[Beowulf] SuSE 9.3

Robert G. Brown rgb at phy.duke.edu
Tue Jul 12 08:57:35 EDT 2005


Gerry Creager N5JXS writes:

> We have also become fond of CentOS (specifically, v4.0).

Where it is worth parenthetically noting that Centos 4 "is" RHEL 4 which
"is" Fedora 4, only frozen.  Also that (IIRC) Scientific Linux is built
on top of RHEL 4 (and hence is "like" Centos plus add-ons if it doesn't
actually share de-RH-logified rpms).

Regarding FC -- FC 1 sucked -- sort of a destabilized RH 9 and no (good)
support for x86-64.  FC 2 was pretty good and by the time it got turned
into Linux at Duke (FC2 plus enhancements and fixes) it was very stable and
has run on both cluster nodes and desktops for a long time, since we are
updating only every other FC release (and will have a linux at duke based
on FC 4 "soon" this summer).  FC 3 is running on the laptop I'm typing
this on (and a few other systems in my house) and seems to work very
well and contain significant enhancements of various sorts relative to
FC 3.

However, my broader experience is that with distros your mileage ALWAYS
may vary.  People tend to have a negative experience (often because of a
quirk in their particular combination of hardware) and then write a
distro off, but if one perseveres and gets a clean install it will
probably run just fine -- not that crazy given the tremendous overlap in
source and build across distros.  For example, saying that you "like"
only some of Centos, RHEL, SL, or FC but not the rest is almost
certainly due to user error or because you dislike something about the
philosophy of one or the other, not because there are deep substantive
differences in install, basic package selection, build methodology, etc.

I personally think that FC is only marginally less stable than the RHEL
clones, for example, and in anything but a brand-new FC release the
update stream almost certainly fixes those relatively few initial
problems.  This makes yum a key component of any install, but WITH yum
one has a truly impressive range of prebuilt RPMs available with the
various add-on repos.

The dark side of the RHEL clones is the slowness of their advances.
Centos 3 was running GSL in some really early version LONG after
significant new functionality and bug fixes were available in the STABLE
RELEASE version in FC.  Stability and update stream are just great, but
I personally think RHEL may be carrying the stability thing to a fault.
The kernel, also, can be a real problem if "stabilized" for too long --
two years is a LONG time in hardware space; lots of products released
and supported in more aggressive kernel update streams, lots of
improvements in the kernel itself.

   rgb

> 
> gerry
> 
> Vincent Diepeveen wrote:
>> Fedora core 2 i already tried and when installed at my dual, it was wasting
>> cpu time for nothing. The worst distribution ever. Not worth downloading if
>> your intentions are more than 'just run linux'. If you need to run
>> applications that will eat system time, Fedora Core is the worst choice.
>> 
>> In general Suse and Redhat are deteriorating, only their commercial product
>> lines might be doing fine, which are what is it, $1500 a piece or so in
>> case of Redhat? 
>> 
>> Suse 9.3 was a waste of money. It doesn't even install correct. Either you
>> get 'kernel panic', or some file system stuff is going wrong.
>> 
>> Amazingly Suse 9.0 at the same machine worked fine (but of course 2.4.x is
>> wrong kernel for a quad opteron so i must upgrade that).
>> 
>> Anyone tried opensolaris.org actually and download their compiler at 
>> http://opensolaris.org/os/community/tools/sun_studio_tools/
>> 
>> Or is this all a big commercial show from Sun?
>> 
>> At 05:40 PM 7/11/2005 -0400, Michael Joyner wrote:
>> 
>>>After discussing it with the physics professor, we have decided to try 
>>>Fedora 2 + OSCAR.
>>>
>>>Wish me luck! :)
>>>
>>>John Hearns wrote:
>>>
>>>>On Mon, 2005-07-11 at 11:32 -0400, Michael Joyner wrote:
>>>>
>>>>>Brian R Smith wrote:
>>>>
>>>>>>SuSE does come with a few helpful packages like mpich/lam and queuing
>>>>>>software like OpenPBS, but in my experience, you are always better off
>>>>>>following a more generic model: build it yourself.
>>>>>
>>>>>We were initially looking at SuSE because that is what we have 
>>>>>everywhere else. :)
>>>>
>>>>Well, use SuSE on your cluster then, if that is the distro which you are
>>>>most used to.
>>>>Personally, I would shy away from Fedora, much though I have a liking
>>>>for Redhat hand have used it for years.
>>>>
>>>>I agree with the advice though to build your own packages rather than
>>>>relying on the RPMs.
>>>>
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> 
> -- 
> Gerry Creager -- gerry.creager at tamu.edu
> Texas Mesonet -- AATLT, Texas A&M University	
> Cell: 979.229.5301 Office: 979.458.4020 FAX: 979.847.8578
> Page: 979.228.0173
> Office: 903A Eller Bldg, TAMU, College Station, TX 77843
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