[Beowulf] A press release

Tony Travis ajt at rri.sari.ac.uk
Wed Jul 2 02:23:06 PDT 2008

Mark Hahn wrote:
> but I ask again: what are the reasons one might prefer using debian?
> really, I'm not criticizing it - I really would like to know why it 
> would matter whether someone (such as ClusterVisionOS (tm)) would use 
> debian or another distro.

Hello, Mark.

I've been on a well trodden path from trying out the 'free' version of 
Scyld under RH6.2, then using openMosix under all versions of RH up to 
RH9, Fedora up to core2, then Debian Sarge and now Ubuntu 6.06.1 LTS 
with an upgrade to 8.04.1 LTS imminent.

As I see it, this has been a developmental journey and also a learning 
experiencefor me. As others on this thread have admitted, I'm not blind 
to the ideological objectives of Debian. However, I'm now using a very 
good commerically supported version of Linux with the what is widely 
acknowledged to be the largest user and developer community.

It's my own experience of trying to do my work under RH/Fedora that's 
put me off these distro's and I see a BIG divide between 'real' HPC 
communities using BIG iron, and small Beowulf clusters like mine. I've 
got to admit that Tim Cutts did influence my decision to try out Debian 
(thanks, Tim!). I also use the (UK) NERC's Bio-Linux binary deb's and I 
was also influenced by their decision to change from RH to Debian for 
Bio-Linux. I can see that other communities use RH for similar reasons, 
though I should mention that our Beowulf spends a lot of time running 
quantum chemistry simulations (GAMESS etc.).

I've pout up an Ubuntu blue-print for 'biobuntu', which consolidates the 
work I'm doing on several projects:


I am, of course, familiar with 'other' Biolinuxen and rpm repositories 
of bioinformatics software:


Having tried out many of these alternatives, I remain convinced that 
NEBC's Bio-Linux is most appropriate for my work. In particular, the 
level of support in the form of documentation and training courses 
provided by NEBC is very good. This means I don't have to reinvent the 
wheel - Always a good point for any Beowulf-related activity :-)

Dr. A.J.Travis,                     |  mailto:ajt at rri.sari.ac.uk
Rowett Research Institute,          |    http://www.rri.sari.ac.uk/~ajt
Greenburn Road, Bucksburn,          |   phone:+44 (0)1224 712751
Aberdeen AB21 9SB, Scotland, UK.    |     fax:+44 (0)1224 716687

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