[Beowulf] portable clusters

Jim Lux James.P.Lux at jpl.nasa.gov
Mon Nov 28 07:08:33 PST 2005

At 09:57 PM 11/27/2005, Greg Lindahl wrote:
>On Sun, Nov 27, 2005 at 09:32:45PM -0800, Jim Lux wrote:
> > Has anyone done a diskless cluster (i.e. boot the nodes off the network)
> > where the nodes run Linux but the headnode/server is a WinXP/Win2K box?
> >
> > Think in terms of booting off the drive in a laptop.
> >
> > The application is one where the raw data that's being processed is
> > collected by peculiar hardware for which only windows drivers are 
> available.
>Why does the Windows box need to be the head node? Just make it a
>dedicated data collection system, and have a normal Linux head node.

Only want to have ONE disk in the system, and it needs to be in the Windows 
box to support the the data acq function.  Dual boot of the laptop isn't a 
viable option for a variety of reasons.

As far as the cluster goes, one could still have one of the nodes as "head 
node" and serving as the portal through which all communication 
flows.  However, the challenge seems to be in serving the boot images.  I 
suppose that headnode could be flash disk'ed and run the dhcp server, with 
the actual images being served from the laptop.  All that would need to be 
on the headnode would be the dhcp configuration file and the PXE 
configuration stuff.

hmm.. starts to look like local boot media of some sort on at least one of 
the nodes is going to be necessary.

>-- greg
>Beowulf mailing list, Beowulf at beowulf.org
>To change your subscription (digest mode or unsubscribe) visit 

James Lux, P.E.
Spacecraft Radio Frequency Subsystems Group
Flight Communications Systems Section
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Mail Stop 161-213
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena CA 91109
tel: (818)354-2075
fax: (818)393-6875

More information about the Beowulf mailing list