[Beowulf] picking out a job scheduler

Nathan Moore ntmoore at gmail.com
Fri Dec 29 08:40:11 PST 2006

I've presently set up a cluster of 5 AMD  dual-core linux boxes for  
my students (at a small college).  I've got  MPICH running, shared  
NIS/NFS home directories etc.  After reading the MPICH installation  
guide and manual, I can't say I understand how to deploy MPICH for my  
students to use.  So far as I can tell, there no load balancing or  
migration of processes in the library, and so now I'm trying to  
figure out what piece of software to add to the  cluster to (for  
example) prevent the starting of an MPI job when there's already  
another job running.

(1) Is openPBS or gridengine the appropriate tool to use for a multi- 
user system where mpich is available?  Are there better scheduling  

(1.5) Can mortals install and configure Gridengine?  Thus far it  
seems too wonderful for me to understand.

(2) Also, if my cluster is made up of a mix of single and dual  
processor machines, what's the proper way to tell mpd about that  

(3) Its likely that in the future I'll have part-time access to  
another cluster of dual-boot (XP/linux) machines.  The machines will  
default to booting to Linux, but will occasionally (5-20 hours a  
week) be used as windows workstations by a console user (when a user  
is finished, they'll restart the machine and it will boot back to  
linux).  If cluster nodes are available in this sort of unpredictable  
and intermittent way, can they be used as compute nodes in some  
fashion? Wil gridengine/PBS /??? take care of this sort of process  

best regards,


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Nathan Moore
Winona State University
nmoore at winona.edu

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