Automated Cluster Installer

This is a tool which automates the installation of Linux-based Beowulf clusters. It is a work in progress, initially started as a project for my parallel computing course at Boise State University in 2005. It has since grown to be my graduate thesis project.

December 22, 2005: The Fedora Core 4 version of the cluster installer is available!
July 28, 2006: The first release of the FC5 cluster installer is available. This fixes some weirdness introduced by package changes in this Fedora Core release.
April 2, 2007: A major update and rebuild of the FC5 code is available. I've redesigned it to eliminate most of the packages which were causing the image to bloat. We're now at 468MB instead of 2.5GB! This version also includes several updated tools for cluster management.
June 4, 2007: I'm finished! The Fedora Core 5 version of the cluster installer is complete. It can be downloaded below.
August 12, 2007: I've graduated! M.S. in Computer Science, woohoo!
November 1, 2007: Further work is in progress to update the cluster installer to Fedora Core 7. More details as they become available.

The Automated Cluster Installer is based on Red Hat Fedora Core 5, and includes both a web-based GUI and a command line interface. The general idea is that a user may build an entire cluster with the help of this tool, by following these general steps:

1. Install FC5 on a dual-NIC system which will be the Master Node. When installing, select all three software groups (e.g. Software Development, Office and Productivity, etc).
2. Configure DNS, NTP, firewalling, hostname, etc. on the Master Node.
3. Install this software on the Master Node, and run through the prompts to create an OS image for the Compute Nodes.
4. Install the OS image on all Compute Nodes.
5. Reboot, and start parallel computing!

The cluster installer includes a baseline set of FC5 RPMs (plus some very useful extras) for building a minimal-footprint headless compute node image. Some of the additional software which makes this cluster installer unique is the integration of parallel toolkits which implement common parallel software design patterns, distributed and parallel network filesystems, and the OpenMPI, LAM, and MPICH2 message-passing systems already integrated with OpenPBS for batch job management.

Want to get your cluster installed in under one hour? Download the cluster installer now and see how it performs!
Version 20070604 (available at the following site) is the latest, released June 4, 2007:

Download the Automated Cluster Installer CD image via FTP (469 MB)
This site also includes several older builds of the cluster installer, based on Fedora Core 4 and 5.