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I want to run some UNIX-like (I mean linux, but could be a bsd) servers that will do some grid computing with some mpi program I've made. What's a good solution for a beginner in all this server/networks stuff?? As it is an easy situation (I guess): only one person needs access, I want the safest thing possible that I could easily manage without becomig an expert in one day.

By solutions I mean:

  • Prepare a bunch of SELinux boxes for the grid
  • OpenBSD
  • Some practices

...I don't know where to start.


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closed as off topic by voretaq7 Aug 25 '12 at 2:38

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3 Answers 3

NOTE: You can test everying but performance in the following setup.

Unless you've got loads of hardware, consider using a virtualization solution. A quick route may be to use VirtualBox. It has a mode of operating where all of the VMs are on a common network. You'd have to install an operating system once and then just clone the disk image for as many machines as you need.

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but the virtualization hits performance... I'm working on very optimized code, pushing cpu and memory use to its limits. –  Álvaro May 8 '09 at 12:20
then you know the solution: setup multiple machines on the same vlan/subnet, install your grid software, and go to town –  basszero May 8 '09 at 18:33

A core Debian install (or possibly BSD) with nothing but the base applications and OpenSSH installed. Ensure OpenSSH can only be logged into using authenticated keys, totally disable password access. Use iptables to firewall all ports but your OpenSSH. Your machine should be pretty much secure then. Debian is very easy to manage due to the excellent apt package manager.

You could use SSH tunnels for communication between machines.

You might also consider setting up xen virtual machines depending on the performance needed in your cluster.

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I'm a gentoo user since long ago. I've used debian though, and I'm willing to use it if it's supposed to be safer... what about openbsd? –  Álvaro May 8 '09 at 12:20

Why the need for openbsd or selinux distros?

Does this project really need internet? Internet facing services. If so and you are concerned about security and want simplicity openbsd actually could (maybe sorta kinda) be a good choice. if you are choosing between selinux and openbsd. openbsd has been around for a while, good documentation, good code auditing history, dead simple especially when it comes to service start ups. I don't know what to tell you about what you want to do with MPI.

If you would consider other options, I would say ubuntu maybe ubuntu server since it is pretty simple and gets lots of support. for development projects I bet there would be lots of support (probably package wise, if anything) for ubuntu since it is so popular. Also, there is now some support for SELinux in ubuntu.

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