Multiuser LInux for programming courses?

Multiuser LInux for programming courses?

Post by Nigel Arn » Wed, 21 Apr 1999 04:00:00



At present, we run a programming course using X logins to a large Sun system
run by the college. That system gets overloaded (hundreds of users!), and I'm
thinking about alternatives.

Does anyone out there run elementary programming courses on a linux system
running multi-user (at peak 40-50 users logged in via X doing trivial
beginner-level programming)? If so, what sort of hardware is needed? Can it be
done with a generic PC (twin P2/ UWSCSI/ lots of RAM) or a small farm of
lesser PCs?

(Other options involving 1-user PC workstations exist, but going this route
would mean that the students would be restricted to a small subset of the
available workstations, all of which have only X emulation in common)

TIA,   Nigel.

 
 
 

Multiuser LInux for programming courses?

Post by Marc Mut » Thu, 22 Apr 1999 04:00:00



> Does anyone out there run elementary programming courses on a linux system
> running multi-user (at peak 40-50 users logged in via X doing trivial
> beginner-level programming)? If so, what sort of hardware is needed? Can it be
> done with a generic PC (twin P2/ UWSCSI/ lots of RAM) or a small farm of
> lesser PCs?

I guess if you are using just something like fvwm + emacs + gcc this
would do, but if you mean to provide KDE to all of them - think again or
buy the new 8xXeon w/ > 1GB RAM and ... from Compaq.
A smaller PC would do because most of the time the students would type
into their emacs, which loads on the system only to a small fraction.
The time-consuming gcc runs would statistically be spread over the
resouces.
Quote:

> (Other options involving 1-user PC workstations exist, but going this route
> would mean that the students would be restricted to a small subset of the
> available workstations, all of which have only X emulation in common)

That would involve a much higher administration effords, so don't do
that if you must not.

Quote:> TIA,   Nigel.

Marc Mutz

 
 
 

Multiuser LInux for programming courses?

Post by Swietanowski Artu » Sat, 24 Apr 1999 04:00:00



> Does anyone out there run elementary programming courses on a linux
> system running multi-user (at peak 40-50 users logged in via X doing
> trivial beginner-level programming)? If so, what sort of hardware
> is needed? Can it be done with a generic PC (twin P2/ UWSCSI/ lots
> of RAM) or a small farm of lesser PCs?

I'm currently doing a dive into a minimalistic dedicated cluster
onto which multiple jobs would be distributed. The ideas are quite
vague (as yet), but the general setup I aim at is:
(a) a front-end PC, onto which users would log in (but our number
    of users will not reach 50 any time soon),
(b) most will be running text sessions from external X-servers,
(c) by simple U**X magic + some hand written scripts jobs will be
    distributed over a dedicated cluster of double PII's,
(d) the very existence of the cluster will be largely hidden from
    the users, with the cluster connected to the front end by a
    super-local fast Ethernet network (or networks),
(e) all PC's in the cluster will use a number of fast hard disks
    mounted on the front end PC, with /usr/local, /opt and /home
    shared within the cluster.

Also, the cluster is supposed to be used for parallel programming.

What I'm looking for to complete the picture is a text-based utility
that would give me an average load of a given PC over a prescribed
past time. With this, a simple script could be written to dynamically
choose the least used PC in the cluster for starting up the major
applications, like gcc (also your case), Matlab and SPSS (in our
environment).

Any thoughts on this?

Regards,
---------------------------------------------------------------------

Institut fr Statistik,  Operations Research  und  Computerverfahren,
Universit?t Wien,     Universit?tsstr. 5,    A-1010 Wien,     Austria
tel. +43 (1) 427 738 620                     fax  +43 (1) 427 738 629
---------------------------------------------------------------------

 
 
 

Multiuser LInux for programming courses?

Post by Swietanowski Artu » Sat, 24 Apr 1999 04:00:00



> What I'm looking for to complete the picture is a text-based utility
> that would give me an average load of a given PC over a prescribed
> past time.

I've got a response to this: 'rup' utility (available with my RedHat
and Mandrake distributions) does exactly this.

---------------------------------------------------------------------

Institut fr Statistik,  Operations Research  und  Computerverfahren,
Universit?t Wien,     Universit?tsstr. 5,    A-1010 Wien,     Austria
tel. +43 (1) 427 738 620                     fax  +43 (1) 427 738 629
---------------------------------------------------------------------

 
 
 

Multiuser LInux for programming courses?

Post by Adam Rheau » Sun, 25 Apr 1999 04:00:00


It could be done useing a dual Xeon Intel system maybee. with like gobs of RAM that should be fine for just small jobs with like 40-50 people.. :)

-=>Viper<=-

: At present, we run a programming course using X logins to a large Sun system
: run by the college. That system gets overloaded (hundreds of users!), and I'm
: thinking about alternatives.

: Does anyone out there run elementary programming courses on a linux system
: running multi-user (at peak 40-50 users logged in via X doing trivial
: beginner-level programming)? If so, what sort of hardware is needed? Can it be
: done with a generic PC (twin P2/ UWSCSI/ lots of RAM) or a small farm of
: lesser PCs?

: (Other options involving 1-user PC workstations exist, but going this route
: would mean that the students would be restricted to a small subset of the
: available workstations, all of which have only X emulation in common)

: TIA,   Nigel.

 
 
 

Multiuser LInux for programming courses?

Post by Byron A Je » Mon, 26 Apr 1999 04:00:00




>It could be done useing a dual Xeon Intel system maybee. with like gobs of RAM that should be fine for just small jobs with like 40-50 people.. :)

Viper,

It's overkill. 5 years ago I had 27 students editing and compiling on a
486/66. My current compute server is a Pentium Pro 200 that has as many as a
dozen folks using emacs and compiling. Horsepower isn't the problem...

RAM is.

Buy as much as you can get, then get more. 256, 384, or even 512MB would not
be too much. You want enough ram so that after the shared part of the
applications and the user dependant part is loaded, that you're not even close
to swapping, which is the real performance killer.

Some multiple machines would be a good thing because it would let you spread
out memory.

Also fast reliable net connections are a must. Right now I dying due to a
router problem that beyond my control.

Lastly with a lot of activity, SCSI could be useful due to it's ability to
have overlapping I/O among its drives.

So multiple machines, w/ SCSI and scads of RAM is the ticket. Put Celerons
are AMD K6/2 in them, along with 100MB ethernet and be done.

BAJ

>-=>Viper<=-


>: At present, we run a programming course using X logins to a large Sun system
>: run by the college. That system gets overloaded (hundreds of users!), and I'm
>: thinking about alternatives.

>: Does anyone out there run elementary programming courses on a linux system
>: running multi-user (at peak 40-50 users logged in via X doing trivial
>: beginner-level programming)? If so, what sort of hardware is needed? Can it be
>: done with a generic PC (twin P2/ UWSCSI/ lots of RAM) or a small farm of
>: lesser PCs?

>: (Other options involving 1-user PC workstations exist, but going this route
>: would mean that the students would be restricted to a small subset of the
>: available workstations, all of which have only X emulation in common)

>: TIA,   Nigel.