Svet's Home LAMA Beowulf YA Beowulf Howto

Welcome to my Yet Another Beowulf Installation Howto

1. Introduction

Please note: this is pre-pre-pre draft and probably will not be useful for you. Please come back later ...

Last month I had to install one more cluster :). This time I decided to do it better. The final result is useful for demonstrations: after preparing the server adding one new node is really fast -- it takes 4.5 min. The procedure is the following:

  1. Add the node's MAC (hardware ethernet) address to dhcp's file on the server.
  2. Connect the new node to the switch of the cluster and (optional) first serial port to the multiserial card of the server.
  3. Put the "magic" diskette in the disk drive. Power on. Wait 4.5 min.
  4. Take out the diskette and press "Enter" to reboot.
  5. That's all. Repeat with next node.
During the installation the following is done: partitioning the hard drive, making filesystems and swap, install small number of packages, change the kernel with one better tailored for cluster node (serial console, SMP, etc...) relax the root security inside the cluster, export /scratch directories, mount /home and /usr/local, install PVM, install hardware monitor modules (... xxx-- to add here more info --xxx ...). Of course all this is possible thanks to RedHat's Kickstart installation method.

Well, all steps are trivial but it takes some time to do everything well. Because I've spend few days to prepare this I think that this "experience" can be useful for somebody. This why I will try to convert my notes from the installation to something like "cookbook" ...

2. Server preparation

(burning CD with updates incorporated, RedHat installation, DHCP, Cyclom card, preparing and testing the kickstart installation ...)

3. Nodes

(Recompiling the kernel for nodes and preparation a RPM, Kickstart, recompiling the install from the installation diskette and changing it, UTP cables, serial console ...)

4. Testing and benchmarking

(netpipe, NASA's, POVbench :), my own i.e. the most important ;)) ..., ... )

5. Updating/installing software

(updating the kernel with rpm and rsh, installation of Mosix, installation of XPVM...)

6. Links

6.1 Documentation
6.2 Software

Svetoslav Ivantchev,; Last update: May 21, 1999.