how to build a small Beowulf cluster

Daniel Kidger Daniel.Kidger at
Mon Feb 4 06:56:24 PST 2002

Steve Gaudet wrote:

>Hello Ting,
>>   I am new to this mailing list.
>>   Also it's my first time to build "small" cluster alone for school's
>> project.
>>   Only 2 linux machines , one is master and the other is the node.
>>   Their CPU - P4 1.76Hz, 80GB in HD, 1GB memory.
>>   One has SMC EZ NIC card, the other has Intel Pro 10/100 NIC Card.
>>   I surfed lots web sites, including and
>>   BUT, I still have no idea how/where to start!!
>>   Can some one point a way for me?
>>   I'll be appreciated!!
>You can start here;
>     which is cluster distribution 

Whilst these are all very worthy websites ,they all describe particular
'solutions' to Linux clustering and so are really beyond the scope of a
school project. 

More importantly, all the guts are clustering is 'hidden' so he wouldn't
learn much!

To get started with a 2 node system, I would suggest the minimum is to:
  1. install say RH7.2 on both
  2. create a username on both nodes and export /home from one to the other
(and perhaps /usr/local)
  3. get and build mpich
  4. try running a simple MPI hello world program

Then go on to other things, like: a private ethernet between them, nis, job
scheduling, compling bigger applicaiton codes, etc.


Dr. Dan Kidger, Quadrics Ltd.      daniel.kidger at
One Bridewell St., Bristol, BS1 2AA, UK         0117 915 5505
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