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OSCAR and debian


I'm an OSCAR developper (working on support for diskless clusters)
and I started using debian a few month ago.

I would like to know if some people would be interested in porting OSCAR
to debian ?

This not an easy task because all packages are distributed in the
rpm file format. I'm not (yet) familar with the .deb packaging system and I
just did some tests with the alien program to convert some rpm files
(with and without success ;-).

Anyway, here is a list of problems that can be splitted easily between
different people :

1) installation on the master node : 
    - rpm prerequisite -> deb prereq       [easy]
    - convert all OSCAR rpm -> deb package [???]
    - scripts : minor modification         [easy]
        ( OSCAR is support multi-distro already...)

2) image building :

    This is certainly the hardest part.

    - system installation suite (sisuite.org) is doing all the hard job
      to build a complete system from a rpm list. I think that FAI is
      already doing this ?

    - image customization : this done automatically (when installing an
      image) and it will certainly require some work for the network
      interface part that is very different from distro to distro.

3) Image installation :
    This part should not require any amount of work

4) Core packages~:

    Some adjustements to the setup scripts (that can be hidden in the
    rpm files).

    Main tool for cluster management : C3 has not been (IIRC) tested on


    It "should" work as it rely only on python and use some generic
    tools (SSH, rsync, ...). This is a core component of OSCAR and the
    first one we should work on.

5) Packages :

    OSCAR has now a very modular structure and we are currently
    developping a CPAN like functionality so that anyone can easily add
    an OSCAR package. It means that once the framework of OSCAR has been
    ported, we can test/modify the packages one after the other.

    Packages included openPBS, LAM/MPI, MPICH, PVM, ...

Programming langage : OSCAR scripts are bash, csh and mainly in PERL.
Anyway, if there some people interested by this, I can raise the subject at our
next meeting in mid-january.

Also, I know that debian want to fully support LSB and, as far as I know, LSB
has choosen the rpm file format for binary package distribution. Is it
planned to support the rpm format "natively" soon ? (In which case, it
would be easier to modify OSCAR so that it become fully LSB compliant ?)

hints, advice, flame : all welcome !

Benoit des Ligneris               Etudiant au Doctorat -- Ph. D. Student
Web :                                    http://benoit.des.ligneris.net/
OSCAR developper                  http://www.openclustergroup.org/OSCAR/
Mydynaweb Developpe(u)r:                           http://mydynaweb.net/
GPG/PGP Key                 http://benoit.des.ligneris.net/linux/gpg.txt

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