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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

I am currently struggling to put together a high-performance cluster.

I am a beginner, so I didn't really know where to start.

I was aiming for a head node running on Windows, because I am most familiar with this OS, and not all applications support Linux.

After long research and testing, I found ClusterKnoppix, a Linux distribution made for such clustering, and which I finally found how to make it work (let's say -- and after some more research and testing).

So, I was thinking of ways through which I could cluster with ClusterKnoppix, but have my main node run Windows. I plan to basicly add computational power to Windows via ClusterKnoppix somehow.

First try was running ClusterKnoppix as a Virtual Machine, but that only worked if load was put on the VM directly, ClusterKnoppix, Windows not viewing and using the other nodes.

The second try was with CoLinux (Cooperative Linux) as I think Linux and Windows would work more closely together than through a VM, but I don't really know how to use it. I've researched if an how to boot Knoppix as an ISO file but it didn't work, even though the guides showed a running Graphical Knoppix window. I have attached the CoLinux command line output if anyone is interested, and think might know the solution to the problem is, even though I have tried some solutions to the error I receive.

Technical Details:

So, I was looking for some advice on how can I cluster Windows as a head node in a high performace cluster, with all the other nodes running diksless (PXE booted, like ClusterKnoppix can).

My computational nodes are Pentium 4 and lower computers (two Asus A7N266-VM/AA, 1.6 GHz CPU, and 512MB RAM each, to be more precise, and some other machines, including a P4 IBM NetVista (says on the case) with 0.75 GB RAM, but suddenly not working anymore, and other ones).

That being said, I cannot install any "high-end" server Linux distro, like Red-Hat, or anyting alike, as it is highly ressource demanding, on the computer, using all or almost of the local ressources (in addition of a spare HDD, which I would need), making the cluster almost useless. I don't have high-end servers like it demands to run on, so I can't use that type of OS. Even a CMD line UI would still be using too much of the ressources. ClusterKnoppix nodes used 0% to 3% CPU and RAM, in idle 5% maximum.

To add, I am looking for a diskless node option, because I could easily add nodes, not needing a local storage medium.

Returning to CoLinux, the error I received is:

colinux: Linux VM terminated
colinux: Kernel panic: No init found. Try passing init= option to kernel." the end of trying to boot up ClusterKnoppix.

There is of course an "initrd.gz" file and an "minirtcl.gz" file, but pointing to either of them with either "initrd=" or "init=" doesn't change anything.

I have researched this error, but the solutions offered didn't work, or did not apply.

Of course, ClusreKnoppix is not Knoppix, but I couldn't find any information on ClusterKnoppix, so I was hoping Knoppix is close enough to ClusterKnoppix, for it to work.

Ressources used:

- Some show about Beowulf clustering and some of its related pages (Wiki)

For CoLinux error: - I have not really looked over this one.

Last thing is, that I don't really think (either) the Windows/Colinux/ClusterKnoppix idea would work, but I seemed interesting to try it anyway. Two kernels do not magically interact with each other to give the expected output without doing anything to it to go in the desired direction.

I also forgot to mention that high-performance computing in this post, can be relalced with beowulf; and the version of ClusterKnoppix I am using, is the latest available on its website.

Thanks for reading that much, and I apologize for writing that much, but it is a summary of the recent work done, of how I have aborded this issue.

Awaiting advice, opinions, ideas, replies...



29 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I also thought of building my own application software which would allow computers to cluster together, sharing CPU, RAM, and GPU. I would make it work on as many operating systems as possible as well as both 32- and 64-bit, if I can, and diskless nodes booted via PXE.

I thought of using the Open MPI library, but I don't know how to use it, and Lan Core for the TFTP server booting the text based, basic OS, which would be the application itself at the core, like ClusterKnoppix.

To start, I need to know what it needs to do: how do the nodes communicate etc.? How does it interact with the host OS; how is the kernel involved?

I looked over Open MPI examples and code, but I don't know what to do with it.
The programming language doesn't really matter, I guess, but I i saw C, C++, and C# being proposed for Open MPI.
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