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Old   July 15, 2009, 18:27
Talking OpenFOAM Live USB based on openSUSE 11.1 created with SUSE Studio
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Alberto Passalacqua
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Hello,

I have recently tested one new project which is being developed by Novell/SUSE and is called SUSE Studio (www.susestudio.com). Studio is essentially a web frontend which allows you to build a personalized image (installable live cd/dvd, USB, vm ware, XEN) of openSUSE and SUSE Linux Enteprise, with your own software selection, your configuration and your additional software (RPM's and uploaded binaries).

To see how far it can go, I used it to build a USB live image with OpenFOAM, and indeed it worked perfectly. You can see the description of the steps here, which I put together in some slides with detailed screenshots: http://files.getdropbox.com/u/659842...ioOpenFOAM.pdf

Studio is a free service. At the moment it is in beta stage, and only invited people can use it. However if the OpenFOAM developers are interested, I have a few invitations to give around, and I can send them to you.

I am also looking for a place where to host the images for those who are interested. Currently I only built the 64 bit version, with OpenFOAM 1.5.x.
The required space for an image is of about 2GB in compressed form, which give origin to a fully working openSUSE 11.1 with GNOME, Firefox, OpenOffice, OpenFOAM, enGrid, NETGEN, BLAS, Lapack, GSL, VLC media player, and the standard tools in openSUSE installation which requires slightly more than 4GB on a USB stick. For the curious, yes, paraFoam and paraView work out of the box (see slides ;-))

Let me know your comments.

Best,
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Old   July 16, 2009, 11:48
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The image can be downloaded from here:

http://susestudio.com/download/c7028...0.2.oem.tar.gz

The compressed image is 1.3GB. To install it, simply extract it to your hard drive, and follow these instructions http://en.opensuse.org/SUSE_Studio_Disc_Image_Howtos to write it to your disk device. The image is built to work on a USB disk or on a hard drive. It is not suitable for a live CD/DVD.

An example of command to write the raw image to your USB pendrive is:

sudo dd if=/home/geeko/myappliance.raw of=/dev/sdb bs=4k

assuming the image is in /home/geeko and the destination device is /dev/sdb

The installed system, with a complete openSUSE install, OpenFOAM and the software listed above requires 4.9GB of space. Let me know if you are interested in something smaller!

Enjoy, and please provide some feedback if you try it :-)
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Old   July 16, 2009, 13:34
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Good work Alberto !

I will try the liveUSB this weekend.
Any possibility of 32-bit system? (my home computer is 32bit)
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Old   July 16, 2009, 13:56
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Yes, it is very easy to build the same image at 32 bit.
The only requirement is to have a 32 bit build of OpenFOAM on openSUSE at 32 bit. At the moment I do not have any 32 bit machine available here, but I'll find one

Small note: the live installer _might_not_work_ from the USB image due to a problem the SUSE Studio developers are working on. You can still use the live, or write it to a partition and boot from that partition. If you want an installable DVD, let me know. I can put the image on a diet and build it ;-)
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Old   July 18, 2009, 03:00
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Hi, thanks for sharing!
I am working under windows, I wish to read the openfoam codes on NTFS or fat32 or fat systems, I don't want to install cygwin, and I don't need to install and use openfoam (I have another PC installed with linux and OpenFOAM), I just want to read the codes from, say a USB stick. Any solution?
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Old   July 18, 2009, 03:12
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What do you mean with "read the code on NTFS or fat32 or fat systems?"

If you simply want to edit the source code under Windows, simply use a text editor that can read UNIX formatted text, and pay attention to how you name your source files to avoid problems with not case-sensitive filesystems. Of course you cannot execute binaries.

If you think to use NTFS, fat32 or fat filesystems with the Linux live USB, they are all supported out of the box in openSUSE.

P.S. My idea was to show what can be done with SUSE Studio, given that OpenFOAM used to be developed on it, and considering openSUSE is one of the easiest distributions to use. If there is enough interest (for example I know both developer groups use different images during their courses, with ubuntu and slax), I can think to set-up images with OpenFOAM and try to maintain them. It is not a big deal, given the ease of use of SUSE Studio. I just need to know what you would like to have in the images.

Another note: as you can read on the slides, images might be removed from the server if they need free space (it should not happen often according to what they told me). If you don't find the image when you download it, post it here. I can rebuild it in one click and it will be available about 20 minutes later after I clicked, because all settings are maintained by the system, and it is simply necessary to create the final image again.

Best,
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Old   July 22, 2009, 16:11
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Hi Alberto,

first of all, nice job, thanks!

I already downloaded the iso image but recently discovered that booting from USB is not possible with the machine I intended to test it on.

So I would need a DVD image of OpenFOAM-live x64, would it be possible for you to build such an image when you got some time left?

And I've got two suggestions, maybe for a future release:
- OpenFOAM-1.5-dev in addition to 1.5.x (or instead of, if filesize doesn't permit it)
- ParaView build with the native OpenFOAM Reader to have a choice between paraFoam and the native version

Many thanks in advance!

Johannes
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Old   July 22, 2009, 16:24
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Hi Johannes,

yes, I'll try to build it soon!

About -dev, if someone provides a working build on openSUSE 11.1, I can prepare a separate image for it. I won't build it myself because I do not use it at the moment.

I'll try to include the paraview native reader (Did anyone try to push it upstream in paraview? It should be the way to go ;-)).

Best,
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Old   July 22, 2009, 23:41
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Here you can download the Live-DVD ISO image

http://susestudio.com/download/cd309...6_64-0.0.1.iso

The image requires a DVD, and it will use 1.2 GB on it. It seems STUDIO automatically adapts the base system to fit into the desired medium and uses compression when creating CD/DVD's, which is not possible for raw disk images.

The live boots to the login manager, and there are two users with very original passwords (change them, especially root's password, if you install!) :

root (password: rootPassword)
geeko (password: geekoPassword)

OpenFOAM is installed for the user geeko, in /home/geeko/OpenFOAM

I did not test this image extensively. I tried icoFoam and paraview, which work successfully, but I did not try to build any solver.

Small note: I cannot include binary drivers (nVidia and ATI). To install them you need to follow the procedures explained here:

http://en.opensuse.org/NVIDIA
http://en.opensuse.org/ATI

I did not include the paraview reader yet. About the OF-dev version, if there is interest, and someone is willing to help, we can prepare a full set of images: CD/DVD/USB when OpenSUSE 11.2 is released in November, so to havve a fresh distribution with a choice of desktop environments. KDE 4.3 should be usable at that point, while at the moment I don't think it's worth to include yet in the live.

Please let me know if you have problems.
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Old   July 27, 2009, 10:40
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Hi Alberto,

thanks for providing the DVD image! No problem if 1.5-dev and the native ParaView reader are missing yet; 1.5.x and paraFoam are enough for now...

Although I've got a few issues with the Live DVD which prevented me from using it effectively:

1.) I'm not able to view or access any local, network or external drives. The error message I'm getting starts with 'Failed to execute child process "/usr/lib64/gvfs/gvfsd-computer"' or ".../gvfsd-network" when trying to access locations on a local network.

2.) Additionally I did not succed in defining a global proxy setting using an automatic configuration URL. It works for single applications like Firefox but not for the whole system (e.g. for software updates via YaST).

I have to admit that I'm not familiar with GNOME, since I'm running KDE 3.5 on my linux machine.

So I will let you choose between helping me sorting out the above issues and rebuilding the image with KDE 3.x (if that would be possible at all)...

Whatever you choose, thanks in advance for your support!

Best regards,
Johannes

/edit: There seem to be more locations I'm not beeing able to display (like .../gvfsd-trash); I'm afraid I would prefer the KDE option...

Last edited by johannes; July 27, 2009 at 11:27.
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Old   July 27, 2009, 11:34
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Hi Johannes,

do these issues show up after you install the system, or while you run it live?

About KDE 3.5, I can try to build an image with it.
I decided to use GNOME because KDE 3.5 is being abandoned, and KDE 4.1, which comes with openSUSE 11.1 is not mature enough in my opinion. In my plans, I was thinking to wait for 11.2 which will come with the more mature KDE 4.3.x. to prepare KDE images (KDE 3.5 won't be supported anymore in openSUSE, being openSUSE 11.1 the last release with repositories for it).
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Old   July 27, 2009, 12:15
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Hi Alberto,

these issues appeared while running live from the DVD. Unfortunately installing is no option for me at the moment - the machine I'm running it on shouldn't be altered in any way.

I totally agree with you regarding KDE 4.1 - it seems to early for productive use. And yes, KDE 3.5 is quite ancient, so it would be some kind of interim solution for me too.

It would be great if you could try to build the image with KDE 3.5!

Best regards,

Johannes
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Old   July 28, 2009, 13:47
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Hi, here you find the live with KDE 3.5

http://susestudio.com/download/97368...6_64-0.0.1.iso

OpenFOAM and paraview works, the network is managed by NetworkManager, and it worked in my test in VirtualBox. I used the default software selection for KDE in openSUSE, so please let me know if you have some improvement to recommend. The available software should be the same (OF, gcc/gfortran, paraview, engrid, gsl, lapack, blas). If something is missing just tell me, I really did it quickly so it is perfectly possible I forgot something.

Best,
Alberto
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Old   August 2, 2009, 08:06
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Hi everyone!

I'm trying to make a similar Live DVD of SLAX function in such way that I can use it to run OpenFOAM ona LAN of WinXP machines.

I would like to try and do the same thing with OpenSUSE, maybe I'll have more luck with it. Alberto, invite me to the studio if you have some invitations left!

I've read your presentation: it's detailed and clear - I will try and follow it to make a LiveDVD for LAN simulations using OpenFOAM-1.5-dev and to make the distro as small as possible (LiveDVDs use ramdisks, so I've learned recently) to save on resources.
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Old   August 2, 2009, 13:35
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Hi,

please send me your e-mail address (or if you have an openID address like Google, Yahoo or Novell account, because Studio uses one of them to login). You can do that by going to my profile on this forum -> Contact Info -> Send message via email.

About using SUSE over a LAN, what do you mean? Connecting to WinXP machines from SUSE or using SUSE as "server" to provide some service to the XP workstation?

Best,
Alberto
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Old   August 2, 2009, 14:12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alberto View Post
Hi,

please send me your e-mail address (or if you have an openID address like Google, Yahoo or Novell account, because Studio uses one of them to login). You can do that by going to my profile on this forum -> Contact Info -> Send message via email.

About using SUSE over a LAN, what do you mean? Connecting to WinXP machines from SUSE or using SUSE as "server" to provide some service to the XP workstation?

Best,
Alberto
You can send me an email on tomislav.maric@gmx.com (no OpenID yet).

I want to shut down XP on workstations, boot up 10 SLAX Live (or SUSE) DVDs and set up a network of workstations for OpenFOAM simulations. That sure beats the flops of my laptop.

The computer lab is unused over the summer, so if I get this to work within 10 days, I have three weeks of run time on 10 workstations. Not bad for someone who's used to running OpenFOAM on a laptop.

I would like to set it all up, then examine what parts of the configuration can be fixated in the Live DVD (SLAX or SUSE, whichever works), get rid of as much programs (OpenOffice and such) as possible (smaller ramdisk -> bigger cases). I'm also thinking about using Ubuntu and Linux Live scripts, but all this has to wait because of my fore mentioned problem with mpirun.

Ship hydrodynamics simulations and an empty classroom of which I have the key spawned this idea.

Tomislav
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Old   August 2, 2009, 14:23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomislav_maric View Post
You can send me an email on tomislav.maric@gmx.com (no OpenID yet).
Invitation sent. Check your mailbox and let me know if you have problems.

Quote:
I would like to set it all up, then examine what parts of the configuration can be fixated in the Live DVD (SLAX or SUSE, whichever works), get rid of as much programs (OpenOffice and such) as possible (smaller ramdisk -> bigger cases). I'm also thinking about using Ubuntu and Linux Live scripts, but all this has to wait because of my fore mentioned problem with mpirun.
OpenSUSE Live does not copy the whole image into ramdisk, so you do not need to worry about OpenOffice and other applications. Just do not start them.

As a suggestion, you might want to experiment with a live USB, so you can actually store your changes, before producing the final DVD image.

Ship hydrodynamics simulations and an empty classroom of which I have the key spawned this idea.

Good luck with your project. It looks interesting, and if it works, maybe you can share what you did ;-)

Best,
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Old   August 2, 2009, 14:39
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thank you VERY much Alberto! it works!

I thought that if I load everything to RAM it will work faster, and I can start bulding Live DVD with Linux Live scripts, and minimal Ubuntu .iso is about 10 MB small. If I go from ground up I can build a slender Live DVD eventually and boot it to RAM to run faster.

Also, I plan to take a screw driver and attach my own HDD on the master node.

The plans are monumental, but... I would be glad if I could run mpi on a LAN with normal live DVD and store the data in a partition of the existing HDD in the lab. In the next 10 days.

I'll do my best to make it work, and if by any chance I manage to actually do something useful, I'll post all the details here and on the wiki.

best regards,

Tomislav
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Old   August 2, 2009, 14:53
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Alberto Passalacqua
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomislav_maric View Post
thank you VERY much Alberto! it works!

I thought that if I load everything to RAM it will work faster, and I can start bulding Live DVD with Linux Live scripts, and minimal Ubuntu .iso is about 10 MB small. If I go from ground up I can build a slender Live DVD eventually and boot it to RAM to run faster.
Not necessary imho. The executables are loaded in RAM when needed. Putting the whole operating system + disk in RAM for your goals (running a simulation) only makes the startup of your run faster. For the rest, you actually have less RAM available.

Quote:
The plans are monumental, but... I would be glad if I could run mpi on a LAN with normal live DVD and store the data in a partition of the existing HDD in the lab. In the next 10 days.
This should be possible and relatively easy. MPI is packaged in the science repository (the official package is not up to date). Just pay attention to a detail: paths to MPI compilers are not exported automatically. You need to do that by hand if you use the RPM. If you use MPI coming with OF, there is no problem.

Best,
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Old   September 2, 2009, 07:39
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Hi alberto,

Links do not work. Can you give me the right links.

Regards,

Antonio Martins
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