[Beowulf] Beginners Forum info!

steve_heaton at iinet.net.au steve_heaton at iinet.net.au
Mon Nov 6 20:39:31 PST 2006

> I just purchased 4 used PIII computers and Red Hat 7.1
> and would like to begin learning about cluster
> computing. Where should I start?

I think you'll get more out of it if you have a *reason* to run a Beowulf. Check
the ClusterMonkey 'Value Cluster' artilces for a lot of useful ideas re
suggestions for what do do with a cluster and actually going about building  too:

I also agree with Mark, go for a more recent distro. Plenty of options. 

There's your first round of questions: Which one? What difference does it make?
Pros and cons.

I was in a similar position about 3 years ago but I knew what I wanted. I was
looking for a way to run galaxy smashes (LSS dynamics). I started with a P2-400,
a P3-500 and a P4-2.8 all running FC3... ahhh those were the days.

RSH or SSH? Surely SSH was slower... How do you get avoid a password prompt?
Diskless or local disk? If local, how best to image? What sort of NIC? Do I need
Jumbo packets? Do compiler options make any diff? Does the compiler? *Where* is
all that wall clock time going?

These and other questions. You'll soon learn the answer is usually 'it
depends...' You just need to know what it depends on and the option that fits
your needs the best.

Welcome aboard :)


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