HPC High Performance Computing: 5.1. Running Matlab basic jobs over SLURM

Running basic Matlab jobs over SLURM

MATLAB is a high-level language and interactive environment for numerical computation, visualization, and programming. Using MATLAB, you can analyze data, develop algorithms, and create models and applications. The language, tools, and built-in math functions enable you to explore multiple approaches and reach a solution faster than with spreadsheets or traditional programming languages, such as C/C++ or Java.

Before using Matlab, you should check if required environment variables are properly set. If they are not, set them following these steps:


test@login01:~$ interactive
salloc: Granted job allocation 391632

test@node010:~# module load MATLAB/2017a
test@node010:~# module list
Currently Loaded Modules:
  1) Java/1.8.0_121   2) MATLAB/2017a


Fig 1. Matlab runtime modifiers


-help Help Shows Matlab help
-e Display environment variables

Display ALL environment variables. If the status return is not 0,

some corrective actions may be needed. Matlab is not run.

-n Display diagnostics

Display environment variables, libraries, arguments and other diagnostic

information to the standard output. Matlab is not run

-arch Architecture request Start Matlab assuming processor architecture arch.
-nodisplay Disable X Do not display any X command. Matlab's JVM is started
-nojvm Disable Matlab JVM Do not start Matlab's JAva virtual machine. Any Matlab extension depending on JVM will not run
-r <file.m> Run file inmediately Start Matlab and run file.m inmediately after
-logfile file.log Send output to file Make a copy of all output to file.log. This include crash reports.


To send Matlab jobs in the background, a combination of Matlab modifiers and SGE options will be used. In the next steps we'll cover how to send a Matlab job to a SGE queue:

1. Write your matlab source in a file with .m extension, the next is named as 'example.m'

x = [1 2 3 4];
fprintf('Example number = %i\n', x)

2. Write a submit job script named as 'matlab-job.sh'. Place it wherever on your home directory, and specify here the desired options.

#SBATCH -J prova_uname10
#SBATCH -p short
#SBATCH -n 32
#SBATCH --workdir=/homedtic/test/Matlab
#SBATCH --time=2:00
#SBATCH -o slurm.%N.%J.%u.out # STDOUT
#SBATCH -e slurm.%N.%J.%u.err # STDERR
module load MATLAB/2017a
matlab -nojvm -nodisplay -r "example;quit;"






Change error and output to the working directory

The output file and the error file will be placed in

the directory from which 'sbatch' is called.


-e <path>/<filename>


Redirect error file

The system will create the given file on the path

specified and will redirect the job's error file here.

If name is not specified, default name will apply.


-o <path>/<filename>


Redirect output file

The system will create the given file on the path

specified and will redirect the job's output file here.

If name is not specified, default name will apply.

-r Run inmediately Start Matlab and run file.m inmediately after




JVM disabled

Does not start the JVM software and uses current window.

Graphics will not work without the JVM.




Display disabled

Also starts the JVM and does not start the

desktop in addition it also ignores Commands

and the DISPLAY environment variable in LINUX.

3. Submit your matlab job:

test@login01:~/Matlab$ sbatch matlab.sh 
Submitted batch job 1100

4. Monitor the job status:

test@login01:~/Matlab$ squeue
              1101     short matlab_t  test  R       0:03      1 node001

5. When the job is finished, the output files are created in your Current Working Directory:

0 -rw-r--r-- 1 test info_users   0 Jan 18 20:54 slurm.node001.1101.test.err
1 -rw-r--r-- 1 test info_users 405 Jan 18 20:54 slurm.node001.1101.test.out


6. The standard output results of Matlab, file with stderr is empty(job without errors):

test@login01:~/Matlab$ tail -f slurm.node001.1101.test.out
                               March 27, 2017
For online documentation, see http://www.mathworks.com/support
For product information, visit www.mathworks.com.
Example number = 1
Example number = 2
Example number = 3
Example number = 4