[Beowulf] Linux cluster for my college

Mark Hahn hahn at mcmaster.ca
Sun Apr 8 14:02:21 EDT 2007


>  We are planning to set up a linux cluster on trail basis in our
> college.Since its merely a trail,we have been alloted PIII PCs with 128 MB
> Ram and 40 GB HD on a 100 MBps LAN.All i want to know is,will this hardware
> support a cluster? Moreover which distro/software to begin with?  If this
> trial succeeds we will get whatever hardware we want.But I just want this
> trial to succeed.Please help me.

I say you should keep it simple.  just install some basic distro like 
centos on all the nodes (just a minimal install - you DEFINITELY don't 
want all the gui/user/etc junk).  make sure you have ssh, but you can
skip everything desktop-related.  install mpich.  be happy.

if you're familiar with Linux, ssh and mpich, this should take not much time
at all.  things like monitoring and management are wonderful things, and
necessary for any significant-sized cluster, but certainly not for a
proof-of-concept.  with 128M PIII's, the examples you'll be able to 
demonstrate will be quite small, but still believable if you avoid extras.

regards, mark hahn.
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