[Beowulf] Gentoo in the HPC environment

Jonathan Aquilina jaquilina at eagleeyet.net
Sat Jun 28 12:45:13 PDT 2014

>From what I have seen you will see noticable improvements in terms of
performance as the applications are tailor made and optimized for the
hardware. I can give you a two examples. On a xen based vps running
gentoo, granted i have no website or anything on there just mysql and
apache. the memory foot print is around 62mb out of 2G.

Another example is my gentoo laptop with a fully fledged kde installation.
Ubuntu with its unoptimized packages minimum needs 2G. Gentoo minimum
logged into the desktop with nothing running 420mb of ram.

I see considerable differences. I am looking forward to putting some
content to host there, but I am working on some additional hardening
features at the kernel level such as SEL, grsec and PAX.


>> due to its customizability and how everything is compiled for a
>> particular
>> system.  Has anyone used Gentoo in an HPC application?
> not so much, I suspect.  at my org, we have our hands full dealing
> with slow-changing distros like centos.  what would really be interesting
> is if someone could show a tangible benefit to the compile-from-scratch
> approach - a measurable and consistent improvement in some applications'
> performances, for instance.
> for single-purpose facilities, it might make a lot of sense.  certainly
> mechanisms like environment modules would be asinine in that context.
> I do often wonder how much our systems are pessimized by conservative
> compilation, especially the use of PIC (by way of shared libraries)
> and avoidance of LTO.
> regards, mark hahn.

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