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Old 10-30-2008, 10:09 PM   #1
elcasey
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linux desktop clustering


Hello everyone!

Ok, I'll try to be short and specific:
I have 4 computers lying around the house. I want to hook them all up to make 1 faster computer that uses all 4. I don't want to "cluster" just for a specific program. I just want a desktop linux that uses all four computers hardware at once so that everything is faster.

Is this possible?

Thanks,
elcasey
 
Old 10-31-2008, 04:35 AM   #2
SkyEye
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Welcome to LQ!

Yes, check Beowulf Clustering for one way of doing this.


EDIT: I didn't notice the part you said you want to use it as a desktop.

Last edited by SkyEye; 10-31-2008 at 05:15 AM.
 
Old 10-31-2008, 04:44 AM   #3
cdnLilwolf
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Perhaps, but why on earth would you? It would be cheaper and more efficient to buy one newer PC. The weakest link being connecting the four PC's to each other (in terms of speed).
 
Old 10-31-2008, 04:47 AM   #4
abolishtheun
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no, it isn't really possible; you can hook the machines up into a cluster but programs need to be written specifically to take advantage of it. hell, most of the time you aren't utilizing the multiple cpu cores on your machine fully, either.
 
Old 10-31-2008, 05:20 AM   #5
pinniped
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abolishtheun has got it right; you misunderstood the idea of clustering.

What you could do is have multiple servers and connect to all at once - one remote X window running OpenOffice, the local X window just sitting there with terminals open running ssh, another server with a browser open and playing your favorite youtube video. It would be a nuisance to administer and I don't see much of a point to it; it would be the most inconvenient machine to use. This sort of thing does happen fairly regularly though - when I was working at a university it wasn't unusual to see students logged into several mainframes (and sometimes several supercomputer batch controllers) at one time with some 3D modelling output in one window, another showing some Mathematica graph of some sort, another window with just a plain console and an editor working on a batch script for the supercomputer ... but one point of that is that all machines (or groups of machines) were genuinely running different (often compute-intensive) jobs simultaneously and none of these jobs needed to interact with the other in any way.
 
Old 10-31-2008, 03:27 PM   #6
elcasey
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Thank you. It sounds as if those computers were best put to use by throwing them away then....achem...i mean recycling.

Again, thanks!
 
Old 10-31-2008, 03:32 PM   #7
elcasey
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Thank you. It sounds as if those computers were best put to use by throwing them away then....achem...i mean recycling.

Again, thanks!

Edit: Actually, on second thought, what pinniped mentioned sounds beneficial. So the thought is that I could set up a "server" system and use one computer as a terminal for all of them? Would this sort of be like using the multiple desktop feature, except each desktop is in fact another computer? This would enable me to play my music on one computer, web browse on another, openoffice on another, and video game on yet another, all with out the programs having to share resources. So if say that I am writing a huge paper for class, and my web browser computer gets a bug and has to shut down, the rest of my applications, including my precious paper, would still be intact and unharmed?

If this is possible, where in the world would I start to find out how to do this?

thanks,
-elcasey
 
Old 10-31-2008, 03:49 PM   #8
abolishtheun
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The X Window system is a client-server system, which means you can run, say, firefox on one machine and have the gui come up on another. Decades ago, this was common... you'd have an expensive machine in a closet somewhere and students/etc would log on to that machine via "dumb-terminals" and do their work. But note that all programs are still running on that one machine, so if you get a "bug", it won't protect you from anything. And, since X uses the network to transfer data, running heavily graphical apps is pretty much out of question.

What you could do is take one of those machines and make it into a file server or samba (since it sounds like you're running windows on a few machines).
 
Old 11-02-2008, 01:08 AM   #9
SkyEye
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SSH with X forwarding (ssh -X) will also help,... but mind you the sounds would still be in the original host.
 
  


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