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Welcome to The Limulus Project ™

What is the Limulus Project?

Limulus is an acronym for LInux MULti-core Unified Supercomputer. The Limulus project goal is to create and maintain an open specification and software stack for a personal workstation cluster. Ideally, a user should be able to build or purchase a small personal workstation cluster using the Limulus reference design and low cost hardware. In addition, a freely available turn-key Linux based software stack will be created and maintained for use on the Limulus design. A Limulus is inteneded to be a workstation cluster platform where users can develop software, test ideas, run small scale applications, and teach HPC methods. Consult the following draft of a Linux Magazine Limulus Article (pdf) for more information. The Limulus idea actually came from the 2005  AMD Value Cluster Project.

Project Status

April 30, 2008: I have been busy with the hardware aspects of the project. The goal is to improve packaging. The result is that the entire Norbert Limulus Cluster now fits in a single case measuring 23x20x8.5 inches (58x51x21 cm). It uses a single power supply, is very power efficient, quiet, and looks rather cool. There will be more real soon. The first version will use quad-core CPUs for a total of 16 cores per system. Also, there has been some concern about using non-ECC memory. Based on current memory technology, actual tests, and some research papers I do not think this is going to be a concern for most users. More information when the tests are done.

October 22, 2008: I have posted the new  results and the issue with Jumbo frames was due to flow control in the NICs. I used ethtool to turn off flow control and was able to see the expected performance boost for larger frames, the variability seemed to get worse however. I'll be writing this up and posting it on  ClusterMonkey real soon. Also,  Open MX 1.0.0 has been released.

August 13, 2008: I recently  posted some interesting benchmarks for Norbert. I have been testing  Open-MX over GigE and found some lower throughput when Jumbo frames are used. I think it could be the low cost switches. More testing later this week. I just noticed that the latest version of OpenMX (0.9.1) can run over standard frame sizes (1500). More testing indeed.

July 31, 2008: At long last an update! I have been busy with the software. Our goal is to have a Fedora 8 spin ready by the end of August 2008. We will also be adding our complete set of spec files plus our build/install scripts to the source tree. We will also host {S}RPMS at this time. Staring in September we will be working on packaging issues (i.e a case). In the mean time you can get more background from a pre-print (draft actually) of my Limulus Article (pdf) in the November 2007 Issue of  Linux Magazine (It has not made it to the Linux Magazine website yet).

January 1, 2008: The Trac page is up and running. The next step is to get the Wiki and Milestones completed. There is now a hardware manifest and pictures for the The Norbert Limulus Cluster.

Limulus Design and Implementation

Contacting/Joining? The Limulus Project

Once we have the project site completed, we will be posting more information on how to participate. The main contacts are:

The project is hosted by  Basement Supercomputing.

Limulus Trademarks and Licensing

The Limulus Logo and the Limulus Project are trademarks of  Basement Supercomputing. For commercial use of project trademarks or sponsorships, contact  Basement Supercomputing.

Software used by the project is subject to license terms and copyrights as per the authors. Please consult individual packages for more information.

Starting Points For The Trac System

For a complete list of local wiki pages, see TitleIndex.

Trac is brought to you by  Edgewall Software, providing professional Linux and software development services to clients worldwide. Visit for more information.