[slurm-users] Why does Slurm kill one particular user's jobs after a few seconds?

Thomas Arildsen tari at its.aau.dk
Wed Apr 14 07:23:18 UTC 2021

I administer a Slurm cluster with many users and the operation of the
cluster currently appears "totally normal" for all users; except for
one. This one user gets all attempts to run commands through Slurm
killed after 20-25 seconds (I think the cause is another job - not so
much the time, see further down).
The following minimal example reproduces the error:

    $ sudo -u <the_user> srun --pty sleep 25
    srun: job 110962 queued and waiting for resources
    srun: job 110962 has been allocated resources
    srun: Force Terminated job 110962
    srun: Job step aborted: Waiting up to 32 seconds for job step to
    slurmstepd: error: *** STEP 110962.0 ON <node> CANCELLED AT 2021-
04-09T16:33:35 ***
    srun: error: <node>: task 0: Terminated

When this happens, I find this line in the slurmctld log:

    _slurm_rpc_kill_job: REQUEST_KILL_JOB JobId=110962 uid

It only happens for '<the_user>' and not for any other user that I know
of. This very similar but shorter-running example works fine:

    $ sudo -u <the_user> srun --pty sleep 20
    srun: job 110963 queued and waiting for resources
    srun: job 110963 has been allocated resources

Note that when I run srun --pty sleep 20 as myself, srun does not
output the two srun: job... lines. This seems to me to be an additional
indication that srun is subject to some different settings for
All settings that I have been able to inspect appear identical for
'<the_user>' as for other users. I have checked, and 'MaxWall' is not
set for this user and not for any other user, either. Other users
belonging to the same Slurm account do not experience this problem.

When this unfortunate user's jobs get allocated, I see messages like
this in

    sched: _slurm_rpc_allocate_resources JobId=111855 NodeList=<node>

and shortly after, I see this message:

    select/cons_tres: common_job_test: no job_resources info for
JobId=110722_* rc=0

Job 110722_* is a pending array job by another user that is pending due
to 'QOSMaxGRESPerUser'. One pending part of this array job (110722_57)
eventually ends up taking over job 111855's CPU cores when 111855 gets
killed. This leads me to believe that 110722_57 causes 111855 to be
killed. However, 110722_57 remains pending afterwards.
Some of the things I fail to understand here are:
  - Why does a pending job kill another job, yet remains pending
  - Why does the pending job even have privileges to kill another job
in the first place?
  - Why does this only affect '<the_user>'s jobs but not those of other

None of this is intended to happen. I am guessing it must be caused by
some settings specific to '<the_user>', but I cannot figure out what
they are and they are not supposed to be like this. If these are
settings we admins somehow caused, it was unintended.

NB: some details have been anonymized as <something> above.

I hope someone has a clue what is going on here. Thanks in advance,

Thomas Arildsen

Special Consultant | CLAAUDIA

Phone: (+45) 9940 9844 | Email: tari at its.aau.dk | Web: 
Aalborg University | Niels Jernes Vej 14, 3-013, 9220 Aalborg Ø,

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