[Beowulf] Oh.. IBM eats Red Hat

Joe Landman joe.landman at gmail.com
Mon Oct 29 08:58:18 PDT 2018

On 10/29/18 11:44 AM, Ryan Novosielski wrote:
> On Oct 29, 2018, at 11:29, Prentice Bisbal via Beowulf 
> <beowulf at beowulf.org <mailto:beowulf at beowulf.org>> wrote:
>> On 10/29/2018 06:54 AM, INKozin via Beowulf wrote:
>>> what would be an alternative to RH?
>> Ubuntu
> Maybe LTS, but having run both, they’re not really comparable. Perhaps 
> Debian compares to RHEL. Ubuntu ships with broken stuff all the time, 
> stuff that usually stays broken for the whole release.

Ubuntu releases are based upon debian bleeding edge/dev tree. named 
"sid" and the testing distribution based on "buster".  In 18.04.1 LTS, 
you see this:

root at ubuntu:/etc/apt# cat /etc/debian_version

root at ubuntu:/etc/apt# uname -a
Linux ubuntu 4.15.0-36-generic #39-Ubuntu SMP Mon Sep 24 16:19:09 UTC 
2018 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux

So, yeah, the LTS is based upon bleeding edge.  This said, I've not seen 
much broken from Ubuntu recently, though I personally dislike 
netplan.io.  YAML based configuration is not a feature, rather it is a bug.

This said, from my viewpoint, Debian stable (currently "Stretch") is 
extraordinarily stable.  You can install backported packages from 
upstream if you need them.  Infiniband works well on them.

The downside to (most) of the stable distros are the aging compilers, 
languages, and libraries.  RH ships with 4.9.x, Debian 9.x ships with 
6.3.x.  You can easily install gcc7 and gcc8 in debian.  Its a little 
harder for pre-built rpms in RH (and its never a good idea to replace 
distro required packages with updated ones ... always use a separate 
tree, or a container).

Python 2.x is dead, 3.x should be used/shipped everywhere.  Perl 5.16 
was EOLed 5 years ago (RH I am looking at you).

This is where Ubuntu shines, in that they have nearly up to date 
versions of everything.  gcc 7.3.0, perl 5.26, python 3.6.6.

It turns out that getting up to date compilers and libraries has become 
quite important for those working on large distributed code bases.  Its 
possible to do this with Ubuntu in default config, with minimal effort 
in Debian, and significant effort/pain in RH/CentOS, usually employing 
modules or similar construct.


Joe Landman
e: joe.landman at gmail.com
t: @hpcjoe
w: https://scalability.org
g: https://github.com/joelandman
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