[Beowulf] Gentoo in the HPC environment

Joe Landman landman at scalableinformatics.com
Tue Jun 24 20:52:02 PDT 2014

On 06/24/2014 10:54 PM, Ellis H. Wilson III wrote:


> 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
> here.

My inflation adjusted 2 centi-dollars are rather the opposite.  Things 
like Docker, when sufficiently mature, will enable you to run pretty 
much any environment you need.  The reach through to the underlying 
hardware is far less of an issue with that, than SR-IOV based kvm/xen 

Its now a SMOP for Docker to be 'sufficiently mature' but I'd bet that 
by SC14, we could be swapping war stories of what works/doesn't work. 
And given the velocity of it, I'd say its probably maturing far faster 
than the pure HPC community needs.

So if you want to do Gentoo JEOS nodes, go ahead.  We are focusing more 
on Debian with our kernel, drivers, user-space bits, code ... ourselves. 
but Gentoo (and for a short while, LFS) was a possibility.  There's 
nothing wrong with it per-se, albeit a sharper learning curve to get 
productive.  This said, some of the best tools we use (System Rescue CD) 
are Gentoo based.  Others are Debian based.

Joseph Landman, Ph.D
Founder and CEO
Scalable Informatics, Inc.
email: landman at scalableinformatics.com
web  : http://scalableinformatics.com
twtr : @scalableinfo
phone: +1 734 786 8423 x121
cell : +1 734 612 4615

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