[slurm-users] slurm accounting shows more MaxRSS than physically available memory

Juergen Salk juergen.salk at uni-ulm.de
Wed Nov 2 13:25:35 UTC 2022

Hi Martin,

to my very best knowledge MaxRSS does report aggregated memory consumption 
of all tasks but including all the shared libraries that the individual 
processes uses, even though a shared library is only loaded into memory 
once regardless of how many processes use it.

So shared libraries do count multiple times (once for every individual 
process) to MaxRSS when summed up. This can even result in a higher 
MaxRSS value reported by sacct than the total amount of memory that is 
physically available.

For exactly that reason we have decided to use
`JobAcctGatherParams=UsePss´ in slurm.conf as we think proportional
set size (PSS) is more useful than RSS because when the PSS for all
processes are summed together, that seems to be a better
representation for the "true" total memory consumption of the job.

Also see:


I would also be interested what others think.

Best regards

* Ohlerich, Martin <Martin.Ohlerich at lrz.de> [221102 11:53]:
> Dear "Commiserates".
> I wonder a bit about the meaning of MaxRSS. The documentation says:
> "Maximum resident set size of all tasks in job."
> To what refers here "maximum"? The maximum over job period, I
> understand hopefully correctly. But it does not seem to be the size
> of all tasks (summed up, so-to-speak), but the maximum size of RSS
> of that task with the largest RSS of all tasks during the job's
> period. Right?
> In any case, I observed something like this:
> login08:~> sacct -j 2408392 -o 'maxrss,maxrssnode%20'
>     MaxRSS           MaxRSSNode
> ---------- --------------------
> 102124920K         i02r09c03s02
> ... so 102 GB if I counted the decimal positions correctly. On the other hand, for specifically this node, I actually only have
> i02r09c03s02:~> cat /proc/meminfo
> MemTotal:       98436736 kB
> i.e. 98 GB RAM ...
> Does anybody know whether there is a reasonable explanation how this can be? Specifically is the situation even worse, if MaxRSS is the maximum RSS of only one task (rank) on that node. What about the other tasks (which certainly also consume memory). And also the OS is quite large on these disk-less compute nodes.
> Would be nice if you could share any ideas about my finding. Thank you!
> Kind regards,
> Martin

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