[Beowulf] Compute Node OS on Local Disk vs. Ram Disk

Bogdan Costescu Bogdan.Costescu at iwr.uni-heidelberg.de
Tue Sep 30 12:18:34 PDT 2008

On Tue, 30 Sep 2008, Prentice Bisbal wrote:

> This brings up something else I was wondering about: If you truly 
> strip down the OS running the nodes so that its just a tiny kernel 
> and only the essential libraries, the users would have to compile 
> all their software (assuming they compile their own code, like they 
> do here) statically linked.

I have been a user on clusters were even a full-blown install was 
badly done or nodes were not kept in sync, so I could only rely on the 
kernel and few essential libraries. Depending on the situation I have 
chosen to link statically or to install all the required shared libs 
in my home dir. There's no reason not to do it system-wide if you can 
cope with the disadvantages:
- static linking might require a relinking when the kernel changes; 
binaries take more space on disk and more time to be transfered to 
nodes when started
- having lots of shared libs require a way to manage LD_LIBRARY_PATH; 
something like modules or dotkit can help, but it needs to be kept 
synchronized with the installed libs; this is even more important when 
installing several versions of the same library side-by-side

Bogdan Costescu

IWR, University of Heidelberg, INF 368, D-69120 Heidelberg, Germany
Phone: +49 6221 54 8869/8240, Fax: +49 6221 54 8868/8850
E-mail: bogdan.costescu at iwr.uni-heidelberg.de

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