»resources Stanza

Placementjob -> group -> task -> resources

The resources stanza describes the requirements a task needs to execute. Resource requirements include memory, CPU, and more.

job "docs" {
  group "example" {
    task "server" {
      resources {
        cpu    = 100
        memory = 256

        device "nvidia/gpu" {
          count = 2
job "docs" {  group "example" {    task "server" {      resources {        cpu    = 100        memory = 256
        device "nvidia/gpu" {          count = 2        }      }    }  }}

»resources Parameters

  • cpu (int: 100) - Specifies the CPU required to run this task in MHz.

  • cores (int: <optional>) 1.1 Beta - Specifies the number of CPU cores to reserve for the task. This may not be used with cpu.

  • memory (int: 300) - Specifies the memory required in MB.

  • memory_max (int: <optional>) 1.1 Beta - Optionally, specifies the maximum memory the task may use, if the client has excess memory capacity, in MB. See Memory Oversubscription for more details.

  • device (Device: <optional>) - Specifies the device requirements. This may be repeated to request multiple device types.

»resources Examples

The following examples only show the resources stanzas. Remember that the resources stanza is only valid in the placements listed above.


This example specifies that the task requires 2 reserved cores. With this stanza, Nomad will find a client with enough spare capacity to reserve 2 cores exclusively for the task. Unlike the cpu field, the task will not share cpu time with any other tasks managed by Nomad on the client.

resources {
  cores = 2
resources {  cores = 2}

If cores and cpu are both defined in the same resource stanza, validation of the job will fail.


This example specifies the task requires 2 GB of RAM to operate. 2 GB is the equivalent of 2000 MB:

resources {
  memory = 2000
resources {  memory = 2000}


This example shows a device constraints as specified in the device stanza which require two nvidia GPUs to be made available:

resources {
  device "nvidia/gpu" {
    count = 2
resources {  device "nvidia/gpu" {    count = 2  }}

»Memory Oversubscription

Setting task memory limits requires balancing the risk of interrupting tasks against the risk of wasting resources. If a task memory limit is set too low, the task may exceed the limit and be interrupted; if the task memory is too high, the cluster is left underutilized.

To help maximize cluster memory utilization while allowing a safety margin for unexpected load spikes, Nomad 1.1. lets job authors set two separate memory limits:

  • memory: the reserve limit to represent the task’s typical memory usage — this number is used by the Nomad scheduler to reserve and place the task

  • memory_max: the maximum memory the task may use, if the client has excess available memory, and may be terminated if it exceeds

If a client's memory becomes contended or low, the operating system will pressure the running tasks to free up memory. If the contention persists, Nomad may kill oversubscribed tasks and reschedule them to other clients. The exact mechanism for memory pressure is specific to the task driver, operating system, and application runtime.

The new max limit attribute is currently supported by the official docker, exec, and java task drivers. Consult the documentation of community-supported task drivers for their memory oversubscription support.

Memory oversubscription is opt-in. Nomad operators can enable Memory Oversubscription in the scheduler configuration. Enterprise customers can use Resource Quotas to limit the memory oversubscription.

To avoid degrading the cluster experience, we recommend examining and monitoring resource utilization and considering the following suggestions:

  • Set oom_score_adj for Linux host services that aren't managed by Nomad, e.g. Docker, logging services, and the Nomad agent itself. For Systemd services, you can use the OOMScoreAdj field.

  • Monitor hosts for memory utilization and set alerts on Out-Of-Memory errors

  • Set the client reserved with enough memory for host services that aren't managed by Nomad as well as a buffer for the memory excess. For example, if the client reserved memory is 1GB, the allocations on the host may exceed their soft memory limit by almost 1GB in aggregate before the memory becomes contended and allocations get killed.