Make Your Own Cluster Computer

davisde
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Learn how to make a cluster computer using Raspberry Pi’s! You can also use this method to build your own super computer.

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Acquiring the Parts
Here’s what you will need:

  1. 2 or more Raspberry Pi’s
  2. SD cards for each Pi
  3. Power Cables for each Pi
  4. Powered USB Hub (optional)
  5. Networking Cables
  6. A Hub or a Router

TOTAL COST: ~$100.00 [tabby title=”Software”] [/vc_column_text][/vc_tab][vc_tab title=”Code” tab_id=”1402753910272-3-86e2a-7d43″][vc_column_text]

Installing and Configuring Raspbian

  • Download the Raspbian Image from here.
  • Burn the Raspbian Image to your SD Card
  • Once the image is burned to your SD Card, but it into the Raspberry Pi and boot it up with a Keyboard, Mouse, Monitor and Internet attached.
  • Upon first boot, you should see the Rasbperry Pi Configuration screen (otherwise type “sudo raspbi-config“. Here’s the options we’ll need to configure
      • Expand the File System
      • If needed, set the Internationalization options to match your countries keyboard layout.
      • Overlcock the Pi to 800 Mhz
      • Advanced Options
        • Set the Hostname to Pi01
        • Split the memory to 16mb for graphics
        • Enable SSH
      • Finish out of the configuration, but don’t reboot yet
      • To enable auto-login, at the terminal command type “sudo nano /etc/inittab
        • Comment out this line: #1:2345:respawn:/sbin/getty --noclear 38400 tty1
        • And add this line right beneath it: 1:2345:respawn:/bin/login -f pi tty1 </dev/tty1 >/dev/tty1 2>&1
      • Now you can reboot your Pi and it should auto-login
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Installing MPICH

  • MPICH is software that allows for multi-processing communication between computers.
  • To install it on your Raspberry Pi, first make sure you have a valid Internet connection going to the Pi. Then follow these Terminal Commands
    • sudo apt-get update
    • mkdir mpich2
    • cd ~/mpich2
    • wget http://www.mpich.org/static/downloads/3.1/mpich-3.1.tar.gz
    • tar xfz mpich-3.1.tar.gz
    • sudo mkdir /home/rpimpi/
    • sudo mkdir /home/rpimpi/mpi-install
    • mkdir /home/pi/mpi-build
    • cd /home/pi/mpi-build
    • sudo apt-get install gfortran
    • sudo /home/pi/mpich2/mpich-3.1/configure -prefix=/home/rpimpi/mpi-install
    • sudo make
    • sudo make install
    • nano .bashrc
      • PATH=$PATH:/home/rpimpi/mpi-install/bin
    • sudo reboot
    • mpiexec -n 1 hostname
  • These commands will download and install MPICH, as well as add it as a path to your BASHRC boot file. The last command runs a test to see if it works. If the last command returns “Pi01”, then you did everything successfully.

Installing MPI4PY

  • As it is, MPICH can run C and Fortran programs. But since the Raspberry Pi has the Python coding environment pre-installed, it would be easiest to install a Python to MPI interpreter. Here’s the commands to do that:
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4 Comments

  1. b8con
    September 18, 2015 at 6:57 pm

    I’ve been doing great on this until I did the “sudo make install” where I received the following error.

    src/binding/f77/.deps/spawnmultf.Plo:125: *** missing separator (did you mean TAB instead of 8 spaces?). Stop.

    Any thoughts?

    Sal

    • TheNH813
      TheNH813
      January 14, 2016 at 6:23 am

      That appears to be a bug in the code. Likely it’s fixed since you made this comment.

  2. sageofhalo
    sageofhalo
    May 15, 2016 at 11:00 pm

    Greetings! I realize this is an old project but I was hoping you could help me. I decided I’d try this cluster out as I had a few old Pi’s laying around. I made it all the way through the MPICH2 install with no issues but when I attempt the command “python setup.py build” it fails with the following – “error: Cannot find ‘mpi.h’ header. Check your configuration!!!

    Up to that point everything went perfectly.

    Can you be of any assistance? Thanks in advance.

  3. danielcolgrave
    danielcolgrave
    May 9, 2017 at 12:19 pm

    hey mate thanks for the build, i have 1 problem tho… the ” wget https://mpi4py.googlecode.com/files/mpi4py-1.3.1.tar.gz ” Link is no longer active, are you able to update this for us please, really looking forword to finishing this asap 🙂 thanks again for the awsome build

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