[Beowulf] Newbie in Beowulf

Robert G. Brown rgb at phy.duke.edu
Wed Dec 10 14:22:30 EST 2003

On Wed, 10 Dec 2003, Horacio Gonzalez-Velez wrote:

> I need to do MPI programming in a Beowulf cluster.  I am porting from Sun
> SOlaris to Beowulf so any pointers are extremely appreciated.

MPI books from MIT press.  Beowulf book, also from MIT press.  Probably
more books out there.  Online book on beowulf engineering on


(along with many other resource links).  Ian Foster and others' books on
parallel programming in general.  Articles (past and present) in both
Linux Magazine and Cluster Magazine, some of Forrest's LM articles
online last I checked.  MPICH website (www.mpich.org), LAM website
(www.lam-mpi.org) with of course MANY resource links and tutorials as

When you get through this, if you still need help as again; there are
lots of MPI programmers on the list that can help with specific
questions, but this should get you started generally speaking.

Note that nearly any way you set up a compute cluster, "true beowulf" or
NOW or background utilization of mostly idle boxes on a linux LAN, will
let you do MPI programming and run the result in parallel.  Cluster
distributions will generally install MPI ready to run, more or less.
Ordinary over the counter distributions e.g. Red Hat will generally
permit you to install it as part of the supported distribution as an
optional package.  As for MPICH vs LAM vs commercial offerings, I'm not
an MPI expert and have no religious feelings -- reportedly one is a bit
easier to run from userspace and the other a bit easier to control in a
managed environment, but this sort of thing is amorphous and hard to
quantify and time dependent, so I won't even say which is which.


Robert G. Brown	                       http://www.phy.duke.edu/~rgb/
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

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