[Beowulf] Suggest me on my attempt!!

Robert G. Brown rgb at phy.duke.edu
Thu Mar 18 15:01:10 EST 2004

On Thu, 18 Mar 2004, Venkatraman Madurai Venkatasubramanyam wrote:

> Hello ppl!

> I am a Computer Science and Engineering student of India. I am
> planning to build a Beowulf Cluster for my Project as a part of my
> curriculum. Resource I have are four laptops with Intel Celeron 2 GHz,
> 18 GB HDD, HP Compaq Presario 2100 series, 192 MB RAM and I dont know
> what else shud I specify here. I have RedHat Linux 9 running on it. So I
> seek your help here to suggest me on how to build a Cluster. Please show
> me a way, as I am new to the Linux Platform. If you can personally help
> me, I will be really appreciated.

  a) Visit http://www.phy.duke.edu/brahma

Among other things on this site is an online book on building clusters.
Read/skim it.

  b) In your case the recipe is almost certainly going to be:

    i) Put laptops on a common switched network (cheap 100 Mbps switch).
   ii) Install PVM, MPI (lam and/or mpich), programming tools and
support if you haven't already on all nodes.
  iii) Set them up with a common home directory space NFS exported from
one to the rest, and with common accounts to match.  You can distribute
account information on so small a cluster by just copying e.g.
/etc/passwd and /etc/group and so on or by using NIS (or other ways).
   iv) Set up a remote shell so that you can freely login from any node
to any other node without a password.  I recommend ssh (openssh rpms)
but rsh is OK if your network is otherwise isolated and secure.
    v) Obtain, write, build parallel applications to explore what your
cluster can do.  There are demo programs for both PVM and MPI that come
with the distributions and more are available on the web.  There is a
PVM program template and an example PVM application suitable for
demonstrating scaling (also a potential template for master/slave code)


under "General".
   vi) Proceed from there as your skills increase.

I think that you'll find that after this you'll be in pretty good shape
for further progress, guided as you think necessary by this list.  

There are also books out there that can help, but they cost money.

Finally, I'd strongly suggest subscribing to Cluster World Magazine,
where there are both articles and monthly columns that cover how to do
all of the above and much more.


> MOkShAA.

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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