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ClusterShell is a useful Python package for executing arbitrary commands across multiple hosts. On the Yale clusters it provides a relatively simple way for you to run commands on nodes your jobs are running on, and collect the results. The two most useful commands provided are nodeset, which can show and manipulate node lists and clush, which can run commands on multiple nodes at once.


To set up ClusterShell, make sure you have a .config directory and a copy our groups.conf file there. For more info about ClusterShell configuration for Slurm, see the official docs.

mkdir -p ~/.config/clustershell
wget -O ~/.config/clustershell/groups.conf 

We provide ClusterShell as a module, but you can also install it with conda.


module load ClusterShell


module load miniconda
conda create -yn clustershell python pip
source activate clustershell
pip install ClusterShell



The nodeset command uses sinfo underneath but has slightly different syntax. You can use it to ask about node states and nodes your job is running on. The nice difference is you can ask for folded (e.g. c[01-02]n[12,15,18]) or expanded (e.g. c01n01 c01n02 ...) node lists. The groups useful to you that we have configured are @user, @job and @state.

User group

List expanded node names where user abc123 has jobs running

# similar to squeue -h -u abc123 -o "%N"
nodeset -e @user:abc123

Job group

List folded nodes where job 1234567 is running

# similar to squeue -h -j 1234567 -o "%N"
nodeset -f @job:1234567

State group

List expanded node names that are idle according to slurm

# similar to sinfo -t IDLE -o "%N"
nodeset -e @state:idle


The clush command uses the node grouping syntax from nodeset to allow you to run commands on those nodes. clush uses ssh to connect to each of these nodes. You can use the -b option to gather output from nodes with same output into the same lines. Leaving this out will report on each node separately.


You can only ssh to, and therefore run clush on, nodes where you have active jobs.

Local storage

Get a list of files in /tmp/abs on all nodes where job 654321 is running.

clush -bw @job:654321 ls /tmp/abc123

# don't gather identical output
clush -w @job:654321 ls /tmp/abc123

CPU usage

Show %cpu, memory usage, and command for all nodes running any jobs owned by user abc123.

clush -bw @user:abc123 ps -uabc123 -o%cpu,rss,cmd

GPU usage

Show what's running on all the GPUs on the nodes associated with your job 654321.

clush -bw @job:654321 nvidia-smi --format=csv --query-compute-apps=process_name,used_gpu_memory

Last update: May 27, 2022