[TUHS] RFS was: Re: UNIX of choice these days?

Andreas Kusalananda Kähäri andreas.kahari at icm.uu.se
Fri Sep 29 18:59:23 AEST 2017

On Thu, Sep 28, 2017 at 03:20:56PM -0700, Larry McVoy wrote:
> On Fri, Sep 29, 2017 at 08:08:16AM +1000, Dave Horsfall wrote:
> > On Thu, 28 Sep 2017, Clem Cole wrote:
> > 
> > >Truth is that an Sun-3 running 'diskless' != as an Apollo running
> > >'twinned.' [There is a famous Clem' story I'll not repeat here from
> > >Masscomp about a typo I made, but your imagination would probably be right
> > >- when I refused to do build a diskless system for Masscomp]....
> > 
> > Not the infamous "dikless" workstation?  I remember a riposte from a woman
> > (on Usenet?), saying she didn't know that it was an option...
> I dunno why all the hating on diskless.  They actually work, I used the
> heck out of them.  For kernel work, stacking one on top of the other,
> the test machine being diskless, was a cheap way to get a setup.
> Sure, disk was better and if your work load was write heavy then they
> sucked (*), but for testing, for editing, that sort of thing, they were
> fine.
> --lm

My main work setup today is actually a diskless (X11-less) OpenBSD
system.  It's just something I set up in a VM environment to learn how
to do it (I'm on a work laptop running Windows 10, as I need Windows
for some few work-related tasks), but it works just fine and I have no
reason to change it.  For one thing, it makes backups easier as they can
run locally on the server.

At some point I hope to buy I smaller dedicated server to run the NFS
server (and mail, etc.) but I see no real reason not to keep running the
diskless client in a VM on my laptop.  Heck, then I might even be able
to netboot the laptop itself without disturbing the Windows system on it
at all...

> (*) I did a distributed make when I was working on clusters.  Did the
> compiles on a pile of clients, all the data was on the NFS server, I started
> the build on the NFS server, did all the compiles remotely, did the link
> locally.  Got a 12x speed up on a 16 node + server setup.  The other kernel
> hacks were super jealous.  They were all sharing a big SMP machine with
> a Solaris that didn't scale for shit, I was way faster.

OpenBSD has this "dpb" thing ("distributed ports builder",
/usr/ports/infrastructure/bin/dpb, http://man.openbsd.org/dpb) that
does distributed building of 3rd-party packages.  It does exactly this,
sharing the sources over NFS.


Andreas Kusalananda Kähäri,
National Bioinformatics Infrastructure Sweden (NBIS),
Uppsala University, Sweden.

More information about the TUHS mailing list