[Beowulf] Virtualization in head node ?

Robert G. Brown rgb at phy.duke.edu
Fri Sep 18 05:15:35 PDT 2009

On Thu, 17 Sep 2009, Gerry Creager wrote:

>> I was a dyed-in-the-wool vmware user until quite recently, too, but the 
>> pain of keeping it running on "current" distros (read: Fedora) finally 
>> forced me to look elsewhere.  I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by 
>> VirtualBox if you give it a shot.
>> Then again, who knows what Oracle will do with it...
> I'm not sure I'd TRY to keep it running on Fedora.  Too bleeding edge for my 
> clusters!

I don't use Fedora on clusters, I use it on laptops, where bleeding edge
is often necessary.  I just got and reinstalled a Studio 17 Dell (which
came with VoEvil, of course) and it wouldn't even boot the F10 install
image (at least not without a lot more energy than I had to put into
it).  F11 it booted, and installed, flawlessly.  From what Google turned
up, Ubuntu will work too.

The VMware hassle on F11 (and Ubuntu -- actually on current-gen kernels
in general) has been the exception rather than the rule and seems to be
due to a surprising lag between recent major changes in some of the
kernel sources, plus the shift in Fedora from OSS to ALSA-only with OSS
emulation a deprecated, difficult to restore option.  But I will try
VBox at my next reasonable opportunity.

On servers I run Centos or RHEL (licenses and all) as the vendor of the
software requires.  Generally Centos on top, then VMware, then RHEL VMs.
Works fine.  The only bad thing I've seen about Centos in the past is
the dark side of a long term freeze -- some very useful tools and
libraries have been in rapid development (notably the GSL and Yum).
RHEL 4 just sucked in this regard, with up2date instead of yum, and an
early, broken version of the GSL.  Fedora is too fast, RHEL too slow.
What can you do?


Robert G. Brown	                       http://www.phy.duke.edu/~rgb/
Duke University Dept. of Physics, Box 90305
Durham, N.C. 27708-0305
Phone: 1-919-660-2567  Fax: 919-660-2525     email:rgb at phy.duke.edu

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