FreeBSD clustering

Cluster computing is often associated with Linux, but this is equally possible to set up with FreeBSD, which, in fact, can be used for a lot of specific purposes.

Brooks Davis presented an interesting and helpful paper at the New York City * BSD User Group back in 2003.

Since late 2000 we have developed and maintained a general purpose technical and scientific computing cluster running the FreeBSD operating system. In that time we have grown from a cluster of 8 dual Intel Pentium III systems to our current mix of 64 dual, quad-core Intel Xeon and 289 dual AMD Opteron systems.

In this talk we reflect on the system architecture as documented in our BSDCon 2003 paper “Building a High-performance Computing Cluster Using FreeBSD” and our changes since that time. After a brief overview of the current cluster we revisit the architectural decisions in that paper and reflect on their long term success. We then discuss lessons learned in the process. Finally, we conclude with thoughts on future cluster expansion and designs.

Building a High-performance Computing Cluster Using FreeBSD

Listen to the presentation (MP3) or read Brooks FreeBSD Clustering paper

AsiaBSDCon 2008 – papers & photos

The AsiaBSDCon 2008 took place last month (27-30 March) in Tokio, Japan. According to reports it was a very successful and enjoyable get-together. If you’ve not been able to attend, check the presentations and photographs online. Enjoy.

Some interesting (FreeBSD related) papers are:

Building a server with FreeBSD 7

Building a Server with FreeBSD 7No Starch Press has released its eagerly awaited Building a Server with FreeBSD 7

This modular guide to building a FreeBSD server is has been written to make it easy for (new) users to choose the packages that they need, with step-by-step directions for installation and configuration.

The book’s modules cover topics like:

  • Running common FreeBSD admin commands and tasks.
  • Managing the FreeBSD ports collection.
  • Installing third-party apps like Apache, Courier-IMAP, SpamAssassin, CUPS, Cyrus SASL, MediaWiki, and WordPress.
  • Setting up MySQL, NTP, ISC DHCP, ISC BIND DNS, PHP, OpenLDAP, OpenSSH, OpenSSL, and OpenVPN.
  • Appendixes explain user management, backup/restore, and network protocols. Building a Server with FreeBSD 7 will have readers running their own server loaded with useful modules in no time, with a minimum of hassle.

The most difficult part of building a server with FreeBSD, the Unix-like operating system, is arguably software installation and configuration. Finding the software is easy enough; getting everything up and running is another thing entirely. The only option for many people has been to hire a consultant.Building a Server with FreeBSD 7 is for those of us who prefer to build our own server. If you’re a small business owner looking for a reliable email server, a curious Windows administrator, or if you just want to put that old computer in the closet to work, you’ll learn how to get things up and running quickly. Then, once you have a working system, you can experiment, extend, and customize as you please.

You’ll learn how to install FreeBSD, then how to install popular server applications with the ports collection. Each package is treated as an independent module, so you can dip into the book at any point to install just the packages you need, when you need them.

Check amazon for the cheapest copies

Innotek looking for FreeBSD devs

virtual box for freebsdInnotek, developer of the virtualisation software VirtualBox, which was recently acquired by Sun, is looking for developers to help porting this promising product to FreeBSD

Very basic porting work has been done on a voluntary basis by one of my colleagues. We actually hope some developers from the FreeBSD community will pick up where we left off and complete the port.

If interested, there is a developer’s mailing list, IRC channel and forums for any questions – check out the community page.

FreeBSD KDE’s 4.0.3 update in progress

Martin Wilke has posted an update today on the progress of the porting of KDE 4.0 to FreeBSD

Right now I have some free time to update KDE4. Today i’ve committed the 5 Basic Ports (kdelibs4/base4/pimlib/runtime/workspace) with the implementation of bsd.kde4.mk. This allows further use of USE_KDE4 (actually, kdelibs, kdebase and pimlibs) for KDE4-related builds. Now I have to work on the implementation of all other related ports.