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The batch system at SLAC uses the IBM Platform Load Sharing Facility, LSF, and is made up of

  • a general farm of batch servers that is open to all SLAC users
  • a rhel6 mpi farm which requires that you request access (send email to unix-admin) and run only mpi jobs
  • various other farms of machines that belong to individual scientific computing groups.  

Various scientific groups at SLAC contribute to the purchase of the general farm batch systems and jobs submitted to run in the general farm are scheduled according to a fairshare priority structure.  If you are not part of a computing group that has a fairshare, your jobs will run according to the priority of the group called AllUsers.  More information about fairshare scheduling at Slac can be found here 

Submitting Jobs to the General Farm

To submit jobs to the general farm you will need to

  1. get a SLAC unix account:
  2. login to a SLAC public machine using ssh.  The public login hosts are described here Getting Started.

The simplest command to submit a job to the general farm is:

bsub <your job>

This command will submit your job to the first available general farm machine and will be able to run for 20 minutes of wall clock time.  It is recommended to run your job specifying a wall clock time since LSF will use that information to make use of windows of opportunity on systems that are accumulating cores for mpi jobs that are not yet running, and your jobs will schedule more quickly.  To specify a wall clock time:

bsub -W <time in minutes> <your job>

bsub argumentrequirementdescription
-q <queue_name>optionalSpecifies a job submission queue. Not required for running jobs in the general shared clusters.

-R "rhel60" or

-R "centos7"

optionalThe general queues are a mix of rhel6 and centos7 hosts.  Use one of these -R options to restrict your job to the indicated OS.
-W <[hours]:minutes>requiredWallclock runtime limit that is not normalized for CPU differences. Essential for efficient job scheduling. Jobs will be terminated if they exceed this runlimit
-We <[hours]:minutes>optionalWallclock estimated runtime limit that is not normalized for CPU differences. The system will consider this estimate for scheduling purposes. Jobs may be not terminated immediately if they exceed this limit
-c <[hours]:minutes>optionalcputime limit that is normalized by the CPU factor of the assigned core. Intended to prevent runaway jobs but it is not used to schedule time on cores.

General Queues






EXPRESS4 min4 min200
SHORT20 min60 min185
MEDIUM30 min2 days180
LONG30 min5 days175
IDLE12 hours12 hours5

bulletmpi *15 min7 days187
bulletmpi-large *15 min1 day


*The bulletmpi and bulletmpi-large queues are for mpi jobs only.  Access can be requested by email to unix-admin.

General farm batch hosts



No. in




Dell PowerEdge M620

dual 8 core 2.2GHz Intel Xeon E5-2660

64GB memory

bullet0001 and 2 are login nodes
kiso 68centos7

Dell R410

dual hexa-core 2.66GHz Intel Xeon X5650 CPUs

48GB memory


Dell Poweredge M630

quad hexa-core 2.30GHz Xeon E5-2670 CPUs

132GB memory


Dell Poweredge C6420

dual 18-core 2.70GHz Xeon Gold 6150 CPUs

196GB memory

bubble0001 is a login node

7 are available to the general farm,

12 more are available to the general farm

for jobs running 10 minutes or less.

*The pool or resource name can be used to run on a specific set of hosts, i.e. "bsub -R kiso <job>"

Fermi/GLAST and batch

Information about using batch at SLAC for the Fermi/GLAST user can be found here:


There are manpages available for the various batch commands and there is full documentation for LSF here .

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