pmake is a parallel make developed for use within batch jobs. A rules.yaml file specifies extended make-rules with:

  • multiple input and multiple output files
  • a resource-set specification
  • a multi-line shell script that can use variable substitution (e.g. {mpirun} expands to {jsrun -g -c ...} on summit).

Full documentation and examples are available in


pmake is a standard python package. It is recommended to install it in a virtual environment. One easy way to create a virtual environment is to load an available python module, and then put a new environment into /ccs/proj/<projid>/<systemname>. This way, the project can share environments, and each system gets its own install location.

$ module load python/3.8-anaconda3
$ python -m venv /path/to/new-venv
$ source /path/to/new-venv/bin/activate

On subsequent logins, remember to load the same python module and run the source /path/to/new-venv/bin/activate command again.

Once you have entered the virtual environment, pmake can be installed with:

$ python -m pip install git+

Run the following command to verify that pmake is available:

$ pmake --help

Hello world!

To run a pmake demo on Summit, you will create a pmake-example directory with its preferred file layout, then submit a batch job to LSF from a Summit login node.

First, create the directories,

$ mkdir -p pmake-example/simulation

Next, create pmake’s two configuration files, rules.yaml and targets.yaml:

# pmake-example/targets.yaml

  dirname: simulation # request simulation/run.log to be created
    - run.log

#... additional directories here
# pmake-example/rules.yaml

      cpu: 1 # number of CPUs per resource set
      gpu: 0 # number of GPUs per resource set
      nrs: 1 # number of resource sets to request
      time: 3 # minutes
   inp: [] # empty list of input files - no inputs required
   # Declare a list of output files, (same as "out: [run.log]").
     - run.log
   # The | character here creates a multi-line string.
   script: |
     {mpirun} seq 4 >run.log

#... additional rules here

To check the syntax of your files, cd into the pmake-example directory and run pmake --test. It should show the commands that would be run if pmake were being executed inside a job-script.

Finally, create an LSF batch script called pmake.lsf, fix the python module and virtual environment path to match your installation above, and change abc123 to match your own project identifier:

#BSUB -P abc123
#BSUB -W 10
#BSUB -nnodes 1

#BSUB -J pmake_demo
#BSUB -o pmake.o%J
#BSUB -e pmake.e%J

module load python/3.8-anaconda3
source /path/to/new-venv/bin/activate

pmake rules.yaml targets.yaml 8
# Note the 8 here is a time-limit on launching new rules
# to 8 minutes.  This prevents launching job steps
# that are not likely to complete before the job time-limit.
# (Note: this example -W 10 requests 10 minutes total)

Finally, submit the batch job to LSF by executing the following command from a login node:

$ bsub pmake.lsf

When the job completes, you will see pmake explain what rules it launched, completed, or errored in pmake.oNNN, where NNN is your job ID.

Inside the simulation directory, you should see 3 new files,, which contains the shell script pmake built from the simulate rule, simulate.log, containing the log output from running, and run.log, the file written during rule execution.

Extending pmake using your own rules is straightforward. pmake acts like make, running rules to create output files (that do not yet exist) from input files (that must exist before the rule is run).

Unlike make, pmake does not run a rule unless its output is requested by some target.