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David Baker May 31, 2002 15:44

Windows OR Linux Version?
Which is better, windows or Linux version? What is difference? Is there a big difference?


Anton Lyaskin June 3, 2002 03:40

Re: Windows OR Linux Version?
New versions appear first for Linux and than they are being adopted for Windows (eg. - the current Windows version is 3.10b, the current Linux version is 3.15) As for the performance - Linux version is faster. It is because a) Windows takes more resourses itself (the best thing in Linux is that you can turn off all of the GUI and run your problem in pure console mode, getting extra memory) and b) Windows version is not actually a Windows version - it rus under emulation software, which needs additional resourses. But the difference becomes less sugnificant on powerfull computers.

steve June 3, 2002 07:32

Re: Windows OR Linux Version?
The message above is not 100% true. First of all, STAR 3.15 for windows was just released, so at the moment, Linux and Windows are just about identical. However, the Windows version will lag as it is much more difficult to build. The linux version is a little faster.

The windows version of prostar uses emulation software to display a motif-based gui.It may slow plotting a little bit, but not other calculations. Star does not use any emulation software so there is nothing but the normal windows overhead to slow down the solution phase.

You should use whatever version fits better with your computer setup. If you have no preference between windows and linux, then pick linux simply because new versions are available quicker (although even that will change eventually).

Anton Lyaskin June 4, 2002 08:51

Re: Windows OR Linux Version?
Hello, Steve!

I don't understand than what's the purpose of NuTCracker Operation Environment? As I thought 1) ProSTAR uses X-Server to display Motif-based GUI and 2) both ProSTAR and STAR use NuTCracker to run Unix executable code under Windows.

steve June 4, 2002 09:28

Re: Windows OR Linux Version?
Hi Anton, You are right about (1) - prostar uses the nutcracker X-server to display the motif gui along with X-based graphics. Prior to 3.15 there were some small bits of code relating to sockets in star and prostar that used nutcracker services. However, in 3.15, these have been rewritten in native windows so star is 100% free of nutcracker, and prostar uses it only for display purposes. So for all intents, STAR is a native windows application and prostar is native, except for display.


h.t. June 4, 2002 14:07

Re: Windows OR Linux Version?
nut cracker...good name :)

joel June 5, 2002 08:05

Re: Windows OR Linux Version?
no one seems to have mentioned the obvious advantage of linux i.e. its not made by microsoft! I find linux so much easier to use now i have got the hang of it and its about a million times more stable, doesnt crash all the time dont get silly error messages, lets you do what you want it to do as opposed to what its in the mood for doing. In fact can we start a MS windows haters forum please? I find star a lot better in linux too, windows version seems to crash a lot, for example the other day i couldnt change between panels in star without a segmentation font. Sorry this seems a bit of a rant but for your sanity david choose linux. Cheers Joel (public windows enemy number 1)

Steve Amphlett June 5, 2002 09:07

Re: Windows OR Linux Version?
One big difference nobody seems to have brought up is the way that a Linux machine can appear on a UNIX network as just another box that can be logged into from anywhere and export its graphics anywhere. I run here on pretty much all the supported UNIX platforms without ever needing to leave my desk. If I ran on NT, I'd need another computer on my desk (and desk space is short) - there's no way I could log in remotely.

joel June 5, 2002 10:27

Re: Windows OR Linux Version?
oh another thing of course is the parallel side of things, i dont think that HPC is running on NT yet but even if it does i can never imagine that it will be anywhere as effecient as on a linux cluster

Steve Amphlett June 5, 2002 10:48

Re: Windows OR Linux Version?
I've seen quite a few codes "ported" to Windows in this way - i.e. by depending on a 3rd party X-motif emulation to run Motif-based GUIs on.

Why bother? If you need to emulate X-motif, why not emulate all of UNIX?

kevin June 5, 2002 13:36

Re: Windows OR Linux Version?
the 3.150A version for NT has support for HPC

Anton Lyaskin June 6, 2002 04:27

Re: Windows OR Linux Version?
As I understand NuTCracker emulates all of UNIX.

joel June 6, 2002 06:25

Re: Windows OR Linux Version?
really? does it work? your still gonna get a time saving on linux though with or without HPC

steve June 6, 2002 13:22

Re: Windows OR Linux Version?
I don't think anyone understands what nutcracker is or does - It does not allow you to take a unix or linux executable and run it on a windows platform. It is NOT emulation software like vmware or softwindows. What it is, is a set of unix standards that have been rewritten for native windows. For example, windows sockets and unix sockets are different. As a programmer, you have to write different source code to use either one. With nutcracker, I can write the same source code for unix and windows, while nutcracker takes care of translating my unix type calls into native windows.

You still have to recompile a code on windows and link in the nutcracker libraries so even when you use nutcracker, you still have a native windows applications. What it saves you (the programmer) from doing is having to rewrite alot of source code. There is of course a little overhead involved as there is extra work to translate one call into another, but it is not the same as emulation (ie where it intercepts the machine language instruction and changes that into Windows or more correctly i86) instructions.

Steve Amphlett June 7, 2002 03:28

Re: Windows OR Linux Version?
Ok, so it's a stop-gap to keep the "must have it on NT" people quiet. The problems start when the 3rd party software vendors up their prices or go down the tubes (your future is locked to theirs). Or when people want direct compatibility with other MS desktop products.

At least when you program "native", there's no risk of your code being orphaned while the platform/OS is still alive.

steve June 7, 2002 10:18

Re: Windows OR Linux Version?
Yes you are exactly right. Those are the problems with using this approach. Several years ago, the choice was either that or write and maintain 2 separate gui's (prohibitively expensive). Today there are other alternatives that can be explored.

James Johnson July 8, 2002 23:33

Re: Windows OR Linux Version?
I think there are programs like vmware which can sit on your machine and emulate windows on linux and vice versa. Then it should be possible to acess a unix machine from a windows machine while the windows machine is running starCD.

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