[Beowulf] Building a new cluster - seeking some advice

Robert G. Brown rgb at phy.duke.edu
Sat Dec 22 05:56:31 PST 2007

On Sat, 22 Dec 2007, Jeffrey B. Layton wrote:

> very small swap file on the thumb drive if you think you need it). There is 
> work
> afoot in the Linux kernel to allow real swapping over the network. It's not 
> quite
> there yet (the last I looked), but it does look like Linus will allow it once 
> it's
> reaches some level of maturity.

I looked at this a LONG time ago (back when I was running diskless nodes
out of sheer necessity because the nodes we got as part of a giveaway
program had an unsupported SCSI controller).  There was a "move afoot"
then, too, but this was maybe 2000.  So don't hold your breath.

OTOH a) memory is dirt cheap.  Buy lots and then don't run jobs that
fill it.  In fact, since Linux uses a bunch to buffer/cache and smooth
performance, getting 2x what you need is only good.  Also b) I can't
remember what came of it my efforts -- I do recall trying to set up swap
to a swapfile mounted over NFS, and recall that there was an issue with
the systems calls required by swap deep in the kernel.  I KIND of
remember getting it working, though -- I don't remember if I hacked the
kernel or applied a patch or if somebody added a fix to the kernel about

Swap over an NFS-mounted swapfile (as opposed to a remote mount swap
partition) still doesn't work?


> You could also try it with SD cards or whatever flash media you like.
> Jeff
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Robert G. Brown                            Phone(cell): 1-919-280-8443
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