Quick Start Administrator Guide



Please see the Quick Start User Guide for a general overview.

Also see Platforms for a list of supported computer platforms.

This document also includes a section specifically describing how to perform upgrades.

Super Quick Start

  1. Make sure the clocks, users and groups (UIDs and GIDs) are synchronized across the cluster.
  2. Install MUNGE for authentication. Make sure that all nodes in your cluster have the same munge.key. Make sure the MUNGE daemon, munged, is started before you start the Slurm daemons.
  3. Download the latest version of Slurm
  4. Install Slurm using one of the following methods:
    • Build RPM or DEB packages (recommended for production)
    • Build Manually from source (for developers or advanced users)
    • NOTE: Some Linux distributions may have unofficial Slurm packages available in software repositories. SchedMD does not maintain or recommend these packages.
  5. Build a configuration file using your favorite web browser and the Slurm Configuration Tool.
    NOTE: The SlurmUser must exist prior to starting Slurm and must exist on all nodes of the cluster.
    NOTE: The parent directories for Slurm's log files, process ID files, state save directories, etc. are not created by Slurm. They must be created and made writable by SlurmUser as needed prior to starting Slurm daemons.
    NOTE: If any parent directories are created during the installation process (for the executable files, libraries, etc.), those directories will have access rights equal to read/write/execute for everyone minus the umask value (e.g. umask=0022 generates directories with permissions of "drwxr-r-x" and mask=0000 generates directories with permissions of "drwxrwrwx" which is a security problem).
  6. Install the configuration file in <sysconfdir>/slurm.conf.
    NOTE: You will need to install this configuration file on all nodes of the cluster.
  7. systemd (optional): enable the appropriate services on each system:
    • Controller: systemctl enable slurmctld
    • Database: systemctl enable slurmdbd
    • Compute Nodes: systemctl enable slurmd
  8. Start the slurmctld and slurmd daemons.

FreeBSD administrators should see the FreeBSD section below.

Building and Installing Slurm

Installing Prerequisites

Before building Slurm, consider which plugins you will need for your installation. Which plugins are built can vary based on the libraries that are available when running configure. Refer to the below list of possible plugins and what is required to build them.

  • auth/Slurm The auth/slurm plugin will be built if the jwt developmenty library is installed. This is an alternative to the traditional MUNGE authentication mechanism.
  • AMD GPU Support Autodetection of AMD GPUs will be available if the ROCm development library is installed.
  • cgroup Task Constraining The task/cgroup plugin will be built if the hwloc development library is present. cgroup/v2 support also requires the bpf and dbus development libraries.
  • HDF5 Job Profiling The acct_gather_profile/hdf5 job profiling plugin will be built if the hdf5 development library is present.
  • HTML Man Pages HTML versions of the man pages will be generated if the man2html command is present.
  • InfiniBand Accounting The acct_gather_interconnect/ofed InfiniBand accounting plugin will be built if the libibmad and libibumad development libraries are present.
  • Intel GPU Support Autodetection of Intel GPUs will be available if the libvpl development library is installed.
  • IPMI Energy Consumption The acct_gather_energy/ipmi accounting plugin will be built if the freeipmi development library is present. When building the RPM, rpmbuild ... --with freeipmi can be specified to explicitly check for these dependencies.
  • Lua Support The lua API will be available in various plugins if the lua development library is present.
  • MUNGE The auth/munge plugin will be built if the MUNGE authentication development library is installed. MUNGE is used as the default authentication mechanism.
  • MySQL MySQL support for accounting will be built if the MySQL or MariaDB development library is present. A currently supported version of MySQL or MariaDB should be used.
  • NUMA Affinity NUMA support in the task/affinity plugin will be available if the numa development library is installed.
  • NVIDIA GPU Support Autodetection of NVIDIA GPUs will be available if the libnvidia-ml development library is installed.
  • PAM Support PAM support will be added if the PAM development library is installed.
  • PMIx PMIx support will be added if the pmix development library is installed.
  • Readline Support Readline support in scontrol and sacctmgr's interactive modes will be available if the readline development library is present.
  • REST API Support for Slurm's REST API will be built if the http-parser and json-c development libraries are installed. Additional functionality will be included if the optional yaml and jwt development libraries are installed.
  • RRD External Sensor Data Collection The ext_sensors/rrd plugin will be built if the rrdtool development library is present.
  • sview The sview command will be built only if gtk+-2.0 is installed.

Please see the Download page for references to required software to build these plugins.

If required libraries or header files are in non-standard locations, set CFLAGS and LDFLAGS environment variables accordingly.

Building RPMs

To build RPMs directly, copy the distributed tarball into a directory and execute (substituting the appropriate Slurm version number):
rpmbuild -ta slurm-23.02.7.tar.bz2

The rpm files will be installed under the $(HOME)/rpmbuild directory of the user building them.

You can control some aspects of the RPM built with a .rpmmacros file in your home directory. Special macro definitions will likely only be required if files are installed in unconventional locations. A full list of rpmbuild options can be found near the top of the slurm.spec file. Some macro definitions that may be used in building Slurm include:

Specify if debugging logic within Slurm is to be enabled
Pathname of directory to contain the Slurm files
Pathname of directory containing the slurm.conf configuration file (default /etc/slurm)
Specifies the MUNGE (authentication library) installation location

An example .rpmmacros file:

# .rpmmacros
# Override some RPM macros from /usr/lib/rpm/macros
# Set Slurm-specific macros for unconventional file locations
%_enable_debug     "--with-debug"
%_prefix           /opt/slurm
%_slurm_sysconfdir %{_prefix}/etc/slurm
%_defaultdocdir    %{_prefix}/doc
%with_munge        "--with-munge=/opt/munge"

RPMs Installed

The RPMs needed on the head node, compute nodes, and slurmdbd node can vary by configuration, but here is a suggested starting point:

  • Head Node (where the slurmctld daemon runs),
    Compute and Login Nodes
    • slurm
    • slurm-perlapi
    • slurm-slurmctld (only on the head node)
    • slurm-slurmd (only on the compute nodes)
  • SlurmDBD Node
    • slurm
    • slurm-slurmdbd

Building Debian Packages

Beginning with Slurm 23.11.0, Slurm includes the files required to build Debian packages. These packages conflict with the packages shipped with Debian based distributions, and are named distinctly to differentiate them. After downloading the desired version of Slurm, the following can be done to build the packages:

  • Install basic Debian package build requirements:
    apt-get install build-essential fakeroot devscripts
  • Unpack the distributed tarball:
    tar -xaf slurm*tar.bz2
  • cd to the directory containing the Slurm source
  • Install the Slurm package dependencies:
    mk-build-deps -i debian/control
  • Build the Slurm packages:
    debuild -b -uc -us

The packages will be in the parent directory after debuild completes.

Installing Debian Packages

The packages needed on the head node, compute nodes, and slurmdbd node can vary site to site, but this is a good starting point:

  • SlurmDBD Node
    • slurm-smd
    • slurm-smd-slurmdbd
  • Head Node (slurmctld node)
    • slurm-smd
    • slurm-smd-slurmctld
    • slurm-smd-client
  • Compute Nodes (slurmd node)
    • slurm-smd
    • slurm-smd-slurmd
    • slurm-smd-client
  • Login Nodes
    • slurm-smd
    • slurm-smd-client

Building Manually

Instructions to build and install Slurm manually are shown below. This is significantly more complicated to manage than the RPM and DEB build procedures, so this approach is only recommended for developers or advanced users who are looking for a more customized install. See the README and INSTALL files in the source distribution for more details.

  1. Unpack the distributed tarball:
    tar -xaf slurm*tar.bz2
  2. cd to the directory containing the Slurm source and type ./configure with appropriate options (see below).
  3. Type make install to compile and install the programs, documentation, libraries, header files, etc.
  4. Type ldconfig -n <library_location> so that the Slurm libraries can be found by applications that intend to use Slurm APIs directly. The library location will be a subdirectory of PREFIX (described below) and depend upon the system type and configuration, typically lib or lib64. For example, if PREFIX is "/usr" and the subdirectory is "lib64" then you would find that a file named "/usr/lib64/libslurm.so" was installed and the command ldconfig -n /usr/lib64 should be executed.

A full list of configure options will be returned by the command configure --help. The most commonly used arguments to the configure command include:

Enable additional debugging logic within Slurm.

Install architecture-independent files in PREFIX; default value is /usr/local.

Specify location of Slurm configuration file. The default value is PREFIX/etc


slurmctld is sometimes called the "controller". It orchestrates Slurm activities, including queuing of jobs, monitoring node states, and allocating resources to jobs. There is an optional backup controller that automatically assumes control in the event the primary controller fails (see the High Availability section below). The primary controller resumes control whenever it is restored to service. The controller saves its state to disk whenever there is a change in state (see "StateSaveLocation" in Configuration section below). This state can be recovered by the controller at startup time. State changes are saved so that jobs and other state information can be preserved when the controller moves (to or from a backup controller) or is restarted.

We recommend that you create a Unix user slurm for use by slurmctld. This user name will also be specified using the SlurmUser in the slurm.conf configuration file. This user must exist on all nodes of the cluster. Note that files and directories used by slurmctld will need to be readable or writable by the user SlurmUser (the Slurm configuration files must be readable; the log file directory and state save directory must be writable).

The slurmd daemon executes on every compute node. It resembles a remote shell daemon to export control to Slurm. Because slurmd initiates and manages user jobs, it must execute as the user root.

If you want to archive job accounting records to a database, the slurmdbd (Slurm DataBase Daemon) should be used. We recommend that you defer adding accounting support until after basic Slurm functionality is established on your system. An Accounting web page contains more information.

slurmctld and/or slurmd should be initiated at node startup time per the Slurm configuration.

The slurmrestd daemon was introduced in version 20.02 and allows clients to communicate with Slurm via the REST API. This is installed by default, assuming the prerequisites are met. It has two run modes, allowing you to have it run as a traditional Unix service and always listen for TCP connections, or you can have it run as an Inet service and only have it active when in use.

High Availability

Multiple SlurmctldHost entries can be configured, with any entry beyond the first being treated as a backup host. Any backup hosts configured should be on a different node than the node hosting the primary slurmctld. However, all hosts should mount a common file system containing the state information (see "StateSaveLocation" in the Configuration section below).

If more than one host is specified, when the primary fails the second listed SlurmctldHost will take over for it. When the primary returns to service, it notifies the backup. The backup then saves the state and returns to backup mode. The primary reads the saved state and resumes normal operation. Likewise, if both of the first two listed hosts fail the third SlurmctldHost will take over until the primary returns to service. Other than a brief period of non- responsiveness, the transition back and forth should go undetected.

Prior to 18.08, Slurm used the "BackupAddr" and "BackupController" parameters for High Availability. These parameters have been deprecated and are replaced by "SlurmctldHost". Also see " SlurmctldPrimaryOnProg" and " SlurmctldPrimaryOffProg" to adjust the actions taken when machines transition between being the primary controller.

Any time the slurmctld daemon or hardware fails before state information reaches disk can result in lost state. Slurmctld writes state frequently (every five seconds by default), but with large numbers of jobs, the formatting and writing of records can take seconds and recent changes might not be written to disk. Another example is if the state information is written to file, but that information is cached in memory rather than written to disk when the node fails. The interval between state saves being written to disk can be configured at build time by defining SAVE_MAX_WAIT to a different value than five.

A backup instance of slurmdbd can also be configured by specifying AccountingStorageBackupHost in slurm.conf, as well as DbdBackupHost in slurmdbd.conf. The backup host should be on a different machine than the one hosting the primary instance of slurmdbd. Both instances of slurmdbd should have access to the same database. The network page has a visual representation of how this might look.


User and Group Identification

There must be a uniform user and group name space (including UIDs and GIDs) across the cluster. It is not necessary to permit user logins to the control hosts (SlurmctldHost), but the users and groups must be resolvable on those hosts.

Authentication of Slurm communications

All communications between Slurm components are authenticated. The authentication infrastructure is provided by a dynamically loaded plugin chosen at runtime via the AuthType keyword in the Slurm configuration file. Until 23.11.0, the only supported authentication type was munge, which requires the installation of the MUNGE package. When using MUNGE, all nodes in the cluster must be configured with the same munge.key file. The MUNGE daemon, munged, must also be started before Slurm daemons. Note that MUNGE does require clocks to be synchronized throughout the cluster, usually done by NTP.

As of 23.11.0, AuthType can also be set to slurm, an internal authentication plugin. This plugin has similar requirements to MUNGE, requiring a key file shared to all Slurm daemons. The auth/slurm plugin requires installation of the jwt pacakge.

MUNGE is currently the default and recommended option. The configure script in the top-level directory of this distribution will determine which authentication plugins may be built. The configuration file specifies which of the available plugins will be utilized.

MPI support

Slurm supports many different MPI implementations. For more information, see MPI.

Scheduler support

Slurm can be configured with rather simple or quite sophisticated scheduling algorithms depending upon your needs and willingness to manage the configuration (much of which requires a database). The first configuration parameter of interest is PriorityType with two options available: basic (first-in-first-out) and multifactor. The multifactor plugin will assign a priority to jobs based upon a multitude of configuration parameters (age, size, fair-share allocation, etc.) and its details are beyond the scope of this document. See the Multifactor Job Priority Plugin document for details.

The SchedType configuration parameter controls how queued jobs are scheduled and several options are available.

  • builtin will initiate jobs strictly in their priority order, typically (first-in-first-out)
  • backfill will initiate a lower-priority job if doing so does not delay the expected initiation time of higher priority jobs; essentially using smaller jobs to fill holes in the resource allocation plan. Effective backfill scheduling does require users to specify job time limits.
  • gang time-slices jobs in the same partition/queue and can be used to preempt jobs from lower-priority queues in order to execute jobs in higher priority queues.

For more information about scheduling options see Gang Scheduling, Preemption, Resource Reservation Guide, Resource Limits and Sharing Consumable Resources.

Resource selection

The resource selection mechanism used by Slurm is controlled by the SelectType configuration parameter. If you want to execute multiple jobs per node, but track and manage allocation of the processors, memory and other resources, the cons_tres (consumable trackable resources) plugin is recommended. For more information, please see Consumable Resources in Slurm.


Slurm uses syslog to record events if the SlurmctldLogFile and SlurmdLogFile locations are not set.


Slurm supports accounting records being written to a simple text file, directly to a database (MySQL or MariaDB), or to a daemon securely managing accounting data for multiple clusters. For more information see Accounting.

Compute node access

Slurm does not by itself limit access to allocated compute nodes, but it does provide mechanisms to accomplish this. There is a Pluggable Authentication Module (PAM) for restricting access to compute nodes available for download. When installed, the Slurm PAM module will prevent users from logging into any node that has not be assigned to that user. On job termination, any processes initiated by the user outside of Slurm's control may be killed using an Epilog script configured in slurm.conf.


The Slurm configuration file includes a wide variety of parameters. This configuration file must be available on each node of the cluster and must have consistent contents. A full description of the parameters is included in the slurm.conf man page. Rather than duplicate that information, a minimal sample configuration file is shown below. Your slurm.conf file should define at least the configuration parameters defined in this sample and likely additional ones. Any text following a "#" is considered a comment. The keywords in the file are not case sensitive, although the argument typically is (e.g., "SlurmUser=slurm" might be specified as "slurmuser=slurm"). The control machine, like all other machine specifications, can include both the host name and the name used for communications. In this case, the host's name is "mcri" and the name "emcri" is used for communications. In this case "emcri" is the private management network interface for the host "mcri". Port numbers to be used for communications are specified as well as various timer values.

The SlurmUser must be created as needed prior to starting Slurm and must exist on all nodes in your cluster. The parent directories for Slurm's log files, process ID files, state save directories, etc. are not created by Slurm. They must be created and made writable by SlurmUser as needed prior to starting Slurm daemons.

The StateSaveLocation is used to store information about the current state of the cluster, including information about queued, running and recently completed jobs. The directory used should be on a low-latency local disk to prevent file system delays from affecting Slurm performance. If using a backup host, the StateSaveLocation should reside on a file system shared by the two hosts. We do not recommend using NFS to make the directory accessible to both hosts, but do recommend a shared mount that is accessible to the two controllers and allows low-latency reads and writes to the disk. If a controller comes up without access to the state information, queued and running jobs will be cancelled.

A description of the nodes and their grouping into partitions is required. A simple node range expression may optionally be used to specify ranges of nodes to avoid building a configuration file with large numbers of entries. The node range expression can contain one pair of square brackets with a sequence of comma separated numbers and/or ranges of numbers separated by a "-" (e.g. "linux[0-64,128]", or "lx[15,18,32-33]"). Up to two numeric ranges can be included in the expression (e.g. "rack[0-63]_blade[0-41]"). If one or more numeric expressions are included, one of them must be at the end of the name (e.g. "unit[0-31]rack" is invalid), but arbitrary names can always be used in a comma separated list.

Node names can have up to three name specifications: NodeName is the name used by all Slurm tools when referring to the node, NodeAddr is the name or IP address Slurm uses to communicate with the node, and NodeHostname is the name returned by the command /bin/hostname -s. Only NodeName is required (the others default to the same name), although supporting all three parameters provides complete control over naming and addressing the nodes. See the slurm.conf man page for details on all configuration parameters.

Nodes can be in more than one partition and each partition can have different constraints (permitted users, time limits, job size limits, etc.). Each partition can thus be considered a separate queue. Partition and node specifications use node range expressions to identify nodes in a concise fashion. This configuration file defines a 1154-node cluster for Slurm, but it might be used for a much larger cluster by just changing a few node range expressions. Specify the minimum processor count (CPUs), real memory space (RealMemory, megabytes), and temporary disk space (TmpDisk, megabytes) that a node should have to be considered available for use. Any node lacking these minimum configuration values will be considered DOWN and not scheduled. Note that a more extensive sample configuration file is provided in etc/slurm.conf.example. We also have a web-based configuration tool which can be used to build a simple configuration file, which can then be manually edited for more complex configurations.

# Sample /etc/slurm.conf for mcr.llnl.gov
# Node Configurations
NodeName=DEFAULT CPUs=2 RealMemory=2000 TmpDisk=64000 State=UNKNOWN
NodeName=mcr[0-1151] NodeAddr=emcr[0-1151]
# Partition Configurations
PartitionName=DEFAULT State=UP
PartitionName=pdebug Nodes=mcr[0-191] MaxTime=30 MaxNodes=32 Default=YES
PartitionName=pbatch Nodes=mcr[192-1151]


Besides authentication of Slurm communications based upon the value of the AuthType, digital signatures are used in job step credentials. This signature is used by slurmctld to construct a job step credential, which is sent to srun and then forwarded to slurmd to initiate job steps. This design offers improved performance by removing much of the job step initiation overhead from the slurmctld daemon. The digital signature mechanism is specified by the CredType configuration parameter and the default mechanism is MUNGE.

Pluggable Authentication Module (PAM) support

A PAM module (Pluggable Authentication Module) is available for Slurm that can prevent a user from accessing a node which he has not been allocated, if that mode of operation is desired.

Starting the Daemons

For testing purposes you may want to start by just running slurmctld and slurmd on one node. By default, they execute in the background. Use the -D option for each daemon to execute them in the foreground and logging will be done to your terminal. The -v option will log events in more detail with more v's increasing the level of detail (e.g. -vvvvvv). You can use one window to execute "slurmctld -D -vvvvvv", a second window to execute "slurmd -D -vvvvv". You may see errors such as "Connection refused" or "Node X not responding" while one daemon is operative and the other is being started, but the daemons can be started in any order and proper communications will be established once both daemons complete initialization. You can use a third window to execute commands such as "srun -N1 /bin/hostname" to confirm functionality.

Another important option for the daemons is "-c" to clear previous state information. Without the "-c" option, the daemons will restore any previously saved state information: node state, job state, etc. With the "-c" option all previously running jobs will be purged and node state will be restored to the values specified in the configuration file. This means that a node configured down manually using the scontrol command will be returned to service unless noted as being down in the configuration file. In practice, Slurm consistently restarts with preservation.

Administration Examples

scontrol can be used to print all system information and modify most of it. Only a few examples are shown below. Please see the scontrol man page for full details. The commands and options are all case insensitive.

Print detailed state of all jobs in the system.

adev0: scontrol
scontrol: show job
JobId=475 UserId=bob(6885) Name=sleep JobState=COMPLETED
   Priority=4294901286 Partition=batch BatchFlag=0
   AllocNode:Sid=adevi:21432 TimeLimit=UNLIMITED
   StartTime=03/19-12:53:41 EndTime=03/19-12:53:59
   NodeList=adev8 NodeListIndecies=-1
   NumCPUs=0 MinNodes=0 OverSubscribe=0 Contiguous=0
   MinCPUs=0 MinMemory=0 Features=(null) MinTmpDisk=0
   ReqNodeList=(null) ReqNodeListIndecies=-1

JobId=476 UserId=bob(6885) Name=sleep JobState=RUNNING
   Priority=4294901285 Partition=batch BatchFlag=0
   AllocNode:Sid=adevi:21432 TimeLimit=UNLIMITED
   StartTime=03/19-12:54:01 EndTime=NONE
   NodeList=adev8 NodeListIndecies=8,8,-1
   NumCPUs=0 MinNodes=0 OverSubscribe=0 Contiguous=0
   MinCPUs=0 MinMemory=0 Features=(null) MinTmpDisk=0
   ReqNodeList=(null) ReqNodeListIndecies=-1

Print the detailed state of job 477 and change its priority to zero. A priority of zero prevents a job from being initiated (it is held in "pending" state).

adev0: scontrol
scontrol: show job 477
JobId=477 UserId=bob(6885) Name=sleep JobState=PENDING
   Priority=4294901286 Partition=batch BatchFlag=0
   more data removed....
scontrol: update JobId=477 Priority=0

Print the state of node adev13 and drain it. To drain a node, specify a new state of DRAIN, DRAINED, or DRAINING. Slurm will automatically set it to the appropriate value of either DRAINING or DRAINED depending on whether the node is allocated or not. Return it to service later.

adev0: scontrol
scontrol: show node adev13
NodeName=adev13 State=ALLOCATED CPUs=2 RealMemory=3448 TmpDisk=32000
   Weight=16 Partition=debug Features=(null)
scontrol: update NodeName=adev13 State=DRAIN
scontrol: show node adev13
NodeName=adev13 State=DRAINING CPUs=2 RealMemory=3448 TmpDisk=32000
   Weight=16 Partition=debug Features=(null)
scontrol: quit
adev0: scontrol
scontrol: show node adev13
NodeName=adev13 State=DRAINED CPUs=2 RealMemory=3448 TmpDisk=32000
   Weight=16 Partition=debug Features=(null)
scontrol: update NodeName=adev13 State=IDLE

Reconfigure all Slurm daemons on all nodes. This should be done after changing the Slurm configuration file.

adev0: scontrol reconfig

Print the current Slurm configuration. This also reports if the primary and secondary controllers (slurmctld daemons) are responding. To just see the state of the controllers, use the command ping.

adev0: scontrol show config
Configuration data as of 2019-03-29T12:20:45
SlurmctldAddr           = eadevi
SlurmctldDebug          = info
SlurmctldHost[0]        = adevi
SlurmctldHost[1]        = adevj
SlurmctldLogFile        = /var/log/slurmctld.log

Slurmctld(primary) at adevi is UP
Slurmctld(backup) at adevj is UP

Shutdown all Slurm daemons on all nodes.

adev0: scontrol shutdown


Background: The Slurm version number contains three period-separated numbers that represent both the major Slurm release and maintenance release level. The first two parts combine together to represent the major release, and match the year and month of that major release. The third number in the version designates a specific maintenance level: year.month.maintenance-release (e.g. 23.11.1 is major Slurm release 23.11, and maintenance version 1). Thus version 23.11.x was initially released in November 2023. Changes in the RPCs (remote procedure calls) and state files will only be made if the major release number changes, which typically happens about every nine months. A list of most recent major Slurm releases is shown below.

  • 22.05.x (Released May 2022)
  • 23.02.x (Released February 2023)
  • 23.11.x (Released November 2023)

If the SlurmDBD daemon is used, it must be at the same or higher major release number as the Slurmctld daemons. In other words, when changing the version to a higher release number (e.g. from 23.02.x to 23.11.x) always upgrade the SlurmDBD daemon first. Database table changes may be required for the upgrade, for example adding new fields to existing tables. This must complete before upgrading slurmctld. If the database contains a large number of entries, the SlurmDBD daemon may require tens of minutes to update the database and be unresponsive during this time interval.

Before upgrading SlurmDBD it is strongly recommended to make a backup of the database. We recommend you only backup the database used by slurmdbd to limit the time spent creating the backup and avoid potential problems when restoring from a file that contains multiple databases. If using mysqldump, the default behavior is to lock the tables, which can cause issues if SlurmDBD is still trying to send updates to the database. If you must make a backup while the cluster is still active we recommend you use the --single-transaction flag with mysqldump to avoid locking tables. This will dump a consistent state of the database without blocking any applications. Note that in order for this flag to have the desired effect you must be using the InnoDB storage engine (specified by default when Slurm automatically creates any table) (e.g. mysqldump --single-transaction --databases slurm_acct_db > backup.sql).

Our recommendation is to first stop the SlurmDBD daemon and then backup the database (using a tool like mysqldump, Percona xtrabackup or other) before proceeding with the upgrade. Note that requests intended for SlurmDBD from Slurmctld will be queued while SlurmDBD is down, but the queue size is limited and you should monitor the DBD Agent Queue size with the sdiag command.

NOTE: If you have an existing Slurm accounting database and plan to upgrade your database server to MariaDB 10.2.1 or later from an older version of MariaDB or any version of MySQL, ensure you are running slurmdbd 22.05.7 or later. These versions will gracefully handle changes to MariaDB default values that can cause problems for slurmdbd.

The slurmctld daemon must also be upgraded before or at the same time as the client commands and slurmd daemons on the compute nodes. Generally, upgrading Slurm on all of the login and compute nodes is recommended, although rolling upgrades are also possible (i.e. upgrading the head node(s) first then upgrading the compute and login nodes later at various times). In the case of rolling upgrades, take into account that upgrading the client commands should always be the last step of the process. Also see the note above about reverse compatibility.

Almost every new major release of Slurm (e.g. 22.05.x to 23.02.x) involves changes to the state files with new data structures, new options, etc. Slurm permits upgrades to a new major release from the past two major releases, which happen every nine months (e.g. 22.05.x or 23.02.x to 23.11.x) without loss of jobs or other state information. State information from older versions will not be recognized and will be discarded, resulting in loss of all running and pending jobs. State files are not recognized when downgrading (e.g. from 23.02.x to 22.05.x) and will be discarded, resulting in loss of all running and pending jobs. For this reason, creating backup copies of state files (as described below) can be of value. Therefore when upgrading Slurm (more precisely, the slurmctld daemon), saving the StateSaveLocation (as defined in slurm.conf) directory contents with all state information is recommended. If you need to downgrade, restoring that directory's contents will let you recover the jobs. Jobs submitted under the new version will not be in those state files, but it can let you recover most jobs. An exception to this is that jobs may be lost when installing new pre-release versions (e.g. 22.05.0-pre1 to 22.05.0-pre2). Developers will try to note these cases in the NEWS file. Contents of major releases are also described in the RELEASE_NOTES file.

A common approach when performing upgrades is to install the new version of Slurm to a unique directory and use a symbolic link to point the directory in your PATH to the version of Slurm you would like to use. This allows you to install the new version before you are in a maintenance period as well as easily switch between versions should you need to roll back for any reason. It also avoids potential problems with library conflicts that might arise from installing different versions to the same directory.

Slurm's main public API library (libslurm.so.X.0.0) increases its version number with every major release, so any application linked against it should be recompiled after an upgrade. This includes locally developed Slurm plugins.

If you have built your own version of Slurm plugins, besides having to recompile them, they will likely need modification to support the new version of Slurm. It is common for plugins to add new functions and function arguments during major updates. See the RELEASE_NOTES file for details about these changes.

Slurm's PMI-1 (libpmi.so.0.0.0) and PMI-2 (libpmi2.so.0.0.0) public API libraries do not change between releases and are meant to be permanently fixed. This means that linking against either of them will not require you to recompile the application after a Slurm upgrade, except in the unlikely event that one of them changes. It is unlikely because these libraries must be compatible with any other PMI-1 and PMI-2 implementations. If there was a change, it would be announced in the RELEASE_NOTES and would only happen on a major release.

As an example, MPI stacks like OpenMPI and MVAPICH2 link against Slurm's PMI-1 and/or PMI-2 API, but not against our main public API. This means that at the time of writing this documentation, you don't need to recompile these stacks after a Slurm upgrade. One known exception is MPICH. When MPICH is compiled with Slurm support and with the Hydra Process Manager, it will use the Slurm API to obtain job information. This link means you will need to recompile the MPICH stack after an upgrade.

One easy way to know if an application requires a recompile is to inspect all of its ELF files with 'ldd' and grep for 'slurm'. If you see a versioned 'libslurm.so.x.y.z' reference, then the application will likely need to be recompiled.

Slurm daemons will support RPCs and state files from the two previous major releases (e.g. a version 23.11.x SlurmDBD will support slurmctld daemons and commands with a version of 23.11.x, 23.02.x or 22.05.x). This means that upgrading at least once each year is recommended. Otherwise, intermediate upgrades will be required to preserve state information. Changes in the maintenance release number generally only include bug fixes, but may also include other minor enhancements.

Be mindful of your configured SlurmdTimeout and SlurmctldTimeout values. If the Slurm daemons are down for longer than the specified timeout during an upgrade, nodes may be marked DOWN and their jobs killed. You can either increase the timeout values during an upgrade or ensure that the slurmd daemons on compute nodes are not down for longer than SlurmdTimeout. The recommended upgrade order is as follows:

  1. Shutdown the slurmdbd daemon.
  2. Backup the Slurm database using mysqldump (or similar tool), e.g. mysqldump --databases slurm_acct_db > backup.sql. You may also want to take this opportunity to verify that the innodb_buffer_pool_size in my.cnf is greater than the default. See the recommendation in the accounting page.
  3. Upgrade the slurmdbd daemon.
  4. Restart the slurmdbd daemon.
    • NOTE: The first time slurmdbd is started after an upgrade it will take some time to update existing records in the database. If slurmdbd is started with systemd, it may think that slurmdbd is not responding and kill the process when it reaches its timeout value, which causes problems with the upgrade. We recommend starting slurmdbd by calling the command directly rather than using systemd when performing an upgrade.
  5. Increase configured SlurmdTimeout and SlurmctldTimeout values and execute "scontrol reconfig" for them to take effect.
  6. Shutdown the slurmctld daemon(s).
  7. Shutdown the slurmd daemons on the compute nodes.
  8. Copy the contents of the configured StateSaveLocation directory (in case of any possible failure).
  9. Upgrade the slurmctld and slurmd daemons.
  10. Restart the slurmd daemons on the compute nodes.
  11. Restart the slurmctld daemon(s).
  12. Validate proper operation.
  13. Restore configured SlurmdTimeout and SlurmctldTimeout values and execute "scontrol reconfig" for them to take effect.
  14. Destroy backup copies of database and/or state files.

NOTE: It is possible to update the slurmd daemons on a node-by-node basis after the slurmctld daemon(s) are upgraded, but do make sure their down time is below the SlurmdTimeout value.

NOTE: In the beginning of 2021, a version of Slurm was added to the EPEL repository. This version is not supported or maintained by SchedMD, and is not currently recommend for customer use. Unfortunately, this inclusion could cause Slurm to be updated to a newer version outside of a planned maintenance period. In order to prevent Slurm from being updated unintentionally, we recommend you modify the EPEL Repository configuration to exclude all Slurm packages from automatic updates.



FreeBSD administrators can install the latest stable Slurm as a binary package using:

pkg install slurm-wlm

Or, it can be built and installed from source using:

cd /usr/ports/sysutils/slurm-wlm && make install

The binary package installs a minimal Slurm configuration suitable for typical compute nodes. Installing from source allows the user to enable options such as mysql and gui tools via a configuration menu.

Last modified 25 April 2024