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This page contains all information you need to successfully submit GPU-jobs on UBELIX.

Important Information on GPU Usage

Code that runs on the CPU will not auto-magically make use of GPUs by simply submitting a job to the ‘gpu’ partition! You have to explicitly adapt your code to run on the GPU, e.g. an CUDA or OpenACC implementation. Also, code that runs on a GPU will not necessarily run faster than it runs on the CPU. For example, GPUs require a huge amount of highly parallelizable tasks. In other words, you must understand the characteristics of your job, and make sure that you only submit jobs to the ‘gpu’ partition that can actually benefit from GPUs.

When submitting to the GPU partition the GPU type specification is required.

GPU Types

UBELIX currently features four types of GPUs. You have to choose an architecture and use one of the following --gres option to select it.

Type SLURM gres option
Nvidia Geforce GTX 1080 Ti --gres=gpu:gtx1080ti:<number_of_gpus>
Nvidia Geforce RTX 2080 Ti --gres=gpu:rtx2080ti:<number_of_gpus>
Nvidia Geforce RTX 3090 --gres=gpu:rtx3090:<number_of_gpus>
Nvidia Tesla P100 --gres=gpu:teslap100:<number_of_gpus>

Job Submission

Use the following options to submit a job to the gpu partition using the default job QoS:

#SBATCH --partition=gpu
#SBATCH --gres=gpu:<type>:<number_of_gpus>

QoS job_gpu_preempt

For investors we provide the gpu-invest investor partitions with a specific QoS per investor that guarantees instant access to the purchased resources.
Nevertheless, to efficiently use all resources, the QoS job_gpu_preempt exists in the gpu partition. Jobs, submitted with this QoS have access to all GPU resources, but may be interrupted if resources are required for investor jobs. Short jobs, and jobs that make use of checkpointing will benefit from these additional resources.

Example: Requesting any four RTX2080Ti from the resource pool in the gpu partition:

#SBATCH --partition=gpu
#SBATCH --qos=job_gpu_preempt
#SBATCH --gres=gpu:rtx2080ti:4
## Use the following option to ensure that the job, if preempted,
## won't be re-queued but canceled instead:
#SBATCH --no-requeue

Application Adaptation

Applications do only run on GPUs if they are built specifically to run on GPUs that means with GPU support. There are multiple ways to implement algorithms for GPU usage. The most common ones are low level languages like CUDA or pragma oriented implementations like OpenACC.


We provide compiler and library to build CUDA-based application. These are accessible using environment modules. Use module avail to see which versions are available:

module avail CUDA
---- /software.el7/modulefiles/all ----
   CUDA/8.0.61                           cuDNN/7.1.4-CUDA-9.2.88
   CUDA/9.0.176                          cuDNN/ (D)
   CUDA/9.1.85                           fosscuda/2019a
   CUDA/9.2.88                           fosscuda/2019b               (D)
   CUDA/10.1.105-GCC-8.2.0-2.31.1        gcccuda/2019a
   CUDA/10.1.243                  (D)    gcccuda/2019b                (D)
   cuDNN/6.0-CUDA-8.0.61                 OpenMPI/3.1.3-gcccuda-2019a
   cuDNN/7.0.5-CUDA-9.0.176              OpenMPI/3.1.4-gcccuda-2019b

Run module load <module> to load a specific version of CUDA:

module load cuDNN/7.1.4-CUDA-9.2.88

If you need cuDNN you must only load the cuDNN module. The appropriate CUDA version is then loaded automatically as a dependency.

GPU Usage Monitoring

To verify the usage of one or multiple GPUs the nvidia-smi tool can be utilized. The tool needs to be launched on the related node. After the job started running, a new job step can be created using srun and call nvidia-smi to display the resource utilization. Here we attach the process to an job with the jobID 123456. You need to replace the jobId with your gathered jobID previously presented in the sbatch output.

$ sbatch
Submitted batch job 123456
$ squeue --me
# verify that job gets started
$ srun --ntasks-per-node=1 --jobid 123456 nvidia-smi
Fri Nov 11 11:11:11 2021
| NVIDIA-SMI 495.29.05    Driver Version: 495.29.05    CUDA Version: 11.5     |
| GPU  Name        Persistence-M| Bus-Id        Disp.A | Volatile Uncorr. ECC |
| Fan  Temp  Perf  Pwr:Usage/Cap|         Memory-Usage | GPU-Util  Compute M. |
|                               |                      |               MIG M. |
|   0  NVIDIA GeForce ...  On   | 00000000:04:00.0 Off |                  N/A |
| 23%   25C    P8     8W / 250W |      1MiB / 11178MiB |      0%      Default |
|                               |                      |                  N/A |
|   1  NVIDIA GeForce ...  On   | 00000000:08:00.0 Off |                  N/A |
| 23%   24C    P8     8W / 250W |      1MiB / 11178MiB |      0%      Default |
|                               |                      |                  N/A |

Therewith the GPU core utilization and memory usage can be displayed for all GPU cards belonging to that job.

Note that this is a one-off presentation of the usage and the called nvidia-smi command runs within your allocation. The required resources for this job step should be minimal and should not noticeably influence your job performance.

Further Information

CUDA C/C++ Basics:
Nvidia Geforce GTX 1080 Ti:
Nvidia Geforce RTX 2080 Ti:
Nvidia Geforce RTX 3090:
Nvidia Tesla P100:

Last update: 2023-11-17