Download your favorite Linux distribution at LQ ISO.
Go Back > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Distributions > Debian
User Name
Debian This forum is for the discussion of Debian Linux.


  Search this Thread
Old 05-14-2007, 08:02 PM   #1
LQ Newbie
Registered: Nov 2004
Distribution: Debian Etch x86 and PPC
Posts: 17

Rep: Reputation: 0
Best Way to Cluster with Debian?

I have about six Pentium IIIs sitting around at my house, and I can't think of anything better to do with them than cluster and have them fold.

Herein lies the problem: I have no idea how. I found the Debian Cluster Components page, but there are no source downloads, and the .deb packages in their repositories don't work with Etch.

Can someone point me to a good clustering guide or give me some help?

Old 05-15-2007, 01:10 PM   #2
Dutch Master
Senior Member
Registered: Dec 2005
Posts: 1,686

Rep: Reputation: 124Reputation: 124

Just a few links I've found googling: debian clustering howto Google found 1,240,000 hits in 0.11 sec.
Old 05-15-2007, 01:42 PM   #3
Senior Member
Registered: Apr 2004
Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA
Distribution: Debian Stable
Posts: 2,398
Blog Entries: 8

Rep: Reputation: 412Reputation: 412Reputation: 412Reputation: 412Reputation: 412
If all you want to do with the is Folding@Home, then you don't need to do anything special to them to "cluster" them. Just do a bunch of normal Debian installs and install Folding@Home on each of them.

On the other hand, you have a great opportunity to learn how to do all sorts of "cool" stuff with the spare computers, ranging from X terminals to diskless netbooting to silent computing.

A Pentium III will make for a really slick X terminal, and it's easy to try it out. On a fast computer, just use gdm's GUI configuration to allow remote logins (i.e. set the remote login theme to "same as local"). You'll need to restart gdm to get the remote login server to "take". Then, on the slow Pentium III, select the remote XDMCP chooser from gdm. Voila! You get to log in remotely to the fast computer.

So what good is an X terminal? Well, you can turn it into a silent computer by removing the CPU fan and rewiring the PSU fan to be undervolted at 5v. Get rid of the hard drive by learning how to do diskless netbooting, and you can use your computer in blissful peace and quiet. My experience with simply removing those noisy CPU fans on Pentium III's has been entirely positive. You get rid of a LOT of noise. With six systems to play with, you'll probably be more willing to risk doing crazy things with your hardware.

Another fun thing to play around with is multihead and multiseat. Do you know what kind of video cards are in those computers, if any? If they have PCI video cards, then you can put several of them in one computer for a multi-monitor configuration. With USB keyboards and USB or serial mice, you can even set up a multi-seat computer (it looks and feels like multiple computers, but all the keyboards, mice, and monitors are attached to just one computer).

I found figuring out diskless netbooting to be a rewarding experience. It was NOT trivial, but it wasn't frustratingly impossible either. With Pentium III computers, you'll probably need a PXE boot floppy. Not all boot floppies are Linux compatable. The ROM-O-MATIC ones are NOT. The second web site I tried had a working "universal" boot floppy.
Old 05-16-2007, 09:55 PM   #4
Registered: Apr 2006
Posts: 280

Rep: Reputation: 31
OpenMosix is a good project, and you don't need to recompile software specially to run on it. It will automatically migrate processes across the network to the least-utilised node. You'll have to use a 2.4 series kernel though, as the 2.6 series patches have been "almost beta" for about three eternities now.
Old 03-16-2008, 03:33 PM   #5
LQ Newbie
Registered: Mar 2008
Posts: 2

Rep: Reputation: 0
Debian Walkthrough

This reply is late but in case others are also looking for help... There is a Debian cluster walkthrough at It covers how to set up the initial network - so NFS, LDAP, DHCP, DNS and all that - and also how to install clustering software from source. So far, there are tutorials on NAMD, Torque/MAUI, and MPICH. Monitoring tutorials include Nagios and Ganglia. The site has a definite Debian slant with a preference towards apt-get packages when they are up-to-date and viable options.

Again, it's
Old 02-07-2009, 07:39 AM   #6
Registered: Jan 2004
Posts: 409

Rep: Reputation: 30

I would like to ask if it is possible to clone the worker
to the nodes using pxe boot? If the nodes are not similar to each other?
what is going on?


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
LXer: Cluster Programming: Explicit Implications of Cluster Computing LXer Syndicated Linux News 0 12-26-2006 08:54 PM
LXer: Hitting the Cluster Wall - A Study in Cluster Optimization LXer Syndicated Linux News 0 06-27-2006 12:33 PM
LXer: Life, The Universe, and Your Cluster - A Study in Cluster Optimization LXer Syndicated Linux News 0 05-08-2006 08:54 AM
Setting up a cluster with pxe and cluster knoppix bucovaina78 Linux - Networking 1 05-15-2005 11:29 PM
Debian Cluster Components help microsoft/linux Debian 0 03-08-2005 07:44 AM > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Distributions > Debian

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:00 AM.

Main Menu
Write for LQ is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration