[Beowulf] SGI to offer Windows on clusters

Joe Landman landman at scalableinformatics.com
Mon Apr 16 08:40:26 PDT 2007

Robert G. Brown wrote:

> I've always liked the idea of the core remaining a VERY marginal set
> that is pretty much "just enough" to bootstrap an install.  One of the

Hmmm.... I indicated this some time ago and got some grief over this. 
Few of the distro makers seem to like this concept.  I want the unit up, 
running all drivers needed (and only those drivers needed), with the 
network, and a barebones admin package (ssh, ipmitools, ...).  Getting 
there with most prebuilt distros is excruciatingly hard.

I have gotten SuSE down to a 1.4 GB install, bare minimum that I can 
make it and satisfy all dependencies, and have a functional compute 
node.  More if I need to get the 32 bit packages there.

RH I have not seen an install below about 2GB.  Rocks tries to do a 
minimal install, and yet you see packages that largely won't be used on 
nodes being installed in order to satisfy dependencies of packages that 
will be used.  This is not the Rocks people's fault, it is the 
underlying distribution.

You can use DSL and other "small" distros as long as you don't mind 
using ancient kernels, missing drivers, ...  This unfortunately doesn't 
satisfy the needs.  Caos3 should (in theory, haven't tried it yet) 
handle most of this, be a very tight install, limited package dependency 
radius, and still be quite usable/fast.

> things that from time immemorial has bugged me about the red hat install
> process is its complete lack of robustness, so that if for any reason it
> fails in midstream, one pretty much has to start over.  This has always


These problems plague every RH derived distro as well.  FC derived as 
well.  Anaconda may be great at many things.  Robustly installing 
software and configuring systems is not one of them.

Joseph Landman, Ph.D
Founder and CEO
Scalable Informatics LLC,
email: landman at scalableinformatics.com
web  : http://www.scalableinformatics.com
phone: +1 734 786 8423
fax  : +1 734 786 8452
cell : +1 734 612 4615

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