PelicanHPC GNU Linux   




PelicanHPC is an iso-hybrid (CD or USB) image that let's you set up a high performance computing cluster in a few minutes. A Pelican cluster allows you to do parallel computing using MPI. You can run Pelican on a single multiple core machine to use all cores to solve a problem, or you can network multiple computers together to make a cluster. The frontend node (either a real computer or a virtual machine) boots from the image. The compute nodes boot by PXE, using the frontend node as the server. All of the nodes of the cluster get their filesystems from the same image, so it is guaranteed that all nodes run the the same software. Packages can be added to all nodes using apt-get, thanks to aufs. The bootable image is created by running a single script, which takes advantage of the Debian Live infrastructure.  It is very easy to create a custom version with new packages by adding package names to the script and then running it. PelicanHPC is creates a fairly bare-bones cluster, with few applications other than those relevant to the author's research and teaching. To use PelicanHPC for serious work in other disciplines, it will be necessary to create a customized version. The tutorial explains how to do this. It is not very difficult. Two examples of specialized distros that add to the PelicanHPC base are MOLA and birgHPC. These are very good examples of how it is intended for the make_pelican script to be used.

Here are some screenshots (click to enlarge):


Use the normal download page or a mirror (see below). The make_pelican script and pre-built ISO images are always available on the normal download page. To use the script to make your own version, you need to install the live_helper package. Get the most recent version.

Mirrors (Thanks!):

Germany: Provided by the Medical Informatics department of Heilbronn University and Heidelberg University.     username "parallel" password "knoppix"


Academic work that uses PelicanHPC or ParallelKnoppix

Please let me know if you use this software to produce published academic work.

Similar distros

Some other distros for setting up a HPC cluster are mentioned here. They may be better choices for certain tasks.

How much interest is there in PelicanHPC?

This part is here to help convince people that funding this project is worthwhile. Check at StatCounter (then click on Recent Visitor Map) to see an updated version of this map:

(c) 2011 Michael Creel