Cluster Applications

JParker at JParker at
Wed Jan 24 10:31:28 PST 2001

G'Day !

This is what I wrote to someone on a different mail list, but is relevent 
to your question ....

The best sources of information is of course the net.  I would start with 
the HOWTOs.  The following give a good general knowledge of the subject.

1)  Beowulf-HOWTO
2)  Parallel-Processing-HOWTO

The NFS-HOWTO and the NIS-HOWTO are also very useful.

In a Beowulf cluster, parallel processing is done by message passing, 
instead of shared memory in a SMP (symetric multi-processing) systems. The 
2 most popular message passing systems are PVM ( and MIPS (  PVM is older so the code base is larger.  MIPS until recently, was 
forked into several competing versions, and much newer.  Most observers 
believe MIPS will eventually replace PVM as the defacto standard, as a new 
standard has been written.  Porting of PVM code to MIPS is also reportedly 

My code is in the planning/design stage currently.  My 3D modeler is 
currently being coded, but is taking significantly longer than 
anticipated.  I am also currently obtaining new hardware to build a new 5 
node cluster.  So my parallel code ....

Here is some advice I got from the GTK+ mailing list:

Dani Mezher:

"I did the same to build the frontend of an MPI parallel code. The
frontend I built is a stand alone process that uses a TCP/IP socket to 
connect to
the server node; this works just fine."


"Well, I'd keep it a modular system. Have a piece that handles the input
(modelling, and a piece that does the PVM [CFD/FE/FDTD/etc] processing. 
Mayvbe a thread to handle execution of the solver. I'm actually working 
on something similar, though I'm about to do a rewrite, so my code may
or may not be of much use..."

Hope this helps.

Jim Parker

Sailboat racing is not a matter of life and death ....  It is far more 
important than that !!!

Shain Miley <jubbi2g at>
Sent by: beowulf-admin at
01/24/01 09:45 AM

        To:     beowulf at
        Subject:        Cluster Applications

Hi all,
I am new to the concept of clusters but I have been
doing a lot of reading recently because I would like
to get some experience with question is
what are or were can I find information on some (free)
applications that I can run on a beowulf cluster.  I
would not be setting up anything to fancy at first
maybe a 2 or 4 node cluster but I have no idea what I
could run on this cluster.  Thanks for the help.

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