[Beowulf] centos5 as cluster os

Geoff Jacobs gdjacobs at gmail.com
Fri Feb 15 18:04:21 PST 2008

Joe Landman wrote:
> Geoff Jacobs wrote:
>> Of particular interest
>> rpm -qa equates to  dpkg -l
>> rpm -ql equates to -L <packagename>
>> rpm -qf equates to dpkg -S <filename>

A little edit... I believe I meant dpkg -L <packagename> above.

> Ahhh... Rosetta stones ....
>> Trust me, Debian based distros are the next best thing to crack cocaine.
> I will take your word on that particular comparison ...

I don't really know why that metaphor is popular. It's not like many
people can attest to the addictiveness of crack.

Tetris, on the other hand...

> What sold me was when I needed to build a new kernel to add support for
> something.
> On Centos:  A nightmare (not that there is anything wrong with Centos,
> its just what Redhat does to the kernel build is enough to make a grown
> hacker cry), can't easily generate rpms for it.  Make rpm sort of does a
> generic RPM without really packaging up headers, sources, module links,
> ... correctly.  There is no real kernel make package and trying to
> insert a modern up-to-date kernel into the .spec is an exercise in
> masochism
> On SuSE it is even worse.
> For all intents and purposes, if you need to deviate far from the
> supplied kernel version, you are basically toast unless you do *lots* of
> things by hand.  This makes things like Fedora look nice as they build
> the modern kernels for you, albeit not necessarily with the options you
> want.
> With Ubuntu (Debian for all intensive porpoises) you pull your kernel
> source, make changes, patch what you need/want, build your config (all
> of which you have to do on the others anyway to make sure it will build
> correctly) and
>     CONCURRENCY=4 make-kpkg buildpackage
> and whammo, a working, correctly built, linked, set up .deb .  You
> didn't even have to think hard.
> It just works.
> It is a shame that make-kpkg doesn't have an RPM target.  I guess I
> could use alien to convert it, but ... they just make life to darned easy.

This sort of logic is prevalent throughout Debian. Files and libraries
tend to exist where developers and sysadmins want them to be.
Ultimately, this was the reason I abandoned RH and went with Debian ~7
years ago.

Another big advantage with Debian was the ability to install within 200
MB of hard disk. It was sometimes tricky bringing the size of RH down to
the same level. The installation of one useful utility tended to trigger
the installation of a complete X environment (RH would often bundle the
X and console versions together).

This space consideration was far more important when I was working with
cast-off p100 boards running some awful RH variant, as opposed to now
with universal fast ethernet and cheap hard disk space. It is
indicative, however, of the thoughtful work behind Debian and it's brethren.

Oh, and Suse and Redhat are not masochistic, at least in comparison
(just overweight). No, Slackware is the distribution which could most be
described as masochistic.

Geoffrey D. Jacobs

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