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Re: news from the Debian Beowulf project?



On Fri, 2007-04-20 at 00:41 +0200, Fabrice Lorrain wrote:
> Adam C Powell IV a écrit :
> > Greetings,
> > 
> > On Sun, 2007-04-15 at 09:35 +0200, karel lang wrote:
> >> hello,
> >> i'd like to ask, if there are some howto's or materials like that of 
> >> newer date about installing and maintaining the Beowulf project on 
> >> Debian Linux.
> > 
> > As far as I know, the most current Debian-specific howtos are on the
> > Debian Wiki: start at http://wiki.debian.org/?DebianBeowulf .  There are
> > many Debian-specific enhancements such as update-cluster, FAI, dsh, etc.
> > which make facilitate cluster management on Debian.  There is of course
> > still room for improvement, e.g. generating dhcp server config files
> > using update-cluster (bug 156810); ideas and patches are always welcome.
> > 
> > Unfortunately, since the Beowulf Wiki pages were written (mostly by
> > yours truly), the diskless package has been orphaned, so that section is
> > valid through sarge but not for etch.  Would someone be interested in
> > redoing that section for lessdisks -- or in re-introducing diskless?
> > (Though the latter will not help with etch.)
> 
> Hello,
> 
> I would suggest to have a look at Daniel Baumann & all work on 
> debian-live [1] before (re)starting any work on {less}disks{less} packages.
> 
> The infrastructure (debian-live + etch initrd + unionfs) provided to 
> build live cd makes it trivial to build diskless environnements. See the 
> wiki for the technical informations.
> 
> As debian-live is here to stay, regrouping human effort there seems more 
>    effective than splitting it over several overlapping package.

Excellent point Fabrice.  It seems there's also an LTSP howto on the
Wiki.  I've marked DiskLess as deprecated.

On the other hand, diskless (and I presume lessdisks and LTSP, though
I'm still using sarge diskless packages on etch) has a lot of very nice
features for minimizing the hard drive space of a cluster (by not
repeating /usr, /bin, /sbin, /var/lib/dpkg etc. over the various client
images), nice maintenance tools, etc.  For example, chroot into one
place, apt-get update dist-upgrade install remove etc. to update the
main chroot, then exit the chroot, and run a simple script which updates
all of the images' /etc and /var directories (outside of /var/lib/dpkg).

Debian Live seems geared toward providing an image for a single client
machine for a static image, so I don't know if that's what Beowulf
people really want.  Is it possible to update?  How can one copy over
multiple images, while preserving their separate configurations?

Further discussion?

-Adam
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