[slurm-users] Unexpected negative NICE values

Sebastian Potthoff s.potthoff at uni-muenster.de
Wed May 3 08:36:48 UTC 2023

Hello all,

I am encountering some unexpected behavior where the jobs (queued & 
running) of one specific user have negative NICE values and therefore an 
increased priority. The user is not privileged in any way and cannot 
explicitly set the nice value to a negative value by e.g. adding 
"--nice=-INT" . There are also no QoS which would allow this (is this 
even possible?). The cluster is using the "priority/multifactor" plugin 
with weights set for Age, FaireShare and JobSize.

This is the only user on the whole cluster where this occurs. From what 
I can tell, he/she is not doing anything out of the ordinary. However, 
in the job scripts the user does set a nice value of "0". The user also 
uses some "strategy" where he/she submits the same job to multiple 
partitions and, as soon as one of these jobs starts, all other jobs 
(with the same jobname) will be set on "hold".

Does anyone have an idea how this could happen? Does Slurm internally 
adjust the NICE values in certain situations? (I searched the sources 
but couldn't find anything that would suggest this).

Slurm version is 23.02.1

Example squeue output:

[root at mgmt ~]# squeue -u USERID -O JobID,Nice
JOBID               NICE
14846760            -5202
14846766            -8988
14913146            -13758
14917361            -15103

Any hints are appreciated.

Kind regards

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