Beowulf OS and Installation

Mark Hahn hahn at
Fri Feb 22 10:36:13 PST 2002

> I've had some issues with redhat 7.2 and an athlon. Ya, I've use
> mem=nopentium and noathlon grub options. Still locks up a lot (

there are no serious issues with RH7.2 (ie 2.4 kernels) and Athlons.
there are, however, three problems that some people run into:

1. VIA seems to have some quirks in their SMP irq-handling.
afaik, just booting with noapic and MPS 1.1 is perfect workaround 
(and noapic is normally *faster* than apic-full operation!)

2. there have been some VIA chipset bugs; modern kernels contain
the official workaround(s) for them.

3. people with flakey or marginal dram (or dram settings) often
complain about how they need to turn off CONFIG_MK7 for stability,
so why isn't this buggy kernel code fixed?  THIS IS A FALLACY:
the kernel code in question is correct, but since it *doubles*
the dram bandwidth generated by the kernel, it crashes flakey systems.

>> have lots of tools and libraries to play with.  Don't forget that in 7.2
>> it is strongly recommended that you have 2x memory in swap, so factor
>> that into your configurations.  

note that the 2x thing, while good advice, is not critical for recent
kernels (ie, 2.4.17 or .18, which is what you should consider running.)

regards, mark hahn.

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