Supercomputing with Linux
In 2000, six of Victoria's universities came together to form the Victorian Partnership for Advanced Computing, a body dedicated to providing high performance computing facilities, advanced programming, and training to Victoria's research community. In that time the organisation produced high performance compute facilities across the country, including two systems that were in the 'Top 500' systems at the time.
In this time the collection and processing of data continued at a pace that unicore desktop applications were increasingly less able to keep up with. It also occurred when a generation of graduate students were far less familiar with the powerful tools available on the command-line interface than their predecessors. This gulf between the volume of data that needed processing and the skillset of researchers to actually do the processing resulted in an extensive training programme conducted by VPAC. The programme was carefully constructed so that researchers with minimal command-line and Linux experience would have the capacity to understand high performance computing, parallel processing, and most importantly - get their research done.
Between 2013 and 2015 researchers from the following institutions were taught by VPAC staff: the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, La Trobe University, the University of Melbourne, Deakin University, Swinburne University, Victoria University of Technology, Monash University, the Australian Synchrotron, the Department of Environment and Primary Industries, the University of Sydney, Macquarie University, the University of New South Wales, the University of Western Australia, the Australian Institute of Health Innovation, the Westmead Millennium Institute, the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency, and the Australian Institution of Marine Science.
As VPAC comes to a close, the following publication compiles some of the material from the training manuals provided to these institutions to be provided to the wider research commuity. This book is designed for anyone interested in receiving a strong introduction to Linux command line skills in the context of using supercomputers.
The most recent version of "Supercomputing with Linux" (ISBN 978-0-9943373-0-6) is kept on the VPAC Github (
https://github.com/VPAC/superlinux). Job submission scripts and other associated files are included in each directory according to the chapter number.