WinNT/Linux hybrids?

Jim Lux James.P.Lux at
Mon Feb 26 10:13:37 PST 2001

What would be the possibility of building a cluster using WinNT workstation
(or NT server) on the head/worldly node and Linux on the (diskless) cluster
nodes.  You'd use one of the many NT ssh or Xwindows servers to talk to the
nodes.  Is it possible to netboot Linux from a NT server (what has to be
running on NT to make this work)?

Why would one want to do this?  There is a huge installed base for
powerpoint, excel and word, and eventually you have to get your  results
into that form.  Also, you could start your cluster grinding on a lengthy
task, effectively in the background, and continue using all the
"institutionally supported" software (i.e. Office, Outlook, Project, etc.)
in the foreground.

Sure, it's far from optimal, but then, what separates theory from practice
is that practice has all these warts and impracticalities but it does useful

I suspect that MS's clustering solution doesn't work with diskless nodes
(although I'm not sure). It was a struggle to get diskless Win95 clients
working reliably, and I can't imagine that getting NT up on a diskless node
would be very easy.

Jim Lux
Spacecraft Telecommunications Section (336)
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
4800 Oak Grove Road, Mail Stop 161-213
Pasadena CA 91109
Tel: (818)354-2075.  Fax:(818)393-6875

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