A question about Bewoulf software:

Donald Becker becker at scyld.com
Wed Aug 27 19:41:17 EDT 2003

On Wed, 27 Aug 2003, Ao Jiang wrote:

>    These days, our lab are planning to built up
> a Beowulf cluster, which uses Intel Xeon Processors
> or Pentium 4, and Intel Pro Gigabit (10/100/100)
> ethernet card.
>    We wonder if we choose commerical software, such as
> scyld, which version will support Xeon Processor or
> Pentium 4 respectively?

Most Linux distributions will "support" the Pentium 4 and Xeon.  The
question is if the kernel is compiled to take advantage of the newer
processor features.

The Scyld distribution now has about a dozen different kernels to match the
processor types and UP/SMP on the master and compute nodes.  Typically
only two to four of the kernels are installed, based which checkboxes
are slected during installation.  We always install a safe, featureless
i386 uniprocessor 

BTW, you might think that the processor family is the most important
optimization, but there is an even bigger difference between
uniprocessor and SMP kernels.

> If we try buliding by ourself, which version of software
> we should choose?

You pretty much have two choices:
   be library version compatible with a consumer/workstation
      distribution (Red Hat, SuSE, Debian), or
   use a meta-distribution such as GenToo or Debian and compile
     everything yourself.

> And which version will support Intel Pro Gigabit Ethernet card?

Every few weeks Intel comes out with a new card version with a new PCI
ID.  The e1000 driver is one of the five or so drivers that we are
constantly updating to support just-introduced chips.

Donald Becker				becker at scyld.com
Scyld Computing Corporation		http://www.scyld.com
914 Bay Ridge Road, Suite 220		Scyld Beowulf cluster system
Annapolis MD 21403			410-990-9993

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