[Beowulf] First Timer

Dave Novelli dave.novelli at gmail.com
Wed Nov 16 12:10:29 PST 2005

Hi Everyone,
 I am interested in building a beowulf cluster in my basement from a bunch
of junk PC's I've been collecting over the past few years. I have very
little experience with linux and networking, but I intend this little
experiment to be mainly a learning experience and to prepare myself for
graduate studies in distributed machine learning (GAs, Neural Networks,
etc..). I imagine I will be posting fairly regularly as
beowulf.org<http://beowulf.org>seems to be the best resource for my
 My very first order of business is to aquaint myself with the inner
workings of Linux. I imagine installing it on 6 PCs will be a useful
exercise as well as a good starting place. My question for the day (which I
will leave open to discussion as I am sure many of you have differing
opinions) is which distribution of Linux is my best bet for getting things
up and running. I know this is a very broad question, but I am looking for
the distro which will be fairly easy to install and set up, as well as being
beowulf-friendly. From what I understand, kernel customization is often (if
not always) necessary, but I'm looking for a distribution that would require
the least ammount of tweaking. I'm sure there are other factors I haven't
even considered - please let me know what they are!
 Aside from that, any guidance or advice in general that you care to give me
will always be greatly appreciated.
Dave Novelli
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