Cluster distributions?

Erwan Velu erwan at
Mon Sep 22 03:52:43 EDT 2003

Ryan Burns said:
> Hello,
> I've been running a very small 4 node beowulf cluster for a project.
> Right now I'm running Debian on the cluster and I'm not very happy with
> it or the tools available through the distribution.
> Does anyone have any suggestions of a good distribution? What about
> MSC.Linux? any good?
MandrakeClustering is the latest clustering distribution made by the CLIC
team. It supports Pentium & the newest AMD64 architecture (Opteron &

> I am also looking for tools to automate software installations across
> all the nodes, etc.
That one of our stronger point, the ka technologies from IDIMAG allow us
to deploy new nodes within 3 minutes (duplication, reoboot, autoconfig).

> I like the Debian package system, I just wish there was an easy way to
> have the process replicate across all the computers.
This his our 2nd stronger point.
For the mananging side, using the urpmi parallel command you can manage
(install/remove) rpm packages with their dependencies.
This tools helps you to keep your nodes up to date. Urpmi parallel uses
the ka technologies so the time needed for installing 50MB on a cluster
doesn't depend on the cluster size ! It takes the same time for installing
on 2 or 50 nodes ! So just have an switched network (very common this
Urpmi could be compared with apt except for the parallel side !

The autoconfiguration tool, allow people to build up a full cluster from
out-of-the-box computers in a really few time (when hardware is set, of
course :D). The cluster server builds everything for you just by answering
few questions. It builds up automaticaly : DNS, DHCP, PXE, NIS, NFS,
MPICH, LAM/MPI, TFTP, NTP,PXE, GANGLIA ... services for you.

The last strong point about MDKC is this is a real linux distributions
made for the cluster. This is not just a MandrakeLinux + few packages,
this is a real cluster distro. Everything from installation to
configuration has been thought for clustering. Everything has been build
on the same base so the product is really stable, and you install
everything at the same time (linux + clustering apps + configuration +
tips for making the life easier.)

Usual sysadmin clustering tools are included in MDKC : ka tools, gexec,
pcp, mput, rshp, dsh, etc.. There is multiple ways for doing the things...
If a very common tool is forgot, tell us we'll do our best to integrate it
on the next release.

Linuxely yours,
Erwan Velu
Linux Cluster Distribution Project Manager
43 rue d'aboukir 75002 Paris
Phone Number : +33 (0) 1 40 41 17 94
Fax Number   : +33 (0) 1 40 41 92 00
Web site     :
OpenPGP key  : 

Beowulf mailing list, Beowulf at
To change your subscription (digest mode or unsubscribe) visit

More information about the Beowulf mailing list