[Beowulf] Can Beowulf with Linux run all the desktop applications

Rajib Bandopadhyay bkpsusmitaa at gmail.com
Tue Feb 24 20:26:09 EST 2009


Dear friends,
Thanks. I am overwhelmed. How do you find time despite your hectic schedule
to reply to emails so quickly!
Regards,
Rajib Bandopadhyay





2009/2/24 Robert G. Brown <rgb at phy.duke.edu>

> On Tue, 24 Feb 2009, Rajib Bandopadhyay wrote:
>
>  Dear friends,
>> Can Beowulf with Linux run all the desktop applications? Will they run
>> faster?
>>
>
> Let's invert the question.  A linux user with a beowulf can run all the
> desktop applications -- on their desktop, where they belong.  The
> desktop in question might or might not reasonably be part of a cluster
> computer, beowulf style or not, depending on what that cluster is doing
> and intended/designed to do.
>
> In general, however, they will not run faster.  In order for an
> application to run faster, it has to be written to run in parallel, and
> most desktop applications are not.
>
> One exception to this is that in one very weak sense any SMP (multicore)
> system is a "beowulf" or more generic cluster.  Multiple processors can
> speed up desktop apps in one way -- by reducing contention for the CPU.
> So if you are usually running several programs at once (including many
> desktop programs) and they are blocking one another, running them on
> many processors "can" speed them up.  But this almost never happens.
>
>  rgb
>
>  Regards,
>> Rajib Bandopadhyay
>>
>>
>>
> Robert G. Brown                        http://www.phy.duke.edu/~rgb/<http://www.phy.duke.edu/%7Ergb/>
> 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<email%3Argb at phy.duke.edu>
>
>
>

2009/2/24 Tim Cutts <tjrc at sanger.ac.uk>

>
> On 24 Feb 2009, at 6:10 am, Rajib Bandopadhyay wrote:
>
>  Dear friends,
>> Can Beowulf with Linux run all the desktop applications? Will they run
>> faster?
>>
>
> Beowulf is Linux, so yes, it can run them.  Will it be faster?  No.
> Virtually nothing in the desktop application space can handle parallel
> running, and the additional network overhead of having the applications
> running on a server and displaying to your local display will most likely
> actually make things feel slower.
>
> Tim
>
>
> --
> The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute is operated by Genome ResearchLimited,
> a charity registered in England with number 1021457 and acompany registered
> in England with number 2742969, whose registeredoffice is 215 Euston Road,
> London, NW1 2BE.
>

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