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+ - How to build a beowulf cluster 101

Submitted by
Jerry Smith
Jerry Smith writes "I teach at a media-college a class of 15 mediatechnology-students (age 18 to 22). Programming is taken care of by 2 collegues: one for actionscript, one for php/mysql. The teaching is project-based, and I take care of OS-stuff. Last period I taught a bit of Active Directory, before that Ubuntu with Bash, and technical things like hardware, subnets and other IP-related topics.
Next period (starting in a few weeks) I intended to build a Beowulf-clusterwith with these students.

Avialable hardware is :
-Asus A8 Terminator P4 533 (as shown in http://www.hwupgrade.it/forum/showthread.php?t=1377109 but with 768 megs of RAM), for client as for server -3Com 1100 switch
It's not the best hardware but it ought to be sufficient for these purposes.
Does anyone have suggestions what distribution to use (assuming it will all be linux-based)?
What is the most straightforward way to setup communications between clients and server?
And what would be clear test to determine whether a job initiated on the server had been dispatched to the clients to be processed, and the results returned?
I am aware of live-cd's that are able to take a lot of these things out of my hands, but from an educational point of view my guess is that self-building will be better."
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How to build a beowulf cluster 101

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