Submission Templates

Yabi uses a submission template every time it submits a job. The submission template allows the user to customise the command according to the needs of the backend or tool.

Here is an example submission template for a PBS execution backend:

#PBS -l walltime=${walltime}
#PBS -l mem=${memory}
#PBS -l nodes=1:ppn=${cpus}
%if queue == 'debugq':
#PBS -q debugq
#PBS -q routequeue
#PBS -W group_list=my_account_id
% for module in modules:
    module load ${module}
% endfor
cd '${working}'

As you can see, the template is a script that will be passed to qsub and it allows us to use PBS directives, load modules etc.

The variables placed inside ${} are Submission Template Variables that Yabi makes available for each template. Please refer to Submission Template Variables for a description of variables available and their meaning.

The submission templates are using the Mako templating system <>.

Submission Template Lookup Order

Submission templates can be defined on any of the Tools, Backend Credentials or Backends. When a task is submitted Yabi will use the following lookup order to decide which submission template to use:

  1. Tool submission template used if defined
  2. Backend Credential submission template used if defined
  3. Backend submission template used

Usually only Backend submission templates are defined and used for most Tools. Tools that need further customisation will define their own submission template.

Submission Template Variables

The following is a table of the variables available in the template, and their meaning. Variables are to be placed inside ${} in the template.

Key Value
working The full path of the working directory for the job.
command The full command line for the final task. The executable and all its passed in arguments.
modules A list of all the modules that need loading.
cpus Number of cpus that should be utilised.
memory The amount of RAM that should be partitioned for the job.
walltime The walltime for the job.
yabiusername The username of the yabi user that submitted the job. Can be different from the backend username.
username The username the job is to be run as
host The hostname the job is being run on
queue The name of the queue the job should be submitted to
tasknum The number (from 1 to tasktotal) of this particular task in the job set.
tasktotal The total number of tasks in the job set.
envvars User suppled environment variables. Please see User-supplied Environment Variables

User-supplied Environment Variables

Yabi allows further customisation of the submission template by using user-supplied submission template variables.

Any tool can define an input file parameter called .envvars.yabi which is a special file. If a job has an input file called .envvars.yabi all the variables in it will be made available in the submission template variable envvars.

The format of the .envvars.yabi file is JSON.

For example, if the following .envvars.yabi is passed to a Job:

         ["first", "second"],
   "anotherMap": {
         "nestedMapKey": "nestedValue"

In the submission template you could use:

echo "This will evaluate to     'second'      : ${envvars['aMap'][1]}"
echo "And this will evaluate to 'nestedValue' : ${envvars['anotherMap']['nestedMapKey']}"

Allowing any valid JSON in the environment file and Mako syntax in the submission template allows a lot of flexibility when running jobs through Yabi.

Furthermore, the .envvars.yabi file doesn’t have to be static, it can be dynamically generated on the server by another Tool. This way you can have a Tool that runs on the server and by writing out the environment file it can effect how a subsequent Tool is executed.

The following example is a simple bash script that counts the number of arguments passed to it and writes it to the Yabi environment file:


cat <<EOS > .envvars.yabi
  "job_array": "1-$#"

Then another Yabi Tool “cp Job Array on Torque” can be set up for the standard UNIX tool cp with the following Submission Template:

#PBS -t ${envvars['job_array']}
cd '${working}'
${command} ../input/testfile_$PBS_ARRAYID.txt testfile_$PBS_ARRAYID.COPY.txt

The two Tools above can be combined together to run a Job Array of the size determined dynamically by based on the number of files passed to it.

The Job Array will have consist of one Subjob for each file of the form testfile_INDEX.txt (where INDEX is 1,2,3,...) and it will make a copy for each file named testfile_INDEX.COPY.txt.