Introduction to Slurm

The Slurm Workload Manager (formerly known as Simple Linux Utility for Resource Management or SLURM), is a free and open-source job scheduler for Linux and Unix-like kernels, used by many of the world’s supercomputers and computer clusters. It provides three key functions.

  • First, it allocates exclusive and/or non-exclusive access to resources (computer nodes) to users for some duration of time so they can perform work.
  • Second, it provides a framework for starting, executing, and monitoring work (typically a parallel job such as MPI) on a set of allocated nodes.
  • Finally, it arbitrates contention for resources by managing a queue of pending jobs.

Slurm is the workload manager on about 60% of the TOP500 supercomputers, including Tianhe-2 that, until 2016, was the world’s fastest computer.


Slurm began development as a collaborative effort primarily by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, SchedMD, Linux NetworX, Hewlett-Packard, and Groupe Bull as a Free Software resource manager in the 2010s. It was inspired by the closed source Quadrics RMS and shares a similar syntax. The name is a reference to the soda in Futurama!

Components of Slurm workload manager

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