prep="$prep_command" \
      --cmd="$command" \
      --recipe=gpu-proc \
      --job_queue="$job_queue" \

Effect: This command is similar to the cpu-proc recipe described above. Again, the command will be run on two workers as part of a slurm job array. Each worker will be allocated 5 CPUs and 10G of memory by the scheduler, as well as one GPU. One further difference is that gpu-proc also takes an job_queue option that can be used to pass options to each GPU worker separately.


Code - scheduling a job with the ray framework:

yaspi_dir=$(yaspi --install_location)
command="python $yaspi_dir/misc/"
yaspi --job_name=example \
      --cmd="$command" \
      --job_array_size=3 \
      --cpus_per_task=2 \
      --gpus_per_task=1 \
      --mem=10G \

Effect: Scheduling jobs with the ray framework operates in a slightly different manner to the previous two examples (both of which assume embarrasingly parallel processing i.e. no communication between the workers). The ray receipe similarly launches a slurm job array, but assigns the job at index 0 to be the master, and all other nodes as worker nodes. The command is run only on the master node, which then uses ray to allocate tasks to the worker nodes. The command above will launch a slurm job, with the name "example", that: (1) initialises a ray head node and a set of 2 ray workers via a SLURM array job; (2) launches $command from the head node. It will produce an output similar to the following:

started ray head node
timestamp from worker: 2020-02-17 06:40:44.861733
timestamp from worker: 2020-02-17 06:40:44.861793
timestamp from worker: 2020-02-17 06:40:45.062484
timestamp from worker: 2020-02-17 06:40:45.065494

Code - using yaspi directly from python:

Create a Yaspi object with the appropriate options and call its submit() method (for example, see how this is done in yaspi).

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