: We just got in a dual Pentium Pro 200 motherboard today. We plan to
: install Linux on it; we read that multiprocessor support for Linux is
: still very much in alpha. Anyone know the latest situation with this,
: and does anyone have any advice or warnings about doing this?
I did an evaluation of an ALR Revolution Quad6 with 4x PPro 200's (256K),
512 MB of RAM and a DPT card/disk array configured as one 4 GB RAID 5 disk.
There was also a 2 GB EIDE drive. I used the RedHat-4.1 distribution
using version 2.0.27 of the kernel - SMP enabled of course.
The machine worked very well (ALR make some very nice kit) and the
performance was good as expected. Damn thing flew along very impressively,
running say 3 numerically intensive jobs simultaneously, each enjoying their
own processor apparently without significant interference (provided there was
enough real memory for each). I set up 1 GB of swap as well and gave it
a thrashing with some large (>400 MB) F77 programs for good measure.
The system/user CPU time is reported incorrectly - although the *sum*
of these was always accurate. This is a known problem. The most serious
problem I noticed was causing a system panic when sending a SIGSTOP to
a large program. Other than that all seemed fine - although the evaluation
was only for a short period and note that 2.0.27 falls into this
"Some strange intermittent problems reported, no conclusions yet, though."
I'd check the relevant WWW sites and news groups for the latest hints,
tips and problems; e.g. http://www.linux.org.uk/SMP/title.html
I would certainly not have any qualms about recommending a Linux P6 SMP
configuration to those that are sufficiently experienced to deal with
potential problems. It's not safety critical or anything but if you don't push
it too far it won't fall over and one can be confident that, given time, these
problems will be ironed out. The source is always there for the brave ;-)