[Beowulf] Improving access to a Linux beowulf cluster for Windows users

Geoff Jacobs gdjacobs at gmail.com
Wed Apr 9 12:12:16 EDT 2008


Tom Pierce wrote:
> Dear Beowulf ML,
>  
> Are there any good websites that describe how to simplify access to a
> Linux Beowulf cluster for people who use windows computers?  Do you have
> recommendations (besides "Learn Linux") that assist people is accessing
> your cluster?
>  
> I have HowTo pages on:
> 1) Loading and running Putty for ssh access
> 2) Loading and running cygwin for a X-server to view graphics
> 3) Loading and using WinSCP for file transfer to and from the cluster.
> 4) Some instructions on howto use the Batch job system (Torque/Maui) for
> common applications.

Instead of using Cygwin for an X server, install a copy of Xming[1]. It
integrates very nicely with Putty, especially if you use the copy on
their downloads page.

Using WinSCP[2] is going to be pretty straightforward. Run the
installer. Host name, user name, and password -- presto bang-o. I use
the CLI utilities from Putty instead, though. Filezilla will work, too.

Your best option is going to be a step by step procedure that people can
follow, perhaps in the form of a web page with download links for the
software. You can generate it, or you can recruit somebody, but you will
undoubtedly be the editor, especially if you control access/use policy
on the cluster.

>From a user perspective, you windows clients are going to be in a highly
controlled, highly configured environment. Recipes for basic use of the
development tools and preinstalled applications will cut your support
requirements down.

[1]http://sourceforge.net/projects/xming
[2]http://www.stat.wisc.edu/twiki/bin/view/StatDocs/UsinglaptopApps#Using%20_WinSCP

-- 
Geoffrey D. Jacobs
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