Thursday, July 30, 2009

Poor Man's Cluster - Step 2

Poor Man's Cluster - Step 2
Topic: LinuxClusters

OK, so we chose the KNOPPIX DVD last year (2008-2009 school year).  We downloaded the latest version from  This is a very nice Linux distribution based on Debian ( making for a very good bootable or live Linux DVD with great hardware autodetection.  Here are the steps involved in simply installing the DVD (no cluster apps yet) to a Linux partition on the hard drive of each PC you want in the cluster:
(0) boot dvd, open root shell, run "qtparted" to adjust partitions as desired.
(1) now run "knoppix-installer" from the same root shell and follow the instructions given in the script.
(2) reboot PC and put dvd away
(3) login as root - single by following the next 3 steps at boot-up:
in grub select top then press
select kernel then press
type "single" at end of line then press

(3a) to edit bootloader run: "joe /boot/grub/menu.1st"
(3b) then run "netcardconfig" with no dhcp, selecting ethernet card for Linux network (we had one for Linux off the internet and one for Windows on the internet) - here are the settings I used (edit according to your local network, or intranet,  setup):
address = (this varies by station, I went up to
netmask =
network =
broadcast =
gateway =
dns =,,
(3c) now run "joe /etc/network/interfaces" and edit accordingly making sure ONLY lo and the ethernet card you selected are listed - NO hotplug - NO eth0 (if you selected eth1 for example)
(3d) we also need to run "update-rc.d ssh defaults" to set up a ssh server (sshd) on each PC or cluster node (we need this for cluster apps to talk to eachother).
(4) this step is optional - we needed to install ati drivers for graphics acceleration - we may not need this next year with redhat - run the following commands as root:
(4a) ftp*.run (anonymously)
(4b) chmod 755 *.run
(4c) Xorg -configure
(4d) test line given and exit X with
(4e) cp / /etc/X11/xorg.conf
(4f) ./
(4g) aticonfig -initial (twice)
(4h) reboot
(5) login as regular user (we used "apcs" in knoppix-installer) and set-up local printers using KWrite and test graphics accelorator with glxinfo, glxgears, tuxracer, bzflag....
Wow, that's all folks!

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