[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 07:53:48 UTC 2021

Oh and I forgot to mention that we are using Slurm version 20.11.3.


ons, 14 04 2021 kl. 09:23 +0200, skrev Thomas Arildsen:

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
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