[Beowulf] Please help to setup Beowulf

Mike Davis jmdavis1 at vcu.edu
Tue Feb 17 05:26:11 PST 2009

Geoff Jacobs wrote:
> Why do you say this? Debian (5.0, what I checked just now) includes all
> the basic Beowulf elements and even tosses in GROMACS pre-compiled for
> OpenMPI. If it's what his people are used to there's no reason to switch.
I don't know about RGB, but I would argue that you let your applications 
lead you to OS choice because they are the whole point. If your apps 
won't  (or won't readily ) run on your OS, you need a different OS.

In my case I primarily run CentOS because it provides support for a 
number of apps that are pre-built for RedHat and has the tools I need to 
build new apps. I tried Ubuntu on a small cluster that I was helping a 
Quantum Chemist setup and found nothing but frustration. Due to the slow 
internet connection at his home, any update was painfully slow.The base 
install lacked compilers but had oh so much multimedia support. I hoped 
that the install could be customized in a manner similar to using 
kickstart (which I've been using since 1995 or so), but I couldn't find 
that capability in the documentation.

All of his work and the various programs that interested him required 
fortran which was still another update. After several evenings of 
searching and trying to setup proxy servers for updates to nodes. I 
switched the entire cluster (4 nodes) to CentOS and had his primary 
application (GAMESS) running in a few minutes compiled for both serial 
and ddi sockets.

In short, the applications are the whole point of a working cluster. If 
an OS will not readily support the apps, you need a new OS.


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