OK, so we chose the KNOPPIX DVD last year (2008-2009 school year). We downloaded the latest version from http://www.knoppix.net/ This is a very nice Linux distribution based on Debian (http://www.debian.org/distrib/packages) making for a very good bootable or live Linux DVD with great hardware autodetection. Here are the steps involved in simply installing the DVD (no cluster apps yet) to a Linux partition on the hard drive of each PC you want in the cluster:
(0) boot dvd, open root shell, run "qtparted" to adjust partitions as desired.
(1) now run "knoppix-installer" from the same root shell and follow the instructions given in the script.
(2) reboot PC and put dvd away
(3) login as root - single by following the next 3 steps at boot-up:
in grub select top then press
select kernel then press
type "single" at end of line then press
(3a) to edit bootloader run: "joe /boot/grub/menu.1st"
(3b) then run "netcardconfig" with no dhcp, selecting ethernet card for Linux network (we had one for Linux off the internet and one for Windows on the internet) - here are the settings I used (edit according to your local network, or intranet, setup):
address = 10.5.129.1 (this varies by station, I went up to 10.5.129.25)
netmask = 255.255.0.0
network = 10.5.129.0
broadcast = 10.5.255.255
gateway = 10.5.0.254
dns = 10.1.1.9, 10.1.1.3, 10.1.1.5
(3c) now run "joe /etc/network/interfaces" and edit accordingly making sure ONLY lo and the ethernet card you selected are listed - NO hotplug - NO eth0 (if you selected eth1 for example)
(3d) we also need to run "update-rc.d ssh defaults" to set up a ssh server (sshd) on each PC or cluster node (we need this for cluster apps to talk to eachother).
(4) this step is optional - we needed to install ati drivers for graphics acceleration - we may not need this next year with redhat - run the following commands as root:
(4a) ftp 10.5.254.245/ATI/*.run (anonymously)
(4b) chmod 755 *.run
(4c) Xorg -configure
(4d) test line given and exit X with
(4e) cp /xorg.conf.new /etc/X11/xorg.conf
(4g) aticonfig -initial (twice)
(5) login as regular user (we used "apcs" in knoppix-installer) and set-up local printers using KWrite and test graphics accelorator with glxinfo, glxgears, tuxracer, bzflag....
Wow, that's all folks!