Parallel Knoppix 2.8 has been released

ParallelKnoppix is a remastered edition of KNOPPIX that allows setting up a cluster of machines for parallel processing using the LAM-MPI and/or MPICH implementations of MPI. Getting the cluster up and running takes less than 15 minutes, if the machines have PXE network cards. Starting from version 2.2, the distribution is based on Debian's unstable branch, rather than KNOPPIX.

ParallelKnoppix (PK) is a fast and easy way to create a HPC cluster for parallel computing. It is designed to be easy to use for people new to parallel computing, but it is also suitable for serious work.

PK is normally used as a "live CD", but it can also be used very productively from your usual operating system, through virtualization. The PK master node can be booted in a virtual machine, then you can network boot other computers to make a real (nonvirtual) Linux cluster in minutes. The cluster is ad hoc, it does not install anything to any of the computers it runs on. This way, when you shut down the cluster, the machines are in their original state. Getting the cluster up and running takes about 5 minutes.

PK gives you a cluster of machines ready for parallel processing using MPI. The openMPI, LAM-MPI and MPICH implementations are installed and ready to use. Examples for C, Fortran, GNU Octave (using MPITB) and Python (using parallelpython, mpi4py and pyMPI) are ready to run. Both 32 bit and 64 bit versions are available. If you have only 64 bit machines, use the 64 bit version. If you have only 32 bit machines or a mixture of 32 bit and 64 bit machines, the 32 bit version is what you need.

Why should you be interested in parallel processing? Do you happen to have a dual core CPU? Would you like to get both cores working on the same problem? If so, parallel processing could be useful to you.

You can download PK at here.


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