PelicanHPC is a live CD 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 CD 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 CD image, so it is guaranteed that all nodes run the the same software. Packages can be added to the frontend node on the fly, thanks to aufs. If new software is installed in /home/user (easy for self-compiled, a little tricky for .debs), it is available to all the nodes. The CD 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 installed in standard locations by adding package names to the script and then running it.
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