Request on advice on which kernel? 2.2 or 2.4?

Donald Becker becker at scyld.com
Wed Oct 3 09:57:44 EDT 2001


On Wed, 3 Oct 2001, Michelle Kuttel wrote:

> I would like to request some opinions/advice on which kernel is best for
> my Beowulf cluster.  We have a cluster of 16 Dual processor PentiumIII-866
> MHz work nodes (head node AMD athlon 1Ghz CPU, single processor).  It has
> been running for a few months now (computational chemistry CHARMM code
> principally).
>  I have installed both 2.2.14-5 kernel (with Loncaric's
> tcpfix kernel patch)

We use and recommend this TCP patch.  Josip did excellent work.

> and the 2.2.4 kernel at different times.

The biggest advantage of 2.4 kernel is the SMP improvements to the
network stack.  You'll see less benefit with your single processor
nodes, with most of the benefit on four processor nodes.

> The 2.4.4 kernel has given me more stable performance with
> PVFS, but the ethernet pro driver for the networks cards gives
> intermittent problems.

I recomment trying my eepro100 driver from
  http://www.scyld.com/network/eepro100.html
rather than the modified one in the kernel.  The alternate is the e100
driver from Intel.  It's useful having options -- if you have
problems with eepro100 and your specific chip version, the unrelated
e100 driver usually won't trigger the same bug.


Donald Becker				becker at scyld.com
Scyld Computing Corporation		http://www.scyld.com
410 Severn Ave. Suite 210		Second Generation Beowulf Clusters
Annapolis MD 21403			410-990-9993



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