[Beowulf] A press release

Gregory Warnes gregory.warnes at rochester.edu
Tue Jul 1 17:50:10 PDT 2008

On 7/1/08 3:25PM , "Mark Hahn" <hahn at mcmaster.ca> wrote:

>> > Hmmm.... for me, its all about the kernel.  Thats 90+% of the battle. Some
>> > distros use good kernels, some do not.  I won't mention who I think is in
>> the
>> > latter category.
> I was hoping for some discussion of concrete issues.  for instance,
> I have the impression debian uses something other than sysvinit -
> does that work out well?
Debian uses standard sysvinit-style scripts in /etc/init.d, /etc/rc0.d, ...

>   is it a problem getting commercial
> packages (pathscale/pgi/intel compilers, gaussian, etc) to run?
I¹ve never had any major problems.  Most linux vendors supply both RPM¹s and
.tar.gz installers, and I generally have better luck with the latter, even
on RPM based systems anyway.
> the couple debian people I know tend to have more ideological motives
> (which I do NOT impugn, except that I am personally more swayed by
> practical, concrete reasons.)
My Œconversion¹ to use of Debian had little to do with ideological motives,
and a lot more to do with minimizing the amount of time I had to take away
from my research to support the Linux clusters I was maintaining at the

Side note, one very nice thing about debian is the ability to upgrade a
system in-place from one O/S  release to another via

    apt-get dist-upgrade

Much nicer than reinstalling the O/S as seems to be (used to be?) the norm
with RPM-based systems

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Gregory R. Warnes, Ph.D
Program Director
Center for Computational Arts, Sciences, and Engineering
University of Rochester

Tel: 585-273-2794
Fax: 585-276-2097
Email: gregory.warnes at rochester.edu

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