Request on advice on which kernel? 2.2 or 2.4?

Michelle Kuttel mkuttel at
Wed Oct 3 07:11:30 PDT 2001


I would like to request some opinions/advice on which kernel is best for
my Beowulf cluster.  We have a cluster of 16 Dual processor PentiumIII-866
MHz work nodes (head node AMD athlon 1Ghz CPU, single processor).  It has
been running for a few months now (computational chemistry CHARMM code
principally).  I have installed both 2.2.14-5 kernel (with Loncaric's
tcpfix kernel patch) and the 2.2.4 kernel at different times.  Both give
me some problems. The 2.2.14 kernel seems to be very unstable with the
PVFS file system (versions 1.5.2 and kernel-0.9.3-pre2) which I am
attempting to run using all the work nodes as both IO servers and clients.  
However, it is faster than the 2.4 kernels once the tcpfix patch is
installed.  The 2.4.4 kernel has given me more stable performance with
PVFS, but the ethernet pro driver for the networks cards gives
intermittent problems.  Both kenrels don't scale well after 8 processors.
Suggestions would be apprepriated.

Michelle Kuttel

Computational Chemistry Group
Department of Chemistry
University of Cape Town
Private Bag
Cape Town
South Africa

email: mkuttel at
tel: 27 21 6502530

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