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robyTKD October 21, 2013 07:10

Building little Ubuntu cluster
Hello Foamers!!

I have some old PCs and I would like to give them a new life in order to perform numerical simulation with OpenFOAM :D!!

My idea is to build a little cluster where all PCs are connected and share the OS (Debian or Ubuntu) from the master node (Single-System Image strategy). I would like to avoid installing the os on every node, it is a waste of time and energy...

I found different ways to proceed on the internet and I think that this is possible using kerrighen, but the software is updated to an old Linux kernel version. Moreover I was not able to install some required packages posted in this guide:

Do you have any suggestion to reach my goal?


jmcentee October 23, 2013 06:33

I do what you want for our cluster at work. This did involve a kernel recompile, can't remember what exactly, as I didn't set it up. but basically. you want.

A server for DHCP, TFTP and NFS. Which also has aufs installed. This server uses aufs to "merge" the golden nfs_root directory with another dirrecotry that has the list of changes, and then shares out the resultant dirrectoy via nfs.

The clients network boot and get the location of the of their nfs root from the dhcp server (plus the kernal images etc.) tftp download the kernel and mount their own nfs-root from the server.

If you have never done standard dhcp,tftp and nfs root before I would start slowly and get it working in the following

1) Get dhcp and tftp working to get a remote linux install running from a network boot.
2) Get a nfs-root setup so a remote computer boot into a running linux mounting the root filesystem from nfs.
3) try and figure out aufs. ( think we had to patch the kernel to get aufs working but it may be int he mainline now)


sail November 15, 2013 10:05

Ciao Roberto.

what i did was to use rocks cluster (an open source cluster management solution based on centos) as the OS of my small openfoam cluster.

he has SGE or torque as a scheduler, and others nice utilities that will make your life easy.

best regards


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