[Beowulf] managing debian packages

Robert G. Brown rgb at phy.duke.edu
Wed Feb 23 12:09:34 PST 2005

On Wed, 23 Feb 2005, Yaroslav Halchenko wrote:

> Hello to all Beowulfers,
> A simple question: so we have cfengine2 to manage configs  through the
> hosts. But its "packages" section is quite handicaped so there is a
> question: how do you manage installing packages on  nodes which
> some times might differ a bit but most often have the same set of
> packages. I have in mind Debian packaging system

Does this mean you only want answers that apply to debian-based
clusters?  I mean, another answer for rpm-based systems might involve
kickstart and yum, with or without cfe or dsh.  Another KIND of
possibility altogether is warewulf (beowulf in a non-commercial box),
which runs a single template on all nodes (so updating the template
updates everything).  Still another is e.g. scyld (beowulf in a
commercial box).  And this still isn't exhaustive, I'm sure.

So there are many ways to do it, but which sort of solution you look for
is likely predicated as much on the particular linux distro you choose
for a base as anything, and beyond that on whether you choose to use a
cluster-specific packaging that manages all this with provided tools.


> In my case what I do is
> 1. Install required package on a main node, so if it has any dialog
> which tweaks configuration - I adjust it so it fits my needs.
> 2. I ran cfegines through the cluster, so they pick up updated 
> /var/cache/debconf/config.dat
> 3. Using favorite dsh I install the same package in parallel on all the
> nodes in non-interactive regime, so it grabs answers for possible
> questions from debconf.
> This way everything is kinda right.
> Other ways would be: install on all the nodes from the beginning in
> non-interactive. I don't like such option because it is quite often that
> default config has to be tweaked in  slight way suggested by debconf,
> but if you don't get dialog - you will not tweak it... 
> or indeed my way is overkill?

Robert G. Brown	                       http://www.phy.duke.edu/~rgb/
Duke University Dept. of Physics, Box 90305
Durham, N.C. 27708-0305
Phone: 1-919-660-2567  Fax: 919-660-2525     email:rgb at phy.duke.edu

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