[Beowulf] A Good Linux Distribution to Start with?

Sean Dilda agrajag at dragaera.net
Fri Sep 10 08:08:50 PDT 2004

On Wed, 2004-09-08 at 17:00, Dragovich, Jeff wrote:
> I am at the point in my beowulf cluster construction where I need to
> pick the Linux distribution to use. I have a small cluster (10 nodes,
> CISCO switch, a single control machine). The cluster will
> support parallelizing/benchmarking a finite element program using MPI.
> I am currently the only prospective user, and don't need sendmail and
> a bunch of that stuff. Just dev tools. 

There are several cluster-in-a-box distros out there that other people
have mentioned.  If you aren't using those, there are three important
questions you need to ask:

What distros am I most comfortable with?
What distros are my users most comfortable with?
Is there a kernel version (2.4 or 2.6) that I know won't work for me?

I think the decision should be based off of those answers.  Most of the
hpc code will work no matter which distro you use.

I threw the kernel question in primarily because some kernel-based
things don't work with the 2.6 kernel yet.  I'm thinking primarily of
Dell's OpenManage stuff, but there might be something else you're
interested in that's kernel-based, such as pvfs (no idea if it supports

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