[Beowulf] Opteron/Athlon Clustering

Greg Kurtzer gmkurtzer at lbl.gov
Wed Jun 9 23:31:29 PDT 2004

On Tue, Jun 08, 2004 at 08:19:25PM -0400, Joe Landman mentioned:
> If you want to solve 32 bit binaries on 64 bit linux today, this is 
> doable.  Simply requires you buy the right distribution.  No, not every 
> distribution is there yet, and in fact some of the ones I am quite 
> interested in (cAos), are a bit behind.  Thats ok, I expect them to 
> mature.  If we get enough time, you may see us contribute to them.

cAos-2 is in the works as we speak and it will support x86_64 from the get go.
As a matter of fact, we already have the self hosting buildroot (1) core
complete for both ia32 and x86_64. At the moment we are finalizing the 
infrastructure to open our package based SCM to the external package 
maintainers. This should be ready in about another week.

We are in the processes of receiving a contribution for an x86_64 build farm 
(at the donators site). If anyone here wants to help with the ports, donate 
resources, or become a package maintainer, let us know! This will help ensure
that it is a solution that will fit your needs and remain a stable long term

Just in case people are interested, the cAos-2 core currently has 
glibc-2.3.3, gcc-3.4, linux-2.6 and some other tid-bits that should make it a
very nice solution for HPC (among many other things).

I personally would like to make sure it fills the needs of the HPC crowd, so
if there are specific components that you think should be part of cAos, I 
encourage you to drop by the IRC channel at #caos on irc.freenode.net, or send 
email directly to the mailing list.

> RPM is not perfect.  It does fix some things.  Some of the things that 
> are broken in RPM IMO are config management.   Just have a look at the 
> RedHat kernel spec file as an example.  Scripting within the RPM is 
> broken (its just basic pre-processor stuff). 

RPM is specifically a package manager, not a build or build management tool. 

We use mezzanine for management of the cAos srpms, and it has simplified our 
work considerably. It even has a `buildtool` which does parallel builds from a
directory of SPM's or SRPMS's in a buildroot for cAos-1 and cAos-2 (both 
x86_64 and ia32) all on the same host! It also makes incorporating with an SCM
very easy! Kudos to KainX(.org)! ;-)

Mezz is almost doc'less, but we are working on that problem now! If you want 
to try it out, join #caos, and we can walk you through it.

> I'd say lets fix the config issues in RPM, make it really scriptable, so 
> we can have *portable* RPMs at the *source* level

That would be nice. Unfortunately, I think that the changes to RPM across
multiple distros (eg: Mandrake and SuSE) may make SRPM portability difficult. 
Some of the changes include tag specifications IIRC. Of course this may only
be a problem for a small subset of packages utilizing those tags.

(1) A self hosting buildroot is a development system that has the ability to
build itself in entirety from source code (in our case, SRPMS). In our case, 
it is also used as the foundation for building every other package in the 
distribution. We distribute the buildroot as a chroot'able file system to the 
package maintainers for doing development and testing.

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