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Using Mosix on Debian.


I am writing up a document on setting up mosix on Debian GNU/Linux.
I'm attaching a .txt of the document I've produced so far. The html
version is available at


Send me feedback, and let me know if you find the document useful.



Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way,
The time is gone, the song is over, thought I'd something more to say.
  Mosix on Debian GNU/Linux mini-HOWTO
  Viral Shah <viral@debian.org>
  Sun, 19 Aug 2001 19:32:16 +0530

  This document describes the setting up of a Mosix cluster using Debian


  Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
     1.1 New Versions of this Document
     1.2 Standard Disclaimer
     1.3 Copyright Information

  2. Downloading and Installing mosix.
     2.1 Get the packages from the 'testing' distribution.

  3. Compiling a mosix kernel
  4. Configuring mosix defaults
  5. Configuring system services
  6. Other services for a mosix cluster.
  7. Have fun


  11..  IInnttrroodduuccttiioonn

  11..11..  NNeeww VVeerrssiioonnss ooff tthhiiss DDooccuummeenntt

  The most current version of this document will be available at

  11..22..  SSttaannddaarrdd DDiissccllaaiimmeerr

  Use the information in this document at your own risk. There is a good
  chance that using the information in this document, you might severely
  damage your system and/or lose data. But you know all that, now, don't
  you ? ;-)

  11..33..  CCooppyyrriigghhtt IInnffoorrmmaattiioonn

  This document is copyrighted (C) 2001 Viral Shah and distributed under
  the following terms:

  This document may be reproduced and distributed in whole or in part,
  in any medium physical or electronic, as long as this copyright notice
  is retained on all copies. Commercial redistribution is allowed and
  encouraged; however, the author would like to be notified of any such

  All translations, derivative works, or aggregate works incorporating
  this document must be covered under this copyright notice.  That is,
  you may not produce a derivative work from this document and impose
  additional restrictions on its distribution. Exceptions to these rules
  may be granted under certain conditions; please contact the author of
  this document for details.

  22..  DDoowwnnllooaaddiinngg aanndd IInnssttaalllliinngg mmoossiixx..

  It is assumed that the reader has used Debian GNU/Linux for some time
  and is familiar with the system, in general. It is also assumed that
  the target machines are already setup, and running a recent version of
  Debian GNU/Linux.

  The aim of this document is to allow a user to quickly setup a small
  to medium sized mosix cluster, and does not attempt to provide a
  solution for every situation.

  22..11..  GGeett tthhee ppaacckkaaggeess ffrroomm tthhee ''tteessttiinngg'' ddiissttrriibbuuttiioonn..

  The current 'stable' distribution doesn't include mosix and related
  software. Hence you will have to modify /etc/apt/sources.list and add
  the following line for getting the packages from the testing

  deb http://http.us.debian.org/debian testing main

  Now run

  apt-get update

  to update the lists. The following mosix related software is available
  on Debian:

  +o  mosix -- The binaries for using mosix.

  +o  kernel-patch-mosix -- The kernel patch for mosix.

  +o  mps -- mps and mtop for a mosix cluster.

  +o  mosixview -- Graphical interface to mosctl.

  +o  update-cluster -- Cluster configuration tool for mosix.map.

  APT takes care of dependencies and versions. The packages can be
  downloaded and installed with

  apt-get install mosix kernel-patch-mosix mps mosixview update-cluster

  If you install update-cluster, the mosix package will detect so, and
  run a debconf script that will allow you to generate
  /etc/mosix/mosix.map. (Currently, this will only do simple
  configurations, and the complex topologies will have to be created by
  hand.) Note, in Debian, the configuration files are placed in
  /etc/mosix and not in /etc.

  update-cluster is a new tool, which aims to keep information about the
  cluster, which can be used by various other packages to generate their
  config files.

  33..  CCoommppiilliinngg aa mmoossiixx kkeerrnneell

  Make sure you have the package kernel-package installed. On a Debian
  system, make-kpkg is used to compile a kernel. Get the current linux
  kernel, and cd into its top-level directory. Then, the running the
  script /usr/src/kernel-patches/i386/apply/mosix will make sure that
  the kernel version is correct, and that everything is alright, before
  applying the patch.

  Once the patch is applied, run make menuconfig to configure the
  kernel, and then compile it with

  fakeroot make-kpkg -rev=mosix.1.0 kernel_image

  This will produce a .deb package of your custom compiled mosix kernel,
  which can then be installed with

  dpkg -i kernel-image-*.deb

  Copy this new kernel deb to every machine in the cluster and install
  it along with the rest of the packages. Reboot, and you will have a
  mosix system running !

  44..  CCoonnffiigguurriinngg mmoossiixx ddeeffaauullttss

  The mosix package provides a file /etc/default/mosix which can be
  configured for certain defaults. For example, setting MOSIX_NODE=yes
  is required (and is the default) for mosix to be initialised upon
  bootup. You can also initialise mosix by hand with

  /etc/init.d/mosix start.

  The other things that can be currently configured are the default node
  policy using the variables MIGRATE and BLOCK. Setting MIGRATE=yes
  allows local processes to migrate to remote nodes by default.
  Similarly, BLOCK=no will allow remote processes to migrate to the
  local node, by default. MFS can be disabled with MFS=no.

  Finer grained per-process control is being worked upon right now.

  55..  CCoonnffiigguurriinngg ssyysstteemm sseerrvviicceess

  Mosix on Debian systems doesn't configure the system services yet.
  Hence, one has to patch /etc/inittab, /etc/inetd.conf, and other
  services such as ssh etc. by hand, so that they don't migrate to other
  nodes. This is currently not done, as it can be potentially dangerous,
  when other packages override the changes or install newer versions of
  configuration files. A good policy can be to set the policy to 'don't
  migrate' by default unless the user specifically asks for it.

  The README that comes along with mosix explains these issues quite

  66..  OOtthheerr sseerrvviicceess ffoorr aa mmoossiixx cclluusstteerr..

  Its generally a good idea to have NFS configured, unless you're using
  MFS.  The debian packages nfs-kernel-server and nfs-user-server
  provide the NFS packages.

  Its also a good idea to have an arp server in a mosix network. The
  debian package arpd can be used to setup an ARP server.

  Mosix works very well with diskless workstations, and the debian
  package diskless provides an easy and convenient way to install
  diskless clients.
  http://www.infofin.com/~gandalf/articles/diskless_debian.txt and the
  README.Debian in the diskless package are a good starting point to
  start setting up diskless Debian clients.

  77..  HHaavvee ffuunn

  I hope this document was useful to you in some way. If it was, drop me
  a mail at viral@debian.org and exchange a couple of lines with me. It
  will make me feel happy for having been useful. :-)

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