[Beowulf] CentOS plus Fedora kernel?

Ed Hill ed at eh3.com
Tue Nov 24 18:46:33 PST 2009

On Tue, 24 Nov 2009 21:40:11 +0000 "Andrew M.A. Cater" wrote:
> I hesitate to say this, because I'm talking to someone whose 
> reputation is stellar and because my own biases may show slightly :)
> 	Don't - under any circumstances whatever - use Fedora on a 
> production system or a system on which you want to do real work.
> If you _MUST_ do it - because, for example, your hardware is too new
> and not yet supported under the Red Hat Enterprise Linux / Centos 5.4
> kernel - 2.6.18-164* if I recall correctly - then it _may_ work but
> it WILL cause you some degree of instability, interesting debugging 
> interaction problems and some hours/days of frustration.

Please take a deep breath and lay off the FUD.

Fedora is a perfectly capable cluster OS.  I know of a half-dozen
operational clusters (some with literally hundreds of CPUs) that rely on
it for software development, data analysis, production runs, etc., etc.
In my experience, a well-managed Fedora-based cluster will have the same
stability and usability as any other well-managed Linux cluster.

And yes, Fedora does ship with some {leading,bleeding} edge bits which
cuts *both* ways -- sometimes its a big help (e.g., kernel support for
just-released hardware) and sometimes (e.g.; newer library versions) it
can be a bit of a hassle.  As others have mentioned, the short Fedora
lifetimes are not for everyone.

Unless you stumble upon a batch of truly unreliable hardware (which
does occasionally happen), the overall utility of a Linux cluster
is a *direct* result of the skill and care of those who manage it.


Edward H. Hill III, PhD  |  ed at eh3.com  |  http://eh3.com/

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