Friday, November 26, 2021

27th of November

Marks Rpi Cluster continues to run 24/7. At the moment all its doing is Einstein work as Rosetta@home ran out of work.

I mentioned in my last post Einstein have a Gamma Ray Search app for arm64. All of the Pi4's are now running it along with the BRP4 app. The Gamma Ray work units use around 749MB per task so I am only running them on the Pi4's. They take 27 hours to complete.

I updated the 4 remaining compute nodes to Raspberry Pi OS based upon Debian bullseye. That leaves just one support node left to upgrade. There have been some reports of compatibility issues with bullseye on the Pi around the camera and some desktop apps. Neither of these effect me as I run mine headless (no screen or keyboard) and don't have a Raspberry Pi camera.

Sunday, November 14, 2021

Updating to bullseye

This weekend was spent updating most of the Pi's to the bullseye release. I've done all the easy to reach Pi's that are compute nodes and two of the support nodes. That leaves four compute nodes and one support node left.

The main bottleneck with the upgrades is having the compute nodes finish off all their work and the time to flash a micro SD card with the new image. I basically have one SD card ready to go and then the SD card that comes out of the Pi gets reflashed and used in the next one. I also gave them a clean.

I added another Pi3 into the cluster while I was at it. Marks Rpi Cluster now consists of:

5 x Pi3 as compute nodes
9 x Pi4 (8GB) as compute nodes
3 x Pi4 (2GB) as support nodes

The Einstein@home project have a 64 bit Gamma-ray Pulsar Search #5 app available for ARM computers. One of the users on the message boards was asking about it so I installed it on one of the Pi4's. Its looking like they are going to take 24 hours to complete but I won't know until its done.

There was an optimized app that one of the users with the username N30dg-ARM developed independently to the project, but he hasn't been on the forums for a couple of years so I think he lost interest. He also developed the optimized BRP4 app that I use. Neocortix (cloud service provider) offered to port the apps for free a couple of years ago but the project wasn't interested in ARM64 apps at the time, until Apple released the M1 Mac.

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Bullseye for the Pi

Yesterday the Raspberry Pi foundation released Raspberry Pi OS based upon Debian bullseye. Debian released bullseye on the 14th of August 2021 and its taken a while for the foundation to get their release ready. The official announcement is HERE if you want to get the details straight from the horses mouth.

I've been running bullseye on my x64 based machines since August so its pretty much the same. Behind the scenes the foundation have reworked the desktop and switched to using mutter so some apps may not work correctly.

There is a possible speed boost if you have a newish Pi4. For the SoC (System on a Chip) that have the last 3 characters C0T of the Broadcom part number it will now boost to 1.8GHz, but those of you with the B0T part will only boost to 1.5GHz as before, unless you've already over clocked the Pi. The Pi400 uses the C0T part and it was already boosting to 1.8GHz.

A couple of quirks I found:

1. iptables isn't in the arm64 "lite" image. I had to installed the iptables package.

2. The boinc-client service is disabled by default so you have to start it manually. If you want it to start automatically type in the command "sudo systemctl enable boinc-client".

3. Bullseye now uses systemd-timesyncd for time syncing. Its a simple SNTP service that doesn't have much one can configure. Fortunately if you install ntp or ntpsec it will uninstall timesyncd.


Download links

The Raspberry Pi OS download page can be found HERE

ARM64 full version (beta): Here

ARM64 lite version (beta): Here

The arm64 versions are still considered beta, even though they have been available since 2020.

Sunday, November 7, 2021

7th of November

Marks Rpi Cluster continues running 24/7. Although there isn't much to report they are still processing work as best they can.

The Pi3's run Einstein@home on 3 out of 4 cores. They don't have enough memory to run 4 at a time using the optimized app.

The Pi4's run Einstein@home and Rosetta@home on all 4 cores in a 50/50 split between the two BOINC projects.

Rpi Foundation news
There is still no news from the Raspberry Pi foundation around transitioning to Debian bullseye. They are still on the prior version of Debian. There has been some recent updates to the kernel which might be them preparing to update.

The Raspberry Pi foundation have resumed making the 1GB version of the Pi4 due to chip shortages. The 1GB version was discontinued when they introduced the 2GB model. 1GB isn't enough memory for number crunching and if running Rosetta@home its best to have 8GB.

The foundation also announced the Pi Zero 2 W. Its an updated version of the Pi Zero W but now has a quad-core ARM Cortex A53 CPU (like the Pi3). The older version had a single core ARM v6 CPU. This also means it can run a 64 bit operating system.

Transitioning out of lock-down
As we come out of the 2nd COVID-19 lock-down I may be able to sort out the 3D printed Pi cases and I need enclosures for the power supplies so I can stop using so many power adapters and power strips.