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Linux Distribution: ParallelKnoppix 2006-02-20
Url: http://pareto.uab.es/mcreel/ParallelKnoppix/

ParallelKnoppix 2006-02-20 The ParallelKnoppix live CD has been updated. What's new?

About ParallelKnoppix 2006-02-20
ParallelKnoppix is the fastest and easiest way to create a HPC cluster. It is designed to be as easy as possible to install and use, but it is also suitable for serious work. In fact, you may get more serious work done with P-KPX than you would using alternatives, simply because you'll have more time free to use your cluster, rather than install/administrate it.

P-KPX is a remaster of the Knoppix live CD distibution of GNU Linux that allows setting up a cluster of machines for parallel processing using MPI. The openMPI, LAM-MPI and MPICH implementations are installed and ready to use. PVM is also included. You can convert a room full of machines running Windows into a Linux cluster, and when you shut down, your Windows machines are in their original state. The computers in the cluster can be homogeneous or heterogeneous. Getting the cluster up and running takes about 5 minutes, if the machines have PXE network cards. Clusters from 2 to 200 machines are supported. The tutorial explains in detail how to set it up.

One of the focuses of P-KPX is to provide examples of how to use MPITB for GNU Octave. MPITB allows you to run Octave scripts that execute in parallel on a cluster. One of the nice things about this is that an end user doesn't need to know the parallel programming details. For example, you can do a Monte Carlo study using the mc_example2.m script that is on the P-KPX CD:
20-Feb-2006: new version
openMPI at version 1.0.1 The pi example for C shows how to use it.

mpich.tar.gz is included in the Examples directory. This shows how to compile and install software on a running cluster, and lets you run a very cool parallel Mandelbrot set plotter (S. Granneman: I can take a hint - thanks).
ganglia removed for the time being
missing MPITB source included
montecarlo.m does dynamic load balancing and is robust to node failure.

Tutorial updated (note to self: still needs remastering)

20-01-2006: new version
scripts have been cleaned up
pvm and mpi play nicely together now, you can use both at the same time
the tutorial has been updated to be in sync with the release
The security model is:
knoppix user can do passwordless ssh between nodes, and the RSA keys are regenerated each time the setup script is run

to ssh into the cluster from outside, you need to set a password for the knoppix user. By default, it is not set, so no one can ssh into the cluster (RSA keys not known, and no password either)

the root user doesn't have a password, so you can't ssh into the cluster as root.
so, basically, if you have physical access to the cluster or you know the knoppix user's password, you can get root access on any machine in the cluster.
comments on this are welcome, preferably on the forum
Additional news: The download links have been simplified to point to directories rather than specific files. Just get the most recent version you see. There will be a corresponding md5 sum.

The main download sites

Recent Related News
? 2006-02-21: Distribution Release: ParallelKnoppix 2006-02-20
? 2005-12-04: Distribution Release: ParallelKnoppix 2005-12-02
? 2005-08-07: Distribution Release: ParallelKnoppix 2005-08-02
? 2005-06-03: Distribution Release: ParallelKnoppix 2005-06-02
? 2005-04-26: Distribution Release: ParallelKnoppix 2005-04-25
? 2005-04-01: Distribution Release: ParallelKnoppix 2005-04-01

Visit for more details and information Download from here: parallelknoppix-2006-02-20.iso (614MB, MD5).

2007-01-27 00:00:00.0 ParallelKnoppix 2.3 is available    View
Version 2.3 is released. This version synchronises all packages to current Debian unstable and fixes some bugs. In particular, the annoying hang at boot time that sometimes occurred has been solved. Also, the compute nodes can be booted using copies of the CD. This is useful if you can't get PXE boot to work for some reason and your cluster is not too large.
2007-01-02 00:00:00.0 ParallelKnoppix 2.2 has been released    View
This release meets the long term goal of removing the need to mount a storage device. Since no storage device is used, the permissions bug that affected versions 2.0 and 2.1 when VFAT file systems were used is no longer an issue. From the changelog: a major change - everything is done in RAM, hard disks and/or USB storage are no longer needed or used; current Debian unstable, rather than KNOPPIX, is now the base, all packages have been upgraded; the compute nodes boot up to KDM, and you can't log in to them - this is intended to improve security, since the only access to the cluster is through the master node or over the net.
2006-12-05 00:00:00.0 ParallelKnoppix 2.0 is available    View
ParallelKnoppix 2.0 is released. The 2.x series makes setting up and using the cluster even easier than before. It is also much easier to save a ParallelKnoppix setup for re-use. Of course, it is also possible to use a ParallelKnoppix cluster without leaving traces on the host machines. The 2.x series is focused on MPI-based parallel computing - PVM is no longer supported. Some details: kernel, KDE 3.5.4, new non-parametric multivariate density estimation example using MPITB for GNU Octave.
2006-06-23 00:00:00.0 ParallelKnoppix 2006-06-19 has been released now    View
Sync to KNOPPIX 5.0.1 CD (en); Ogg Theora screencast of setup captured with Istanbul (provided); PVM-POVRay HOWTO by Janos Tolgyesi and Mahsa Nemati; GROMACS is in /usr/local: user reports are welcome; various minor improvements and bugfixes.
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