Re: [AMBER-Developers] Amber on Live-CD?

From: Mark Williamson <>
Date: Tue, 29 Nov 2011 19:27:47 +0000

On 29/11/2011 18:26, Gustavo Seabra wrote:
> Hi everybody,
> I am planning a class on molecular dynamics applications, and was
> thinking on having an Amber installation on a Linux Live-CD, so that
> it could be installed on the computers to be used by the student
> during the class, and making sure all students have exactly the same
> environment.
Hi Gustavo,

Assuming you're not actually going to install the OS from the Live-CD to
the harddrive, I would avoid the CD route. Instead, use PXE boot in
combination with dhcpd, tftp and NFS, to boot an image over the network.

Some examples:


        1) If you make a subtle mistake with some aspect of your bespoke image
CD, you are left with ~30 shiny coffee coasters, plus the headache of
re-burning the CDs and handing them out again. With the PXE route, you
just change the master image on the server node and then just reboot all
the workstations.

        2) Network IO should be faster than CD or USB.

        3) No issues with people walking off with software.

        4) You can test it all via an emulator such as VMWare (they can PXE
boot too).

        5) You have the option of setting up some persistent network storage
for the user.

Possible issues:

        1) It's a bit more advanced; on the target cluster, you're going to
need a system admin that knows what she's doing.
        2) You may need to stagger the powering up of all the workstations,
since it may trip a circuit breaker with the peak draw current at start
up. Also, depending on the network, it *may* overwhelm the tftpd server.



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Received on Tue Nov 29 2011 - 11:30:02 PST
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