[Beowulf] portable clusters

Robert G. Brown rgb at phy.duke.edu
Wed Nov 30 03:59:53 PST 2005

On Tue, 29 Nov 2005, Jim Lux wrote:

> Actually, it's not real clear that one CAN run the dhcp server and tftp 
> server from regular old WinXP...

It is my recollection that the server addition of winsux is perfectly
content booting a remote system via PXE -- it is how windows manages its
imaged installs.

The biggest problem is likely to be learning enough about how it works
to boot something BESIDES an imaged install.  Winsux tends to provide
you with a GUI and then keep you out of and away from the actual tools
being used, so if it ain't on the menu it doesn't exist.

My own PERSONAL opinion is that it would be a damn sight easier to just
put a server node into your minicluster to make it self contained.  If
you're using OPM, just integrate a cheap laptop with the thing.


>> and it's not as if a PXE-booted linux box requires a "unixy"
>> root disk.
> Indeed, but when I asked the original question, it wasn't clear whether there 
> was an "easy" way to support the minimal functionality need to respond to PXE 
> in the laptop windows context. Still isn't clear that there IS an *easy* way 
> to do this.. Running DHCPD and TFTPD under VMWare, for instance, isn't 
> necessarily "easy", nor is running those under cygwin.  In the latter case, I 
> can see all sorts of peculiar interactions with the other MS internet 
> services running.
>>   with initrd, you don't need kernel nfs-root support, and could
>> certainly get by mounting a cifs share from the windows box.  heck, with a
>> specialized enough system, you could probably put _everything_ you need in
>> the initrd - no one says you have to do the normal init process, /etc/rc.d, 
>> etc.
> James Lux, P.E.
> Spacecraft Radio Frequency Subsystems Group
> Flight Communications Systems Section
> Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Mail Stop 161-213
> 4800 Oak Grove Drive
> Pasadena CA 91109
> tel: (818)354-2075
> fax: (818)393-6875
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Robert G. Brown	                       http://www.phy.duke.edu/~rgb/
Duke University Dept. of Physics, Box 90305
Durham, N.C. 27708-0305
Phone: 1-919-660-2567  Fax: 919-660-2525     email:rgb at phy.duke.edu

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