[Beowulf] beowulf and X

Robert G. Brown rgb at phy.duke.edu
Tue Dec 9 13:50:00 EST 2003


On Tue, 9 Dec 2003, mark kandianis wrote:

> hello
> 
> i have a background in linux but not particularly beowulf.  i've lately 
> been recruited
> to develop a graphics system for beowulf with xfree86 and twm.  is anyone 
> else doing this
> out there?  also, how does beowulf get its graphics currently?  i could 
> not figure that out
>  from the links on the site.

What exactly do you mean?  Or rather, I think that defining your
engineering goal is the first step for you to accomplish.  "Beowulf"
doesn't get its graphics any particular way, but systems with graphical
heads can be nodes on a beowulfish or other cluster computer design, and
a piece of parallel software could certainly be written to do the
computation on a collection of nodes and graphically represent the
computation on a graphical head in real time or as movies afterward.
Several demo/benchmarky type applications exist that sort-of demonstrate
this -- pvmpov (a raytracing application) and various mandelbrot set
demos e.g. xep in PVM.

So to even get started you've got to figure out what the problem really
is.  Do you mean:

     Display                     "beowulf"

  Graphics head =====network====head node 00
                                |node 01
                                |node 02
                                |node 03
                                |...

(do a computation on the beowulf that e.g. makes an image or creates a
data representation of some sort, send it via the network to the
display, then graphically display it) or:

  Graphical head node 00
   |node 01
   |node 02
   |node 03
   |...

(do the computation where the graphical display is FULLY INTEGRATED with
the nodes, so each node result is independently updated and displayed
with or without a synchronization step/barrier) or:

  ...something else?

In each case, the suitable design will almost certainly be fairly
uniquely suggested by the task, if it is feasible at all to accomplish
the task.  It may not be.

   rgb

Robert G. Brown	                       http://www.phy.duke.edu/~rgb/
Duke University Dept. of Physics, Box 90305
Durham, N.C. 27708-0305
Phone: 1-919-660-2567  Fax: 919-660-2525     email:rgb at phy.duke.edu



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