[Beowulf] Joe Blaylock's notes on running a MacOS cluster, Nov. 2007

Tim Cutts tjrc at sanger.ac.uk
Tue Nov 20 23:09:53 PST 2007

On 21 Nov 2007, at 12:28 am, Geoff Jacobs wrote:

> Eugen Leitl wrote:
> <snip />
>>    * Learn Darwin, in detail. Figure out the CLI way to do  
>> everything,
>>      and do it. In fact, forget Mac OS X; just use Darwin. Learn the
>>      system's error codes, figure out how to manipulate fat binaries
>>      (and how to strip them to make skinny ones), be able to  
>> manipulate
>>      users, debug the executing binaries, etc. Consider looking into
>>      the Apple disk imaging widget so you can boot the nodes  
>> diskless.
> That sounds a great deal like running a BSD or Linux cluster.
> I still don't know why OS X would be even considered for use on a
> cluster. The Apple kernel dev team has a central focus on graphical  
> user
> experience rather than raw performance. What has that to do with HPC?

I have to say I have some sympathy with that view.  Much though I love  
OS X as a desktop OS, I have to wonder why anyone would jump through  
hoops building a cluster running just Darwin, when they could probably  
have done it much more easily, and with much more community support,  
if they used Linux...  It just seems like a lot of extra pain and  
difficulty for no tangible benefit.


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