The latest version of the Parallel Virtual Machine (PVM) computer program, denoted PVM 3.4.3, incorporates a massively-parallel-processor (MPP) software port that enables a user working on a computer outside a Beowulf system (a cluster of personal computers that run the Linux operating system) to incorporate the Beowulf system, as though it were a single computer, into the larger parallel machine administered by PVM. One of the big advantages of PVM is its ability to easily tie together heterogeneous computing systems. However, up to now, there has been no way to spawn a PVM task from outside a Beowulf system onto one of the nodes of the cluster if the node lacks an externally visible Internet Protocol (IP) address. The Beowulf/Linux port of PVM 3.4.3, denoted BEOLIN, was incorporated to overcome this limitation. The user need only add the externally visible address of the cluster host (one of the computers in the cluster that acts as a "front end" for communication between outside computers and the computers in the cluster). Thereafter, the BEOLIN code automatically assigns tasks to individual nodes within the cluster while hiding the details of the cluster from the user.

This program was written by Paul Springer of Caltech for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. For further information, access the Technical Support Package (TSP) free on-line at  under the Software category. PVM 3.4.3 is available for download from

This software is available for commercial licensing. Please contact Don Hart of the California Institute of Technology at (818) 393-3425. Refer to NPO-21048.

This Brief includes a Technical Support Package (TSP).
MPP Port of PVM to a Beowulf Computer System

(reference NPO-21048) is currently available for download from the TSP library.

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This article first appeared in the September, 2001 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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