[Beowulf] SGI to offer Windows on clusters

Andrew M.A. Cater amacater at galactic.demon.co.uk
Mon Apr 16 15:45:19 EDT 2007

On Mon, Apr 16, 2007 at 09:39:44AM -0700, Greg Lindahl wrote:
> On Mon, Apr 16, 2007 at 06:44:47AM +0000, Andrew M.A. Cater wrote:
> > 17,740 packages in Debian main. Pure 64 bit distribution. Some
> > Beowulf-type software already packed. Runs out of the box on 
> > Alpha/Sun/AMD64 (and will deal with legacy 32 bit hardware 
> > identically so that you can have the same app. on cluster and desktops
> > if you really must.) 
> If it runs 32-bit apps, why are you calling it a "pure 64 bit
> distribution"? That's pretty confusing, especially since in the past
> Debian didn't run 32-bit stuff on the 64-bit OS.
> -- g

Sorry Greg,

Didn't mean it quite that way. Debian "pure AMD64" is now a fully 64
bit OS: there are 32 bit legacy/compatibility libraries available to 
link against if you really feel you must :) But it's 64 bit - in exactly 
the same way that Alpha always was.

If you happen to be running 32 bit machines on the desktop, you can 
still install exactly the same apps. as are available in the 64 bit 
version. Thus, Debian's the same even across architectures.

A case in point: one year I took an Alpha running Debian to the Debian 
stand at LinuxWorld in London: the next year I took a Sun Sparc 20 dual 
processor machine. Both ran exactly the same apps. as the Intel 
architecture machines next to them - and had virtually identical install 

I'm talking at my local LUG tomorrow night about the NSLU2.
(Tiny Intel/Marvell Xscale machine with 8MB flash and 32MB RAM, 2 x USB 
2.0 and 10/100 Ethernet port)

For grins, I installed Debian on it yesterday. It has Apache, print 
capability, X.org and Iceweasel, the Debian Firefox equivalent. It also 
has the usual development tools, gcc etc. etc. as native ARM packages.

The only difference in the install (apart from speed): I had to arrange 
to re-flash the flash memory and the  initial login was via ssh. I'm not 
sure whether ATLAS and MPICH would do well - but I'm fairly sure they're 
available for it. Floating point is abyssmal because of emulation issues 
- hence a change to the new ARM EABI in due course. 


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