[Beowulf] OpenMPI & Slurm: mpiexec/mpirun vs. srun

Prentice Bisbal pbisbal at pppl.gov
Mon Dec 18 14:20:54 PST 2017


[Note: this was also posted to the OpenMPI mailing list. Posting here, 
too, to get some 'neutral' responses ]

We use OpenMPI with Slurm as our scheduler, and a user has asked me 
this: should they use mpiexec/mpirun or srun to start their MPI jobs 
through Slurm?

My inclination is to use mpiexec, since that is the only method that's 
(somewhat) defined in the MPI standard and therefore the most portable, 
and the examples in the OpenMPI FAQ use mpirun. However, the Slurm 
documentation on the schedmd website say to use srun with the --mpi=pmi 
option. (See links below)

What are the pros/cons of using these two methods, other than the 
portability issue I already mentioned? Does srun+pmi use a different 
method to wire up the connections? Some things I read online seem to 
indicate that. If slurm was built with PMI support, and OpenMPI was 
built with Slurm support, does it really make any difference?


Prentice Bisbal
Lead Software Engineer
Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

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