[Bioclusters] Linux on Xserve, anyone?

Chris Dagdigian dag at sonsorol.org
Tue Aug 7 15:12:23 EDT 2007

YellowDog Linux was the "go to" OS for Linux on PPC systems but a  
quick check of their website seems to indicate they are not offering  
YDL for the Intel Macs.

I've had no problem using Parallels to install and run various Centos  
Linux installations and Fusion has been getting some pretty positive  

I have not tried to install Linux on bare metal Apple boxes yet and  
if I get my hands on a woodcrest Xserve I can guarantee that I'll be  
loading the seed version of the new OS X Server release candidate  
rather than Linux. The forthcoming OS release from Apple seems pretty  
fantastic (only tested the Server OS not the client yet).

Would be interested in hearing about whatever you end up doing --  
especially if you get get Linux up and running easily on the new  


On Aug 6, 2007, at 5:52 PM, Lee Watkins wrote:

> Not much traffic here lately, must be meetings and summer doldrums...
> So here's a question to which I can't seem to find an answer:  Has  
> anyone successfully installed any version of Linux on the latest  
> Intel-based quad-core (2 x dual-core "Woodcrest") Xserve boxes from  
> Apple?  I keep hearing/reading that people (somebody, somewhere)  
> have done so but can't track down an actual person who has (our  
> Apple engineer says the same thing - lots of people who know a  
> friend who's done it or heard of somebody who's done it but nobody  
> who can provide details).  Not a MacBook or a Mac Pro, but an  
> Xserve. We have a stack of these and the programmers around here  
> would just as soon stick with the Linux they know and love  
> regardless of how swell OS X is.
> People claim that it should be straightforward using elilo (linux  
> boot loader) but I have yet to see anyone say "this is exactly how  
> I did it and it works on Xserve."  The good folks at Ubuntu say  
> they'd be happy to have their engineers help us try make it work -  
> for a price, of course.  These Xserves are pretty nice, compact and  
> fairly inexpensive servers that could make a decent linux cluster.   
> More people might buy them if they had the flexibility to run linux  
> in addition to OS X, so it doesn't seem like Apple's opposed to it,  
> just not doing anything actively to help (since they want to push  
> OS X Leopard).
> Any leads or actual experiences would be much appreciated. In the  
> meantime we've downloaded the beta version of VMWare Fusion to try  
> it (since we already use VMWare in various places anyway) and pre- 
> ordered a couple copies. At $39, what's not to like, esp. since it  
> claims to support the dual-core architecture.
> Cheers,
> Lee
> -- 
> Lee Watkins, Jr.
> Director of Bioinformatics
> Center for Inherited Disease Research (CIDR)
> Institute of Genetic Medicine
> Johns Hopkins Bayview Research Campus
> 333 Cassell Drive, Triad Bldg. Suite 2000
> Baltimore, MD 21224
> lwatkins at jhu.edu | www.cidr.jhmi.edu
> 410-550-7042 ofc | 410-903-2989 urgent_only
> _______________________________________________
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