[Lustre-discuss] Lustre 2.x support on vanilla kernels

Andreas Dilger adilger at whamcloud.com
Tue Jun 5 08:16:51 PDT 2012

On 2012-06-05, at 7:11 AM, Andrew Savchenko wrote:
> we are building an HPC IB-backed cluster and are considering to
> use Lustre 2.x for our distributed and parallel cluster storage.
> What bothers me that only RedHat-based systems are claimed to be
> supported. We will likely use Gentoo on our computing nodes, this
> effectively means vanilla kernels. On Lustre servers we may install
> RedHat, this is an acceptable, but not a desirable solution.

On servers, the reason that we only support vendor kernels is because
there are patches needed for ext4 to support extra features that we
have implemented.  That means it takes some non-trivial effort to add
support for a different kernel.  With Lustre 2.4 + ZFS it will be
possible to run Lustre servers completely without patches.

Since the Lustre servers are intended to be separate from the rest of
the compute cluster, it is not usually a problem to run RHEL on those
nodes, and whatever distro you want on the client nodes (assuming you
want to build your own packages for them).

> On clients we will definitely use 3.x kernels, so I'd like to know
> a current status of Lustre client support. They are patchless to my
> knowledge, so should work on any recent kernel, but your mileage may
> vary.

There are continuous changes to the kernel APIs that filesystems need
to use to work on Linux.  In 2.6.38 there was a major change to how
clients interact with the dcache, which will be included in Lustre
clients for the 2.3 release.  There are some patches for making the
Lustre client work with 3.1 and 3.3 kernels, but those patches are not
yet landed.

Having interested users test newer kernels and report back their
experience to the list helps everyone involved.  It allows users
such as yourself to participate in the development of Lustre, and
allows maintainers to have some assurance that the patches for those
kernels actually allow Lustre to work on the newer kernels, and not
just compile without errors.

As you can imagine, we cannot possibly build and test every combination
of Linux kernels and distros available.  We do include tools to build
packages for Debian/Ubuntu based systems, and do regular builds for
Ubuntu 10, but as yet there has been little interest in Gentoo.  If
this is something you feel strongly about, possibly you could contribute
Makefile rules/scripts to build Gentoo packages to help others also
use Lustre with Gentoo.

> Also if someone have an experience with Lustre 2.x servers on vanilla
> kernels, it will be welcome.
> Best regards,
> Andrew Savchenko
> _______________________________________________
> Lustre-discuss mailing list
> Lustre-discuss at lists.lustre.org
> http://lists.lustre.org/mailman/listinfo/lustre-discuss

Cheers, Andreas
Andreas Dilger                       Whamcloud, Inc.
Principal Lustre Engineer            http://www.whamcloud.com/

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