Beowulf Clusters Book

Scott Burlington scottyb at
Mon Sep 18 11:23:10 PDT 2000

On Mon, 18 Sep 2000, Brian G. Powell wrote:

> Finally I have been able to find the "Building Beowulf Clusters Book"
> (or is it "Linux Clusters")
> but I hesitate to buy it: I went to Reiter's and they said something
> like the 2nd edition ought to come out in October; and another 
> bookstore (MicroCenter) said "Well it will take many months after
> it comes out before you see it on our shelf".
> Does anyone know if the 2nd edition is coming out soon? Should I wait?

Hi Brian,

Honestly, I'd wait.  We bought the Linux Clusters book and honestly I
don't feel that version 1.0 was really worth it.

The software included could be useful, but as is always the case with
software an internet connection is far more valuable than a CD.  

The book itself seems to have a hard time identifying it's
audience.  There aren't many linux newbie's with $100 000 for a linux
cluster yet the book seems to have an apologetic attitude towards being
technical, frankly I find this a little baffling.

There are some good hints in the book, but honestly a good set of internet
links can be found on just about any beowulf web site for a list of
essential software.  IMHO setting up the essential software yourself is
typically a valuable experience for administrators and users both.

There are many first-person references in the text, which is fine for
anecdotes, but in this case it seems to be more of a problem of hurried
editing, which is atypical of many O'Reilly publications which are usually
a pleasure to read.  Perhaps 2nd edition will be a little more palatable.

Perhaps I am mistaken but isn't our moderator Robert G. Brown working on a
similar book about linux clusters?  I have a feeling that if this is the
case then it may be worth waiting for.

my $0.02 ... regards,

Center for Intelligent Machines
McGill University, Montreal
scottyb at

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