On September 22nd, OSC switched to Slurm for job scheduling and resource management on the Pitzer Cluster, along with the deployment of the new Pitzer hardware. We are in the process of updating the example job scripts for each software. If a Slurm example is not yet available, please consult our general Slurm information page or contact OSC help.


Apache Spark is an open source cluster-computing framework originally developed in the AMPLab at University of California, Berkeley but was later donated to the Apache Software Foundation where it remains today. In contrast to Hadoop's disk-based analytics paradigm, Spark has multi-stage in-memory analytics. Spark can run programs up-to 100x faster than Hadoop’s MapReduce in memory or 10x faster on disk. Spark support applications written in python, java, scala and R

Availability and Restrictions


The following versions of Spark are available on OSC systems: 







2.3.0 X
* Current default version

You can use module spider spark to view available modules for a given machine. Feel free to contact OSC Help if you need other versions for your work.


Spark is available to all OSC users. If you have any questions, please contact OSC Help.

Publisher/Vendor/Repository and License Type

The Apache Software Foundation, Open source



In order to configure your environment for the usage of Spark, run the following command:

module load spark

A particular version of Spark can be loaded as follows

module load spark/2.3.0

Using Spark

 In order to run Spark in batch, reference the example batch script below. This script requests 6 node on the Owens cluster for 1 hour of walltime. The script will submit the pyspark script called test.py using pbs-spark-submit command into the PBS queue. 

#PBS -N Spark-example

#PBS -l nodes=6:ppn=28

#PBS -l walltime=01:00:00

module load spark


cp test.py $TMPDIR


pbs-spark-submit test.py  > test.log


pbs-spark-submit script is used for submitting Spark jobs into PBS queue. For more options, please run,

pbs-spark-submit --help

Running Spark interactively in batch

To run Spark interactively, but in batch on Owens please run the following command,

qsub -I -l nodes=4:ppn=28 -l walltime=01:00:00

When your interactive shell is ready, please launch spark cluster using the pbs-spark-submit script


You can then launch pyspark  by connecting to Spark master node as follows.

pyspark --master spark://nodename.ten.osc.edu:7070

Launching Jupyter+Spark on OSC OnDemand


Instructions on how to launch Spark on OSC OnDemand web interface is here. https://www.osc.edu/content/launching_jupyter_spark_app  

Example Jobs

Please check /usr/local/src/spark/2.0.0/test.osc folder for more examples of pyspark script, job submission script and output files.

Further Reading

See Also

Fields of Science: