[Beowulf] where to start building ur own cluster distro

Jakob Oestergaard jakob at unthought.net
Wed Apr 16 07:48:54 PDT 2008

On Wed, Apr 16, 2008 at 03:56:31PM +0200, Jon Aquilina wrote:
> ive been thinking bout building an easy to use cluster distro based on
> kubuntu where would the ideal place for me to start. the desktop interface
> the kernel?

How about "neither"  ?  :)

I don't mean to discourage you, but I can't help but being a little bit sceptic
about the purpose and usefulness of all of this.

Honestly, if I were to install a new cluster, I'd worry about
*) Libraries  (ATLAS and gmp for the hardware, a good MPI)
*) Job control server and tools (SGE?)
*) Proper single-sign on (Kerberos authentication) and generally proper
   integration between the systems (I don't know if NFSv4 works these days, but
   if it does that would be truly fantastic coupled with automount and a
   directory for authorization and mount maps)

Possibly if it was for development of simulation tools and not production runs
of "finished" tools, I'd want development tools like valgrind, binutils and a
good new gcc suite.

I'm sure the good people on this list have more requirements.

The kernel should "just work". Outside of having a properly patched actually
working kernel configured for server usage (which many distros, including
ubuntu, have these days) with the proper NUMA awareness and bit width (64
of'em) to deal with the hardware, there's not much won from fiddling with it.
Really, if your code spends its time in the kernel, you have much bigger
problems  :)

And desktop interface?  On a cluster what for?


 / jakob

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