Update on Linux at CERN


Linux Compatible Hardware

We only deal with Linux on Intel.

Most of the hardware encountered so far worked

The hardware is changing too fast!

A HEP-wide standardisation would help.

"The" "Certified" "Linux"

... is still evolving

... has no formal certification procedure

... defines more than "which Linux" to use:

The Current Certified Linux

It's based on Red Hat 4.1 with most of the 93 updated RPMs for Red Hat 4.2, for instance XFree86 3.3.1.

The kernel is still 2.0.27 because the one from Red Hat 4.2 (2.0.30) is buggy and because of (current) AFS limitations.

It includes a recompiled kernel and updated network modules.

It includes a complete version of SUE.

It works fine with ASIS and CERNLIB 97a and 98.

The New Certified Linux

It will probably be based on Red Hat 5.0 with all the 65 updated RPMs. It may also contain:

It will bring several important enhancements:

The main compatibility issue comes from the new GNU C library.

This will be discussed at the next CLUG meeting next Thursday...

From: Andres Sandoval <Andres.Sandoval@cern.ch>
Subject: Remainder Linux Users Meeting April 9th
Newsgroups: cern.linux

This is to remind you that there will be a Linux Users Meeting next Thursday April 9th at CERN in Building 160 1-009 starting at 14:00.

P. Defert and L. Cons Update on the CERN customised REDHAT 4.2 distribution

A. Maslenikov, L. Cons Migration to RedHat 5.0 including AFS

F. Rademakers Support for SMP machines

Users Requests for the RedHat 5.0 distribution being prepared

S. Philpott/Jefferson Lab Use of Linux in the Jefferson Lab Computer Centre

T. Kleinwort/DESY Zeuthen LINUX activities at Zeuthen

E. Leonardi/L3 Linux farm for L3 MC production at Rome


No official news so far from Transarc.

There is a newer version from Derek Atkins (MIT) based on AFS 3.3a which should work fine with recent kernels and SMP.

We will use i386_redhat50 for Red Hat 5.0's "@sys".

There is a new PAM for AFS not using the AFS libraries, check http://www.uni-hohenheim.de/~schaefer/linux/pam/

There is a new project to build a free UNIX AFS client, check http://www.stacken.kth.se/projekt/arla/


CERNLIB 98 is available for Linux (Intel) and has been compiled on the certified Linux (Red Hat 4.1, kernel 2.0.27) with gcc and g77 0.5.21.

It is complete except Motif applications and paw++ (for the moment).

It will be tested soon on Red Hat 5.0. External help would be appreciated...

For more information, check http://wwwinfo.cern.ch/asd/cernlib/schedule.html


Side note: the CERNLIB is now properly "packaged" inside ASIS...

Almost all ASIS applications are available for Red Hat 4.

It's expected that most of them will also work with Red Hat 5.

There is a Red Hat 5 reference machine for tests and compilation, located in CASPUR.

The Red Hat 5 ASIS "volume" (with fall back to Red Hat 4) is available and is being populated with Perl, egcs...


It's available for Red Hat 4 since last summer and includes:

It's used by almost 100 machines!

A version for Red Hat 5 is being tested.

Other Applications

Oracle is not available but the JDBC works fine.

A few "engineering" applications used at CERN are available (Mathematica, Matlab, Roxie) but most are missing.

Who? How Many?

More and more groups and experiments use or test Linux: Chorus, NOMAD, L3, TH...

There are probably between 200 and 300 PCs running Linux at CERN.

This kind of information should be centralised by the CERN Linux Users Group (CLUG), check http://linux.cern.ch

Not to be confused with the IT pages at http://wwwinfo.cern.ch/dis/linux/

Linux CDs



Installation CD

Path Contents Size (MB)
/redhat/pro recommended Red Hat for CERN 180
/redhat/contrib contributed software from Red Hat 410
/redhat/doc Red Hat-specific documentation 10
/redhat/idx RPM indexes 10
/disks disk images 20
/dos DOS programs 0
total 630

Application CD

It contains the full copy of the ASIS repository for the "share" and "i386_linux2" architectures, including:

but excluding: This requires around 630MB today.

CD Formats

The "natural" ISO9660 format has advantages:

but also drawbacks: One can also create EXT2 CDs that have ... opposite characteristics.

We will therefore use:

CD Production

Creating the CD image is straightforward: run a Perl script and wait.

The first (master) copy will be created by hand and tested.

We will then duplicate the master with the appropriate hardware (standalone, unattended duplicator).

We are finalising the "details":

All this is currently CERN-specific, mainly because of CERN customised items like the certified Linux, SUE or ASIS.

Lionel Cons, 9-Apr-1998.