Preliminary info on the Scyld Beowulf distribution

Horatio B. Bogbindero wyy at
Tue Oct 10 00:06:31 EDT 2000

is there a place where we can download an ISO instead?

On Mon, 9 Oct 2000, Donald Becker wrote:

> Well, I guess I was scooped by SlashDot.
> As many of you have guessed from the hints and list postings, Scyld has been
> working on the next-generation Beowulf system.
> Our goal was an easy to install and run system that required minimal
> sysadmin knowledge for production use.  Our new distribution is also easy to
> use for developers.
> Here are a few features that should help avoid common problems reported on
> the list:
>   We use 'BProc' for almost everything.  This eliminates the environment and
>   path problems with 'rsh', and is far faster than either 'rsh' or 'ssh'.
>   After years of discussions, we finally have a universal booting system.
>   It uses 'Two Kernel Monte' to replace a minimal initial kernel that knows
>   only about networking with a full kernel.
>   Only the front-end "master" node has a full install.
>   The compute "slave" nodes can run with only 40MB in their filesystem.
>   Essentially all of the 40MB is cached libraries, with most files in
>   /etc/*, such as /etc/passwd, not needed.
>   Executables only need to exist on the front end machine.  We don't even
>   need /bin/sh on the slave nodes.
>   The system is usable with 64MB.  128MB or larger is preferred for serious
>   applications.
>   The system is based around a common distribution e.g. RedHat.  We replace
>   the kernel, the C library and a handful of utilities (the last two are for
>   LFS large file support).  We add the cluster control programs, including a
>   GUI, a custom MPI, etc.
> We will showing this distribution later this week in Atlanta at the Linux
> Showcase.  If you won't be in Atlanta you can order a development preview
> CD-ROM distribution for only $2 from LinuxCentral at
> Donald Becker				becker at
> Scyld Computing Corporation
> 410 Severn Ave. Suite 210		Second Generation Beowulf Clusters
> Annapolis MD 21403			410-990-9993
> _______________________________________________
> Beowulf mailing list
> Beowulf at

william.s.yu at
I don't remember it, but I have it written down.

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