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Evil Beowulf clustering


Sparda
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Today I was thinking about using 2 or 3 computers as a Beowulf cluster at college (using ClusterKnoppix). Which i'm sure no one would have any thing agesnt providing no one wanted to use the computers at the time (obviusly i would ask for permisson). I can't set up a beowulf cluster at home becasue well... I don't have the hardware, I have 1 (out of 6) computer that will successfuly boot from LAN. After a while of thinking about it, i realised this is an awfull idea, becasue it would mean that any and all computers turned on after I set up the master (since they dfault boot from LAN) would load clusterknoppix, since the DHCP server is on a diffrent network (the trafic is routed to it) and so the master node would send the DHCP responce when a computer asked for it befor the genuine server does. This of course lead me to thinking, what could some one who genuinly wanted to malitously load all the computers on a DHCP based network with clusterkoppix do. The obviuse one would be to use all the nodes to brtue force passwords on the servers of that network.

What are your thoughts of taking over a network though use of a 'rouge' DHCP server?

What do you surgest one does with a Beowulf cluster of 200 or so computers?

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That's hardcore. 200 computers..phew. Well..You could so SETI. :) (Has SETI at home closed down? I heard that somewhere).

A better idea is either like the other guy said , cracking passwords or a render farm. Or something..more..sinister.

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Think if something that requires a _LOT_ of CPU, but can be split up in many small tasks that can run in parallel.

Rendering (movie, image, whatever), to some extent compiling, running some computing client with 200 threads, and making sure the cluster moves each thread to its own node in the cluster, webserver benchmarking...

Or you could just _play_ with a cluster. See how it works. Learn its ins and outs. That's what I plan on doing. 4 to 6 Mini-ITXes (maybe even Nano-ITXes if they're affordable) set up as a cluster and just run stuff off of it and see how it goes. Alternatively it might be possible to get just 1 machine and run XEN on it. Then make each XEN instance (no idea how they call it) a node in the cluster. You don't get to reap the benefits of a cluster, but you can learn all about them all the same.

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What would be really cool was if there was a way of running a Linux cluster client as a windows screensaver. So when the machine isn't being used it silently joins the cluster, quiting when is being used. That way people get to use the windows software, and the uni/college gets a cheap "super computer" at nights and weekends.

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What would be really cool was if there was a way of running a Linux cluster client as a windows screensaver. So when the machine isn't being used it silently joins the cluster, quiting when is being used. That way people get to use the windows software, and the uni/college gets a cheap "super computer" at nights and weekends.

I think 3D Studio MAX allows something like this. It's not so much that it's run as a screensaver, but when people are done with their machine they register it to the rendering machine as a client. It can then help with the rendering while you're away. When you get back you unregister it and get your CPU back.

I also recall something about Macs being downright trivial to cluster.

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I like that 3D rendering idea. I would take it further and actualy try it... but I would almost definitly get kicked out of college and may be arrested. Thats asuming I got cought of course. There are a few unmonitored computers dotted arounbd the building, but at this stage it is definitly not worth the risk. (The wise hacker knows when to strike and when not to).

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Dude, if you just go do it, kiss college good bye... But if you wrote up your ideas and presented them as part of a project, they might let you do it with the IT dept.s backing. All you have to convince them is that you can turn it off without breaking there setup. If not, start collecting old pc's. A lot of people with old WinME machines are replacing them with new laptops about now. Hardware is fine, just has a craptastic OS install.

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How can you stop people setting up DHCP server and booting all the computers with what ever OS they want? I suppose you could stop it from booting from network by deafult, but thats time consuming and means you have to go to every computer.

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They only have to do it once.... seriously, have you ever read Bastard Operator From Hell (http://bofh.ntk.net/Bastard.html), never piss of IT lol.

I suppose it could be done filtering the MAC of the DHCP server... if thats known then you could set everything else to be ignored. But I suspect that having 2 DHCP servers, would just make everything grind to a halt. However, you could have 2 PC's on the same LAN, behind one router, set up a DHCP server and see what falls over.

Do you know how i can boot it on my server (its headless and without a optical drive)? Its running win2003 via remote desktop. Never done a network install before.

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You mean you want to boot Clusterknoppix on to a CD-ROM less computer that has no monitor? Easy, install clusterknoppix to USB flash memory (this can be done by booting a computer in to clusterknoppix from cd and running knx-hdinstall) then jut plug the memory stick in (since it's running server 2003 i'll asume it's a fiairly modern motherboard and can boot from USB flash memory), and tell it to boot from USB flash memory.

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  • 4 weeks later...

If you want to do a cluster with Windows Machines....here's my recipe...

VMWare Player

Have VMWare Player boot to KlusterKnoppix,

Repeat...

And since it's virtualization, all the machines are the same....and you can still run Windows. :twisted:

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