Author Options:

Are there any linux distibutions that can be used for a supercomputer without complex programming? Answered

I am building a supercomputer and i am not sure how to set up the os. I know that i want to use linux, but most sites I've seen have linux using complex programming. Is this the only way to set up a linux os?

Edit: Rather than changing the original question i wanted to add on. I have done more research and i have realized that the proper term for what i want to build is not supercomputer but cluster, though supercomputers do fall under the cluster catagory. when i say cluster, i still want it to act as one computer though i am not sure if that is in the definition of a cluster.  so, what i really need is to find a linux os for a computer cluster of 4 or 5 computers. is this possible without complex programming?


What sorts of specs are we looking at? I doubt you are building an actual supercomputer running at teraflops, so Ubuntu server edition should be fine for you, it supports up to 2048 cores I think, which should be suitable for your build, I assume you are building a server rack with maybe 8 or so CPUs?

Sorry, i Misspoke. I don't want to build a literal "Supercomputer", so much as a small group of 4-7 computers connected, acting as one.

They have been doing research into this idea for some time now. You should Google it and see what you can find. I forget what its called. It's a special type of network. One of the benefits is that once its all connected together it can be self programing. But they are using thousands of processors, and not just a few old PC's. The idea is to give the computer, or rather the network, a goal rather than a program and then it tries to figure out how to achieve that goal through trial and error. It's an idea that could result in self repairing software except for the fact that it would not be able to be copyrighted. Since the machine itself is rewriting its code to adapt and repair itself then every OS would be unique and hence not copyrightable. So its partly a money thing. Maybe someday----

So you mean a cloud computer then? I am not sure about that, sorry. You could always try Ubuntu server edition as it is designed to work with multiple CPUs.

Or a local cluster, perhaps? There are distros for that easily found with google.

If you can't handle complex programming I'm afraid a supercomputer isn't going to be much use to you.


Complex programming... 

square root(-1) = i


Not unless you have supercomputer hardware... and even then, complex programming is required in order to take full advantage of it.. If you're very lucky, some of that programming, for some specific cases, may be handled by the compiler, or by existing libraries which have done that work for you (IBM's PureScale for DB2 comes to mind as an example of the latter, as do the matrix libraries for Fortran that used to be used on the Crays).

But, basically, unless you have a superscalar processor, you need to divide the work up into chunks -- either by vectorizing, if you have vector processing hardware, or by intelligently distributing it to multiple scalar processors and then reassembling the results.

(Note that the cheapest form of vector hardware available these days is generally the video coprocessors, and there *are* libraries which will use one or more of these to do non-video computation... but again, your program has to be written to take advantage of those libraries, and only a subset of tasks will fit that processing model.)

Sorry, but there's no silver bullet here either. You really can build an amazingly powerful machine for a surprisingly low price these days -- but only if you meet it halfway by having the software designed to take advantage of it, and only if the problem you're trying to solve actually fits that design.


7 years ago

Can I borrow it when your done?

What is this supercomputer that you are building?
(Or would you like to build a "super"computer and the first thing you're thinking about is an OS you'd like?)