SS03 Build Your Own Cluster
Installation Instructions for Red Hat 8.0 and Clustermatic 3
You should have the following parts:
- 4 single-processor Athlon PCs
- 4 Intel network cards (already installed)
- 4 network cables
- 1 fast ethernet switch and its power adapter
- 1 3Com network card (already installed)
- 1 keyboard
- 1 mouse
- 1 monitor
- 1 power strip
- 5 power cables
- 2 Red Hat 8.0 CD-ROMs
(discs 1 & 2, from www.redhat.com)
- 1 Clustermatic 3 CD-ROM
- 1 TCB Summer School CD-ROM
(NAMD examples and
- 4 floppy disks
Part 1: Install Red Hat Linux 8.0 on the Master Node
If you've installed Red Hat before, the following may be quite tedious.
If you've never installed Red Hat before, the following may be quite
mysterious. It's a necessary evil in either case.
- Plug the monitor into the power strip and turn it on.
- Find the machine with two network cards; this is the master node.
- Plug the master node into the power strip and connect the monitor,
keyboard, and mouse.
- Power on the master node, open the CD-ROM drive, insert
Red Hat 8.0 disc 1, and press the reset button. The machine should
boot from the CD-ROM.
If you wait too long and your machine starts booting off of the hard
drive just press the reset button to make it boot from the CD-ROM.
If your machine still insists on booting from the hard drive
you may need to modify its BIOS settings.
- When the Red Hat welcome screen comes up, type linux text before
the timeout expires.
You could do a graphical install if you really wanted to, but
these instructions are for text mode, which is useful if you don't have
a mouse. If you miss the timeout, press the reset button.
- Skip testing the CD media.
This takes far too long and has no real benefit for fresh installs.
- Say OK to the "Welcome to Red Hat Linux!" message.
- Select English as your installation language.
- Select a US model keyboard.
- If your mouse was not automatically detected,
select a generic 3-button PS/2 mouse.
- Select a Workstation install.
We typically use Custom, but Workstation is good enough for now.
- Select Autopartition.
We don't store files on our cluster machines, even on the master nodes,
so it doesn't matter how the disk is set up. We use dedicated fileservers
- Select "Remove all partitions on this system".
Again, we don't keep data on cluster machines.
- Yes, you really want to delete all existing data.
Of course, at home you might not want to do this.
- Use the GRUB boot loader.
Clustermatic has problems with LILO, the only other option.
- There are no special kernel options for the boot loader configuration.
- Do not set a GRUB password.
- There are no other operating systems to boot.
- Install the boot loader on the master boot record.
Unless you've got another operating system living there that
you'd care to run again.
- For device eth0, use bootp/dhcp and do not activate on boot.
This will be the interface to the private network.
It is configured by the beowulf startup scripts, so you just need
to get through installation and keep the normal network startup
scripts from messing with it.
- For device eth1, use bootp/dhcp and do not activate on boot.
In a production cluster this would be the interface to the
outside world, activated on boot with a fixed IP address assigned
by your network administrator. Since there is no network for this
hands-on session, you can just leave it unconfigured.
- Customize the high security firewall option it to make eth0
a trusted device and incoming SSH the only allowed protocol.
Be very careful doing this step, since your slave nodes will not
boot if eth0 is not a trusted device!
- No additional languages.
- The hardware clock should be set to GMT. Pick your time zone.
- Pick a root password that you will remember. Write it down.
- Pick a username and password so you don't have to be root all the time.
You should only log in as root when you absolutely need to.
- You don't need to create any more accounts.
If this will be a multi-user production system you will want to
make everyone their own account at some point, but you don't need to
do it during initial installation.
- You don't need to customize the software selection or pick individual packages.
However, you may want to do this for a production system.
This is by far the easiest time to add packages to your cluster.
On the other hand, the default install has 2 GB of software,
so you could save some time in the next step if you pared the list down.
- Wait about 15 minutes for the installation to finish, inserting disc 2 when asked.
- Make a boot floppy.
Having a Linux boot floppy can be invaluable. A floppy made now
will be unable to load kernel modules once you install Clustermatic, but
it will still allow you to boot your machine and fix any misconfigurations.
You probably won't need it today, though.
- Accept the suggested video card configuration.
You would normally only use the console of a production cluster
during initial configuration or adding nodes, and you don't need a GUI
for either of those, so there is little reason to configure X-Windows.
Having multiple terminals available will be useful for this exercise,
so we'll go ahead and configure X-Windows anyway.
- Accept the default monitor configuration, even if it is "Unprobed Monitor".
- Accept the default color depth and resolution, and the graphical login.
For a production system you would probably want a text login
by default, since you will probably remove the mouse at some point.
- Remove the CD-ROM and floppy and reboot the machine.
- Use the Quit button to skip the additional configuration screens.
Part 2: Install Clustermatic 3 on the Master Node
The following will be new to everyone. You'll need to know how to
use a unix text editor. The examples below use the mouse-driven editor
"gedit" rather than the more common "vi".
- Log in as root and open a terminal (in the System Tools menu).
- gedit /etc/modules.conf and
swap eth0 and eth1 if necessary so that the network alias lines read:
The hands-on master nodes have two network cards, one from Intel and one
from 3Com. Editing /etc/modules.conf ensures that the Intel network card
is the private network (eth0) and the 3Com network card is the outside world
(eth1). If you had two identical network cards you would need to determine
which was which by trial and error. The hands-on slave nodes only have the
alias eth0 eepro100
alias eth1 3c59x
- Remove the conflicting oprofile package with rpm -e oprofile
The message "error: package oprofile is not installed" is OK.
- Insert the Clustermatic 3 CD and wait for it to mount.
If you're not running X-Windows you need to mount it with
- Install Clustermatic with rpm --nodeps -Uvh /mnt/cdrom/RPMS/athlon/*
Substitute the i686 directory if any of your machines have Intel processors. The --nodeps option allows us to ignore some mpich dependencies that we don't care about.
- Unmount the Clustermatic CD with eject and remove it.
- gedit /boot/grub/grub.conf and edit the default line (a zero-based
index into the list of kernels that follows) to indicate
the 2.4.19-lanl.22 kernel.
If you had dual-processor or hyperthreaded nodes you would use
the 2.4.19-lanl.22smp kernel.
- gedit /etc/beowulf/config and edit the following lines:
- On the interface line, change "eth1:0" to "eth0":
interface eth0 10.0.4.1 255.255.255.0
- Change the nodes line to the number of slave nodes you will have:
- Change the iprange line to provide the corresponding number of addresses:
iprange 0 10.0.4.10 10.0.4.12
- Change the kernelimage to point at the proper kernel:
You would use vmlinuz-2.4.19-lanl.22smp
if you had dual-processor or hyperthreaded nodes.
- gedit /etc/beowulf/config.boot to eliminate everything but eepro100
(the module for our private network card) from the bootmodule line.
Just comment out all the old bootmodule lines and replace with this:
This makes the boot image much smaller, for faster boots.
It is particularly useful if you want to ignore a network port that is
built into the motherboard in favor of a separate gigabit card.
- Reboot the machine to use the new kernel and settings with reboot
Part 3: Attach and Boot the Slave Nodes
- Plug the private network switch into an outlet on the power strip.
- Connect the master node's Intel network card (this is the same type of
card that the slave nodes have, while the other card has a barely legible
"3Com" ingraved on it) to the switch.
In a production cluster, the 3Com card would be connected to the
building network. You don't actually have access to the building network
today, so you'll need to use your imagination.
- Log in as root and open a terminal.
- Create the level 2 boot image with beoboot -2 -n
This builds the second stage boot image, which the slaves will
download from the master over the network. You only need to run this
command when you change the boot options in
/etc/beowulf/config or /etc/beowulf/config.boot.
- Open a second terminal and run /usr/lib/beoboot/bin/nodeadd -a eth0
The nodeadd program will run until you kill it with Ctrl-C. Leave it running!
This process is only needed when adding new nodes to the cluster.
The nodeadd program captures the hardware ethernet address of any machine
trying to boot on the private network (eth0), adds it to node list in
/etc/beowulf/config, and makes the beoboot daemon read the new list (-a).
When a new node is detected nodeadd will print the hardware address followed
by a message about sending SIGHUP to beoserv.
- For each slave node:
- Insert an unused floppy in the master node.
- Write a level 1 beoboot image to the floppy (/dev/fd0) with
beoboot -1 -k /boot/vmlinuz-2.4.19-lanl.22beoboot -f -o /dev/fd0
- Move the floppy to the slave node.
- Connect the slave node network card to the switch.
- Connect the monitor to the slave node.
- Power on the slave node and watch it boot from the floppy.
You will see two sequences of Linux kernel boot messages,
one from the first stage beoboot kernel on the floppy and another
from second stage kernel downloaded from the master node.
The slave is done booting when you see the message
"Node setup completed successfully."
- Connect the monitor to the master node again.
- Leave the floppy in the slave node, do not remove it.
- Switch to the second terminal and kill nodeadd with Ctrl-C
- Run tail /etc/beowulf/config to see the new (uncommented) node addresses.
- Check the status of the cluster with bpstat
Make sure as many nodes are up as the number of slaves you have.
If you had not modified the nodes and iprange lines in /etc/beowulf/config
to match the size of your cluster, you would see the extra nodes
harmlessly listed as down.
- Examine the log file from node 0 with less /var/log/beowulf/node.0
Each node has its own log file in /var/log/beowulf.
These log files only contain output from the final stages of slave startup,
after the second stage kernel has contacted the master node.
- View the kernel messages from node 0 with bpsh 0 dmesg | less
The bpsh command allows any binary installed on the master node
to execute on one or more slave nodes (see options in the appendix).
Interpreted scripts or programs requiring files found only on the master node
cannot be run via bpsh.
- Reboot all the slaves with bpctl --slave all --reboot
If you see any "Node is down" messages, these indicate that fewer
than the number of nodes given in /dev/beowulf/config were up when you
issued the command.
- Log out.
Part 4: Running NAMD on the Cluster
- Log in as the normal user you created during installation.
- Insert the TCB Summer School CD and wait for it to mount.
If you're not running X-Windows you need to mount it with
- Copy (cp) the following files from /mnt/cdrom/programs/namd to your home directory:
- Unmount the CD with eject and remove it.
- In your home directory, uncompress each file with tar xzf filename
- Run ln -s NAMD_2.5b2ss03_Linux-i686-Clustermatic NAMD to make
the path to the NAMD binaries easier to type.
- Check how many slave nodes are up with bpstat -t allup, then
add one (for the master node) to calculate the number of currently available
processors in your cluster.
If you had dual-processor nodes you would
need to multiply this number by two.
- Run NAMD with ~/NAMD/charmrun +pN ~/NAMD/namd2 apoa1/apoa1.namd where N is the number of available processors you found above.
While NAMD is running, you can run top in a second terminal to see the running processes.
- Locate the performance information printed to standard output, i.e., the
"TIMING:" lines printed every 20 steps in the apoa1 example. The most relevant
value is the "Wall" time per step.
For a larger cluster, you would want to look for the
"Benchmark time:" lines, which are printed after load balancing.
Since load balancing is less important for four-node clusters we'll
save some time by taking results from the first couple of "TIMING:" lines.
- Experiment with varying N to measure NAMD's speedup.
The amount of memory needed by the apoa1 simulation is very close to
256 MB, the total memory installed on each node. This may result in
very slow performance when running on one node, and very impressive
superlinear speedups when running on two nodes.
- Measure the speedup of NAMD when running bpti_imd/bpti.namd, which
is a much smaller simulation.
Ignore the initial 200 steps of minimization. It may be convenient
to pipe (|) the output of NAMD through grep TIMING since the
output will scroll by very quickly. The BPTI simulation is
much smaller, so you will measure a lower speedup.
- Experiment by measuring performance when you ask for more
processors than are available.
Charmrun will create extra namd2 processes
across the nodes to reach the specified number.
- Experiment by measuring performance when you run more than
one NAMD job at once.
Appendix: Usage Options for Common Bproc Utilities
bpstat: monitor status of slave nodes
bpctl: alter state of slave nodes
Usage: bpstat [options] [nodes ...]
-h,--help Display this message and exit.
-v,--version Display version information and exit.
The nodes argument is a comma delimited list of the following:
Single node numbers - "4" means node number 4
Node ranges - "5-8" means node numbers 5,6,7,8
Node classes - "allX" means all slave nodes with status X
"all" means all slave nodes
More than one nodes argument can be given.
Valid node states are:
down boot error unavailable up
Node list display flags:
-c,--compact Print compacted listing of nodes. (default)
-l,--long Print long listing of nodes.
-a,--address Print node addresses.
-s,--status Print node status.
-n,--number Print node numbers.
-t,--total Print total number of nodes.
Node list sorting flags:
-R,--sort-reverse Reverse sort order.
-N,--sort-number Sort by node number.
-S,--sort-status Sort by node status.
-O,--keep-order Don't sort node list.
-U,--update Continuously update status
-L,--lock "locked" mode for running on an unattended terminal
-A hostname Print the node number that corresponds to a
host name or IP address.
-p Display process state.
-P Eat "ps" output and augment. (doesnt work well.)
bpsh: run programs on slave nodes
Usage: bpctl [options]
-h,--help Print this message and exit
-v,--version Print version information and exit
-M,--master Send a command to the master node
-S num,--slave num Send a command to slave node num
-s state,--state state Set the state of the node to state
-r dir,--chroot dir Cause slave daemon to chroot to dir
-R,--reboot Reboot the slave node
-H,--halt Halt the slave node
-P,--pwroff Power off the slave node
--cache-purge-fail Purge library cache fail list
--cache-purge Purge library cache
Reconnect to front end.
-m mode,--mode mode Set the permission bits of a node
-u user,--user user Set the user ID of a node
-g group,--group group Set the group ID of a node
-f Fast - do not wait for acknowledgement from
remote nodes when possible.
The valid node states are:
down boot error unavailable up
bpcp: copy files to slave nodes
Usage: bpsh [options] nodenumber command
bpsh -a [options] command
bpsh -A [options] command
-h Display this message and exit
-v Display version information and exit
Node selection options:
-a Run the command on all nodes which are up.
-A Run the command on all nodes which are not down.
IO forwarding options:
-n Redirect stdin from /dev/null
-N No IO forwarding
-L Line buffer output from remote nodes.
-p Prefix each line of output with the node number
it is from. (implies -L)
-s Show the output from each node sequentially.
-d Print a divider between the output from each
node. (implies -s)
-b ## Set IO buffer size to ## bytes. This affects the
maximum line length for line buffered IO. (default=4096)
Redirect standard in from file on the remote node.
Redirect standard out to file on the remote node.
Redirect standard error to file on the remote node.
Usage: bpcp [-p] f1 f2
bpcp [-r] [-p] f1 ... fn directory
-h Display this message and exit.
-v Display version information and exit.
-p Preserve file timestamps.
-r Copy recursively.
Paths on slave nodes are prefixed by nodenumber:, e.g., 0:/tmp/
Clustermatic web site
and Clustermatic 3 README
BProc: Beowulf Distributed Process Space web site