[Beowulf] [AMD64] Gentoo or Fedora

Gerry Creager gerry.creager at tamu.edu
Thu Aug 30 06:57:52 PDT 2007

Oh, yeah... flames if you top post.  Ok...

Mark Hahn wrote:
>> I want to ask what kind of experiencies do you has in the
>> implementation of a beowulf cluster (using Gentoo or Fedora in AMD64
>> architectures) for metheorological applications and wich one of the
>> distros do you recommend me.
> it should not matter.  distros are all about desktop decor,
> which is irrelevant to cluster applications.  you should use a distro 
> which your admins are comfortable with - the packaging
> format, for instance.  I personally find yum very good, and thus
> prefer RH-like distros.  I doubt that meteorological apps have any 
> special properties beyond the normal working kernel/filesystem/
> compiler/scheduler/mpi stuff, which should be achievable in any distro.

We run WRF and MM5, NCARG, NCL and Gempak here.  One cluster is SuSE 
(came that way, didn't change it) and another is Rocks (an experiment). 
  Likely, when we reimage everything it will be Fedora.  Fedora 7 (and 
6, I think) have RPMs for netcdf and ncarg which saves a little bit of 
the headache associated with their install... but only a little.

I suspect we'll go with Fedora or CentOS depending on a coin-toss or a 
previous night's beer-laden decision, but we'll almost certainly use a 
yum-based updater for convenience.

As Mark points out, distros are mostly for eye-candy.  Our typical 
install is stripped down, then we customize with packages (like WRF, 
WPS, NCARG and Gempak) and parallelizable packages like NetCDF, which 
isn't out in rpm, I don't think) manually.

We won't intentionally use AiX (which is on our IBM p575 Cluster1600) 
intentionally.  If I take over the care and feeding of that system, it's 
likely to grow linux if we can get drivers for the Foundation switches.

Gerry Creager -- gerry.creager at tamu.edu
Texas Mesonet -- AATLT, Texas A&M University	
Cell: 979.229.5301 Office: 979.458.4020 FAX: 979.862.3983
Office: 1700 Research Parkway Ste 160, TAMU, College Station, TX 77843

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