Operating System Options for IA64 Altix/Prism Systems

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Re: Operating System Options for Altix/Prism Systems

Unread postby foetz » Sat Jul 13, 2013 4:45 pm

iirc a few of the osf features made it into hpux but i wouldn't bet on it :P

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Re: Operating System Options for Altix/Prism Systems

Unread postby SAQ » Sat Jul 13, 2013 9:30 pm

foetz wrote:iirc a few of the osf features made it into hpux but i wouldn't bet on it :P


Motif did. But those were "base OSF/1" features (HP was a founding member of OSF), not DEC OSF/1 "enhanced features"
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Re: Operating System Options for Altix/Prism Systems

Unread postby smj » Sun Jul 14, 2013 1:35 pm

As SAQ pointed out, Altix was a scale-up, Single System Image (SSI) platform for High Performance Computing (HPC). If you wanted to have 256 CPUs with serious floating point performance and a fast low-latency interconnect in 2003, this was a good option. Very often for this end of the market programmer time is cheap compared to bringing enough compute power to bear, so if you've got to port your code, or the libraries you use, you do it to make the jobs run within a week instead of a month. And frankly with so much HPC work happening on Linux in loosely-coupled clusters in the '90s, it's not such an oddball choice of OS.

Remember that AMD only released the first 64-bit Opteron in April 2003. Today is there a reason to choose Itanium over x86_64 for net-new systems? Perhaps for some specific cases - and not considering recent vendor games around support for the architecture. But ten years ago, that was a different equation.

And regardless, I started this thread so we could work out what OS options were available for hobbyists who were getting their hands on used SGI Altix platforms today, as they become more common on eBay, etc. Not anybody shopping for new hardware.

PR link announcing Altix 3000 in 2003
Pre-release SGI Itanium announcements focus on Cray, NEC supers (2002)
The Reg on Altix 3k and technical computing (2003)
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Re: Operating System Options for Altix/Prism Systems

Unread postby xiri » Fri Aug 30, 2013 2:35 pm

Is it possible to plug a graphics adapter in one of the PCI-slots of a base module or a CMPX module and run X11? Although 10 years ago AGP was the dominating connector for graphics adapters there were still some PCI-cards on the market. The question is if ia-64 drivers for Linux were provided then.
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Re: Operating System Options for Altix/Prism Systems

Unread postby smj » Sat Aug 31, 2013 4:48 pm

xiri wrote:Is it possible to plug a graphics adapter in one of the PCI-slots of a base module or a CMPX module and run X11? Although 10 years ago AGP was the dominating connector for graphics adapters there were still some PCI-cards on the market. The question is if ia-64 drivers for Linux were provided then.

I don't know. It probably wouldn't hurt anything to drop one in and try, but it all depends on what kind of X server-side software/support your distro includes, and what it makes of the card. If it's a well supported card and a generic kernel it might work, but I'm just guessing.
Then? :IRIS3130: ... Now? :O3x02L: :A3504L:- :A3502L: :1600SW:+MLA :Fuel: :Octane2: :Octane: :Indigo2IMP: :Indy: ... Other: DEC :BA213: :BA123: Sun, DG AViiON, NeXT :Cube:

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Re: Operating System Options for Altix/Prism Systems

Unread postby mia » Sat Aug 31, 2013 7:07 pm

Don't waste your time with Freebsd on altix, it wouldn't work if you have more than one CPU enabled, and even so, it will crash now and then, and no one is really interested working on this.

Debian 6 will work; that's what I run on our altix cluster.
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Re: Operating System Options for Altix/Prism Systems

Unread postby bjornl » Wed Jul 23, 2014 10:48 am

I'm trying to get an Altix 3700bx2 running and found this topic.
I had some problems installing an OS (because I didn't read the instructions completely :?) but now I think I'm on the right track.

So now I wonder if there is a prefered OS/distro of Linux for such a machine?
Maybe there is better performance with SLES than RHEL for example. SLES is better because it's newer or something like that.

I have the media for SLES 9 SP2 that came with the machine. I also have media for SLES 10 SP?.
It seems like Debian 5.0.4 was the last OS that was installed (and erased before I got it).

I'm downloading Debian 5.0.8 while I write this, because it was mentioned to work in this post viewtopic.php?f=8&t=16718710
I'm also going to download Debian 6.0.10, since it is the latest Debian that could to work according to this thread.

Will the ProPack boost performance for a server? NUMA for example? Do I need it for some other reason.
It doesn't really matter if the gain is small, but if there is significant difference I naturally want the faster one :-)
I guess I can't use ProPack with anything else than SLES since it says so in the prerequisites.

I might try to install the Intel compiler as well, if there are some things to think of when choosing OS/distro.
Maybe it doesn't matter.

The reason that I'm asking this is that I don't want to burn 6-7 DVDs of the "wrong" distro and spend time installing it, if there is a better alternative.

I also have a Prism that I will get started on later, and it seems that SLES9 + a ProPack is the way to go, if I want Graphics to work.

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Re: Operating System Options for Altix/Prism Systems

Unread postby vishnu » Wed Jul 23, 2014 1:41 pm

Looks like ProPack through version 5 is no longer a free download, all the ProPack directories have been emptied: ftp://oss.sgi.com/projects/sgi_propack/download/
Project:
Temporarily lost at sea...
Plan:
World domination! Or something...

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Re: Operating System Options for Altix/Prism Systems

Unread postby smj » Wed Jul 23, 2014 1:46 pm

Yes, SLES 9 + ProPack for the Prism, if you want graphics.

I got side-tracked on the whole question of what RAM works in the first-gen Altix systems (viewtopic.php?f=3&t=16727949), but the Foundation Software and ProPack should give you NUMA tools, Performance Co-Pilot, and other fun system management/monitoring items.
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Re: Operating System Options for Altix/Prism Systems

Unread postby Raion-Fox » Fri Jul 25, 2014 10:49 am

Seems awhile back the FreeBSD project had a bootable image for the Altix series but I don't know if that went any further
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Re: Operating System Options for Altix/Prism Systems

Unread postby smj » Fri Jul 25, 2014 10:59 am

Check this post earlier in the thread: viewtopic.php?f=10&t=16727812#p7361446
Then? :IRIS3130: ... Now? :O3x02L: :A3504L:- :A3502L: :1600SW:+MLA :Fuel: :Octane2: :Octane: :Indigo2IMP: :Indy: ... Other: DEC :BA213: :BA123: Sun, DG AViiON, NeXT :Cube:

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Re: Operating System Options for Altix/Prism Systems

Unread postby Raion-Fox » Tue Aug 19, 2014 11:56 am

Bad news fellas - 11 CURRENT release notes for FreeBSD indicate they're dropping the IA-64 port.

I have a local source for Altix 350s though and have asked the NetBSD project to add me to their Hardware available page.
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Re: Operating System Options for IA64 Altix/Prism Systems

Unread postby Raion-Fox » Mon Mar 02, 2015 1:13 pm

Good news! Got someone on the NetBSD project interested in trying to get NetBSD running on the 350! Stay tuned.
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Re: Operating System Options for IA64 Altix/Prism Systems

Unread postby smj » Mon Mar 02, 2015 4:07 pm

Interesting news! However I will immediately delete this from my brain, because:

Image
Then? :IRIS3130: ... Now? :O3x02L: :A3504L:- :A3502L: :1600SW:+MLA :Fuel: :Octane2: :Octane: :Indigo2IMP: :Indy: ... Other: DEC :BA213: :BA123: Sun, DG AViiON, NeXT :Cube:

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Re: Operating System Options for IA64 Altix/Prism Systems

Unread postby ClassicHasClass » Mon Mar 02, 2015 5:02 pm

That's a scene from The Men Who Stare At Saucepans, right?
smit happens.

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