13 August 2017

13th of August

Farm status
Intel GPUs
Have been running Asteroids and Einstein work. Currently idle.

Nvidia GPUs
Have been running Seti work. Currently idle.

Raspberry Pis
Running Einstein BRP4 work


Other news
I tried installing Stretch on one of the Intel i3's and had to go back to Jessie to get the desktop back. I thought installing Beignet (the OpenCL package for Intel GPUs) might help the desktop work under Stretch but it doesn't make any difference. There haven't been any updates to the Debian bug that I raised regarding the desktop issues with Intel iGPU's and Stretch. There is a later kernel (4.11) available from Stretch-backports which I have yet to try. Stretch comes with a 4.9 kernel.

The weather has warmed up during the day even though its still winter. The farm is idle during the day and crunching overnight now.

I did software updates to all Raspberry Pis today. After rebooting Pi #5 refused to come back so I had to reimage the SD card and install it again. It cancelled the 5 work units that it had. If Einstein had "resend lost tasks" enabled on their server I could have downloaded them again but it seems they don't have it enabled at the moment.

06 August 2017

6th of August

Farm status
Intel GPUs
All running Einstein gravity wave work

Nvidia GPUs
Two running Seti work

Raspberry Pis
All running Einstein BRP4 work


HT Condor
I'm experimenting with HT Condor at the moment. The HT stands for high throughput. It a batch task queuing system that a lot of computer clusters run. I am using one of the i3's for experimenting. The idea is to be able to run work via HT Condor or BOINC. With HT Condor you have a submit node, a manager node and one or more compute nodes. They can all be the same machine or they could be separate machines depending on the size of the cluster. Its available as a Debian package so its easy to install and get going.


Other news
While using one of the i3's with its built-in graphics I thought I would try Debian Stretch on it. It did the same as my i7's and doesn't display the desktop icons after logging in. All I get is the Debian wallpaper and a mouse pointer. I did have the i3's with a GTX970 running Stretch without any problems when using the Nvidia drivers. It just doesn't seem to work with the built-in Intel graphics. I have updated the bug I raised with Debian.

I haven't tried running all four of the Ryzen's with GPU tasks at the same time. I'm not too sure if the power circuit will be able to handle all of them running at once. I have run all of them doing just CPU work which is fine. I have run 3 of them doing both CPU and GPU work. I need to plug the power meter in which means rearranging power cables and I need to buy new batteries for the meter (it uses the little button ones that don't last very long).

30 July 2017

30th of July

Farm status
Intel GPUs
All running Einstein gravity wave work

Nvidia GPUs
All off

Raspberry Pis
All running Einstein BRP4 work


Other news
Debian updated their net install image for Stretch to 9.1 so I tried installing it on one of the Intel GPU machines. Unfortunately no desktop so I had to reinstall Jessie again to get it going. I updated the Debian bug but there doesn't seem to be any progress on it.

We had an unusually warm weekend so the Nvidia GPU machines were all switched off. Its meant to be the middle of winter at the moment.

Project-wise Asteroids got up to 41.4M credits so now Einstein is playing catch up and is currently on 41.2M. Seti is on 44M credits but I have only been running it on two of the Nvidia GPU machines.

I still need to look into running CPDN work on the Linux machines. Unfortunately their apps are only 32 bit and that means various 32 bit libraries need to be installed. You would think the project would switch to 64 bit for Linux at least but they don't seem inclined.

25 July 2017

25th of July

Farm status
Intel GPUs
All running Asteroids work

Nvidia GPUs
Two running Asteroids work

Raspberry Pis
All running Einstein BRP4 work


Other news
I have the other two Ryzen systems installed and running. The Nvidia GPU part of the farm is now 4 x Ryzen 1700's with a GTX1060 in each one.

When I started up the last two machines they gave me a "CPU fan error" which turned out to be the shop had plugged the CPU and case fans into the wrong headers on the motherboard. I had to plug them into the correct ones. I also took the opportunity to remove the DVD drive from each machine. In the dim, dark days when I ran windows I needed them to install it, but these days I boot off a USB memory stick and install Linux from it.

I have pretty much reached the power and thermal limits of the farm in its current location so that puts any further expansion on hold until I can find somewhere else to locate equipment. I will look at adding some redundancy (internet, etc).


BOINC news
There are some moves afoot to improve the BOINC client. At the moment its just a list of what we'd like to see. Its may not actually happen but you have to start somewhere. There are also moves to come up with better source/release management of the client