[Beowulf] centos5 as cluster os

Robert G. Brown rgb at phy.duke.edu
Fri Feb 15 11:55:49 PST 2008

On Fri, 15 Feb 2008, Joe Landman wrote:

> Anyone using their cluster for TeX?  I used it to write a thesis.  A 
> distributed make environment (yeah, I built my thesis with a make file), 
> would have helped ...

Ooo, Joe, your age is showing.  I compile my BOOKS in latex
interactively from inside jove in real time.  Hold on, let me time it.

The Book of Lilith, at 224 pages, on my LAPTOP (not the fastest machine
I own by any means) now takes 1.17 seconds to run latex on -- twice (the
second time to resolve the forward references in the TOC, of course).
Converting it to PDF takes a lot longer -- about 1.5 seconds to
postscript, then maybe 4 seconds to pdf from ps.  Don't know what dvi to
pdf would be as this book's makefile doesn't go that way.  A full build
from clean takes 6.1 seconds (that's dvi, ps and pdf).

Not a lot of benefit in parallelizing that, I'd say.

> Oddly enough we really are saying similar things.
> a) we won't get everything
> b) check the logs
> c) apply the patches
> d) prepare for the worst ...

Oddly?  Ah, I see, you think I'm crazy...;-)

>> via kickstart/PXE and forget it.  No local data on a host.  Backup
> Heh...  I think I may have gone past you on this one.  No os on the host. 
> PXE boot it.  No more installs.  Put up a unionfs/aufs and let em write all 
> over / and /etc and ...  and then see what happened.  :)

Absolutely.  We still leave local data, but truthfully that just speeds
the boot some and lowers server load some.  A tradeoff.  We still buy
(or at least have) diskful nodes, so what not use them?


Robert G. Brown                            Phone(cell): 1-919-280-8443
Duke University Physics Dept, Box 90305
Durham, N.C. 27708-0305
Web: http://www.phy.duke.edu/~rgb
Book of Lilith Website: http://www.phy.duke.edu/~rgb/Lilith/Lilith.php
Lulu Bookstore: http://stores.lulu.com/store.php?fAcctID=877977

More information about the Beowulf mailing list