[slurm-users] Slurm memory units

Killian Murphy killian.murphy at york.ac.uk
Wed May 6 09:42:46 UTC 2020

Hi all.

I'm probably making a rookie error here...which 'megabyte' (powers of 1000
or 1024) does the Slurm documentation refer to in, for example, the
slurm.conf documentation for RealMemory and the sbatch documentation for

Most of our nodes have the same physical memory configuration. From the
output of `free -m` and `slurmd -C` on one of the nodes, we have 191668M
(187G). Consequently, `RealMemory` for those nodes has been set to 191668
in slurm.conf. As a result, when a user requests memory above '187G' for
node memory, Slurm reports to them that the requested node configuration is
not available.

Only...we have 191668MiB of system memory, not MB. `free -m --si` (use
powers of 1000, not 1024) reports 192628MB of system memory (which,
frustratingly indicates that the 'free' documentation is also not using the
newer unit names). So it seems as though Slurm is working in powers of
1024, not powers of 1000.

I'm probably just confused about the unit definitions, or there is some
convention being applied here, but would appreciate some confirmation
either way!


Killian Murphy
Research Software Engineer

Wolfson Atmospheric Chemistry Laboratories
University of York
YO10 5DD
+44 (0)1904 32 4753

e-mail disclaimer: http://www.york.ac.uk/docs/disclaimer/email.htm
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