[Beowulf] Gentoo in the HPC environment

Ellis H. Wilson III ellis at cse.psu.edu
Tue Jun 24 19:54:22 PDT 2014

On 06/24/2014 02:43 AM, Jonathan Aquilina wrote:
> I am just curious as I have recently switched to Gentoo for every day use
> due to its customizability and how everything is compiled for a particular
> system.  Has anyone used Gentoo in an HPC application?

My entire PhD was done on Gentoo.  I started on LFS (linux from 
scratch), but fairly quickly walked from that due to total lack of 
upgrade path.  Gentoo gives LFS speeds (if not better) with path to 
upgrade (and a lot of other Gentoo'ers helping keep that upgrade path 
bleeding edge).

I also discovered a LOT (understatement) of bugs in HPC code in the 
process.  When things are expecting GCC 3.x and you force them through 
4.7, they tend to kick and scream.  And C is strangely the best case. 
C++ compilers are just absurd in their changes as releases increment.

So, unless you are the end-all-be-all in the use-case like I was for my 
PhD (my cluster/hardware/network, my software, my Gentoo build, my 
kernel configs, etc), I would sadly be forced to say Gentoo is a bad 
choice for general HPC builds.  Too few people fully understand and 
appreciate it, and far more are going to be pissed about how their old 
and crusty release of whatever isn't available 8 years after it came out 
just because they have to keep their similarly old/crusty/broken 
academic code-mess up-to-date.  Enough boo-hooing does beat rationality 

Just my hyper-cynical 2c though,


More information about the Beowulf mailing list