[Beowulf] Cluster Users in Clusters Linux and Windows

Prentice Bisbal prentice at ias.edu
Thu Dec 3 07:25:49 PST 2009

Leonardo Machado Moreira wrote:
> Hi!
> I am trying to create a cluster with only two machines.
> The server will be a Linux machine, an Arch Linux distribution to be
> more specific. The slave machine will be a Windows 7 machine.

While may be technically possible, why would you want to do this? If
this is for your work, computers are so cheap that from a business point
of view, it makes more sense to just by an additional computer and put
Arch Linux on it than to waste your time trying to make this work. If
you in it the technical challenge and sense of adventure, then good for
you, and good luck.

> I have found it is possible, but I was looking and have found that each
> machine on the cluster must have the same user for the cluster.

I would recommend having both systems use the same LDAP server or Active
Directory (AD) server. I have made Linux systems use AD for
LDAP/Kerberos servers. It's not that hard, but you need AD to support
Posix/Unix attributes like shell, home directory, GECOS field.

Most new versions of AD have this built in, earlier versions require an
additional package Microsoft Services for Unix (also know as SFU or
msSFU, or MSSFU) that can be downloaded from Microsoft.

I wouldn'd try this unless you are very well-versed in LDAP and Kerberos

On RH-based Linux distros, /etc/ldap.conf should already has the
necessary configuration for SFU in it, you just need to uncomment it.

I never set up windows systems as LDAP clients.

> I was wondering how would I deal with it with the windows machine ?

You'd have to have a windows-specific binary, for one.

> Do I have do implement a specific program in it? Would it found the rsh ?

See above. SFU might come with a Wibndows implementation, but you'd have
problems with the fact the programs might have different names, and
would probably have different paths. That could confuse the queuing
system (if your using one), and/or your MPI implementation.
> Thanks in advance!
> Leonardo Machado Moreira

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