William Gropp and Ewing Lusk
In this book we have tried to collect the information needed to build, use, and operate a Beowulf computer. The chapter authors have described the key issues and technologies associated with their individual topics, and then gone on to provide details associated with the current state of the art. We hope that this combination will not only guide you in making near-term decisions but also enable you to make informed choices in the future regarding hardware and software use with clusters.
In preparing this second edition of Beowulf Cluster Computing with Linux, nearly all authors were reminded how quickly software evolves by the number of changes in the details of installing and using the software packages described here. Fortunately, it is primarily the details that change; the concepts either remain the same or evolve much more slowly.
A number of approaches exist for keeping up to date. Nearly all of the software packages and some of the hardware items described in this book have web sites. We have tried to include as many as possible explicitly; if we haven't included the site you need, Google (www.google.com) is your friend.
The Beowulf mailing list (<firstname.lastname@example.org>) is an active, ongoing discussion of all Beowulf-related topics, for clusters both large and small. A number of specific technology areas also have newsgroups, such as comp.parallel, comp.parallel.mpi, and comp.parallel.pvm. Specific software often has its own mailing list and/or web site.