20 August 2017

20th of August

Farm status
Intel GPUs
Seven running Asteroids work.

Nvidia GPUs
Two running Seti work

Raspberry Pis
All running Einstein BRP work


Other news
One of the Intel GPU machines is off as its front case fan has died a rather noisey death. Its an older version of the Fractal Designs ARC Midi case. I have asked the computer shop to get me some replacement fans. I expect the other machines that are in the older cases will also fail in due course so having some spares is a good idea..

I also had an older 8 port Netgear switch where some of the ports stopped working. I replaced it with a newer one during the week. While I was at it I got a spare, just in case another switch stops working.


Software updates
I did install the 4.11 kernel onto the core i3 machine and it fixed the disappearing desktop issue with Debian Stretch on iGPUs. I had to do it via ssh seeing as I couldn't get a desktop after installing Stretch. Unfortunately if you use the 4.11 kernel there are issues with some apps that use vsyscall as its disabled by default. It can be enabled via a command-line argument on kernel start-up.

I have installed BOINC 7.8.1 on one of the Nvidia GPU machines in order to test it. The manager has a few issues and my drystone benchmark figure has doubled. The issues with the manager while annoying seem to have occurred some time after 7.2.42 and have been there for quite a while. The manager issues don't have any impact on BOINCtasks which is how I normally manage the farm. I don't expect they will be fixed before an official 7.8 BOINC is released.

The Raspberry Pi foundation have updated Raspbian to the Stretch release. Raspbian for those that don't know is Debian but with some customisation for the Pi. They recommend you reinstall it rather than upgrading, but you can upgrade an existing Pi if you wish.

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).