jahboater
Posts: 2656
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2015 6:38 pm

Linux and super computers

Mon Dec 04, 2017 1:19 pm

I thought this was interesting ...

Today, all 500 of the world's top 500 supercomputers are running Linux.

http://www.zdnet.com/article/linux-tota ... computers/

Heater
Posts: 9270
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2012 3:02 pm

Re: Linux and super computers

Mon Dec 04, 2017 2:50 pm

Don't know what took them so long.

From the Pi Zero to the Sunway TaihuLight, Linux all the way.

And to think they thought I was crazy to push for Linux on the embedded systems I was working on 12 years ago.

MarkR
Posts: 126
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2013 1:55 pm

Re: Linux and super computers

Mon Dec 04, 2017 11:16 pm

To be fair, they mostly aren't *really* running Linux, they are rather using it as a kind of glue to stick their rather custom GPU and interconnect systems together.

Back when CPUs were the main workhorse, Linux worked quite well too. But nowadays, it's hardly really relevant. The CPUs are there mostly to move the data around and assist in debugging. The real work gets done in other chips.

But interesting point... one of the most popular bitcoin mining platforms is... raspberry pi? Why? Because they are cheap, low power, do everything necessary, the real work being done by asics. (NB: I am not endorsing purchase of btc)

jahboater
Posts: 2656
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2015 6:38 pm

Re: Linux and super computers

Mon Dec 04, 2017 11:24 pm

A very long time ago in the early days of super computers (crays, cdc's etc) I remember they started to use UNIX rather than their own proprietary operating systems. The reason was, to get the rapid increase in performance with each hardware revision, they had to make large and incompatible changes to the hardware. Porting UNIX (written in C) each time was much easier, quicker, and cheaper than porting their own OS's.

Heater
Posts: 9270
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2012 3:02 pm

Re: Linux and super computers

Tue Dec 05, 2017 1:21 am

MarkR,
To be fair, they mostly aren't *really* running Linux, they are rather using it as a kind of glue to stick their rather custom GPU and interconnect systems together.
I'm not sure what you mean there.

To be fair (to whom by the way?) those guys don't want to waste cycles running Linux or any other OS. They want to run the massively parallel nuclear physics simulations or climate models or whatever. The less the OS gets in the way the better.

They need an OS on every node to load it up and orchestrate it all. They need the "glue" as you say. Linux is the best glue.

Just the same as Linux on my PC is the glue between the processors in my keyboard, my SSD, my USB devices, my WIFI/ethernet interface, my GPU, etc, etc and my application.

asandford
Posts: 1998
Joined: Mon Dec 31, 2012 12:54 pm
Location: Waterlooville

Re: Linux and super computers

Tue Dec 05, 2017 1:22 am

The ones 'they' are prepared to talk about...

User avatar
DougieLawson
Posts: 32730
Joined: Sun Jun 16, 2013 11:19 pm
Location: Basingstoke, UK
Contact: Website

Re: Linux and super computers

Tue Dec 05, 2017 8:04 am

MarkR wrote:
Mon Dec 04, 2017 11:16 pm
Back when CPUs were the main workhorse, Linux worked quite well too. But nowadays, it's hardly really relevant. The CPUs are there mostly to move the data around and assist in debugging. The real work gets done in other chips.
Looks like someone failed Computing 101 with an F- if they wrote that.

Here's a text book for Computing 101 that you need to read: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Computer-Ladyb ... 72140619X/
Microprocessor, Raspberry Pi & Arduino Hacker
Mainframe database troubleshooter
MQTT Evangelist
Twitter: @DougieLawson

2012-18: 1B*5, 2B*2, B+, A+, Z, ZW, 3Bs*3, 3B+

Any DMs sent on Twitter will be answered next month.

Heater
Posts: 9270
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2012 3:02 pm

Re: Linux and super computers

Tue Dec 05, 2017 9:58 am

Good grief Dougie, I have not see a Ladybird book since I was about 5. Now they have a Ladybird book on Quantum Mechanics!
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Quantum-Mechan ... ACSPTSHWBV

jamesh
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Posts: 19620
Joined: Sat Jul 30, 2011 7:41 pm

Re: Linux and super computers

Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:51 am

Keep it polite people.
Principal Software Engineer at Raspberry Pi (Trading) Ltd.
Please direct all questions to the forum, I do not do support via PM.

ejolson
Posts: 1574
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2014 11:47 am

Re: Linux and super computers

Tue Dec 19, 2017 2:15 am

jahboater wrote:
Mon Dec 04, 2017 1:19 pm
I thought this was interesting ...

Today, all 500 of the world's top 500 supercomputers are running Linux.

http://www.zdnet.com/article/linux-tota ... computers/
The fact that the same Linux which runs on the world's fastest supercomputers is nearly the same as the Linux which runs on the Raspberry Pi is fantastic from an educational point of view. The same programming environment used to write programs that run on supercomputers can be learned by anyone with the time and interest to do so. I've just started a thread about constructing a Pi Zero cluster, configuring it and programming it in a way similar to a traditional supercomputer used for scientific computation.

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