Best platform for High performance engineering computation.
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So if you need these, *BSD will NOT work, AFAIK. Anyone know if these have been ported to BSD ? I checked and they seem to not be ported.
Slackware is probably the best option then. If you do use Slackware, make sure to customize it, use a good filesystem, rebuild the kernel, etc.
No indication of renewed support for PathScale compilers has been issued since the Cray acquisition announcement was propagated everywhere last August. The most common (but not so very common) recent version of Open64 is the one from AMD. Common criticisms include lack of support for recent versions of Fortran or C or C++ standards (such as is seen in gnu, Intel, or even Sun compilers), and performance generally lower than PGI, Sun, or Intel.
Intel compilers are supported only for specific linux distros. Making it work on Slack is up to you; similar story for appropriate BSD versions.
Most HPC work is done on Red Hat, CentOS, SuSE,...., for example, those are the distros which are available with Intel(tm) Cluster Ready systems.
We have yet to hear from Larry Ellison about continued support for SunStudio, or any of the HPC initiatives supported by Sun in the past.
CentOS. RPM (and YUM) works. The distro is stable. Security patches are readily available. Pathscale, PGI, Intel and AbSoft compilers work with it.
Slack still lacks as good a package system (and tarballs don't count). *BSD has it place, and if you want Gnu-ish compilers for your HPC, this could be one. If you want Intel or PGI, TotalView, MatLAB, well likely not.
OpenSolaris is fine if you intend to solely use the Oracle compilers. Wait: Does Oracle HAVE compilers?
RHEL often comes with prebuilt/installed HPC systems, as does SuSE. They work. You CAN do HPC with almost any distribution but some are harder than others. I've built 3 systems with Slackware, 4, now with CentOS, and one with SuSE. I've colleagues who won't install anything but SuSE, others with a similar attitude toward CentOS.
But none of the three mentioned are in MY top 3 distros for HPC.