[Beowulf] SuSE 9.3

Mark Hahn hahn at physics.mcmaster.ca
Tue Jul 12 08:44:22 PDT 2005

> support for x86-64.  FC 2 was pretty good and by the time it got turned
> into Linux at Duke (FC2 plus enhancements and fixes) it was very stable and
> has run on both cluster nodes and desktops for a long time, since we are

I have an x86 cluster which is quite happy on FC2, though I'm 
pretty tempted to jump to FC4.

> quirk in their particular combination of hardware) and then write a
> distro off, but if one perseveres and gets a clean install it will

right - this sort of ridiculously shallow bigotry always pisses me off.
sure, the first time you ever run the installer for a distro,
you'll probably screw up.  and sure, if you have weird (new/old/fringe)
hardware, you'll certainly increase the chances of a problem.
but come on - updating the boot kernel on an install CD is not 
rocket science!

> I personally think RHEL may be carrying the stability thing to a fault.

I hate it when people conflate various meanings of stability.
yes, lack of crashes is good stability.  yes, the glibc and kernel
ABI's should not change rapidly.

but all too often, "stability" means "lazy admin" - that is, lack 
of updates.  if it's not broke, sure.  but updates that improve performance
are important too.

finally, I don't really know why anyone cares that much about the distro.
I don't even tell my uses which Linux a cluster uses, because they shouldn't
have to know.  if the kernel works, and glibc is not broken, and the 
compiler produces decently efficient code, they're happy.  occasionally
someone will complain that python/java/random-library is too old,
but that's to be expected (in this case, the cluster was installed 
April 2003 and has been running and growing the whole time.  it's due 
for a bit of an upgrade, I think.)

regards, mark hahn.

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