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Alen Bell

Ubuntu developers start Indiegogo campaign for Raspberry Pi Build Cluster

Alen Bell, an Ubuntu developer, has started an Indiegogo campaign for  Raspberry Pi Build Cluster for Ubuntu.

The project pages says, “We intend to build a cluster of Raspberry Pi devices, initially configured as a build farm and tasked with compiling all the source code of Ubuntu Saucy (current stable 13.10), Precise (Current LTS 12.04) and Trusty (Next release, 14.04). The objective is to produce a bootable SD card image and host binary repositories for all packages that will build.”

Why do they need money?

Bell explains, “We will construct a rack (wood, home made, probably based on something from IKEA) that contains 32 PI build machines and one or two controlling nodes with lots of disk space. The controller will run wanna-build and will host the source repository and built binaries. The build machines will all grab packages from the wanna-build queue, set up a build environment and build them.”

And that costs money.

Each node needs a Pi (£25), a 32GB SD card (£20), Power supply (£6), Networking (£8), power cabling and shelving (£11) so about £70 per node. 32 nodes sounds like a nice number, which is £2240, the controller nodes and assorted other costs and contingency bring us up to the £2500 target.

What if they get more money than they need? The project is not as ambitious as was the Ubuntu Edge project and the humble  £2500 target is achievable. What if they succeed in raising more money?

Bell explains, “Should we raise more than the £2500 we are asking for then we will probably add more nodes to the cluster and spend more time fixing stuff that doesn’t build from source. Should funds allow, we might get a second set of SD cards, so we can quickly re-task the cluster from one configuration to another.”

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Swapnil Bhartiya

A free software fund-a-mental-ist and Charles Bukowski fan, Swapnil also writes fiction and tries to find cracks in the paper armours of proprietary companies. Swapnil has been covering Linux and Free Software/Open Source since 2005.

7 Comments

  1. What do they need 32GB cards for? I can’t imagine the OS for a Cluster Pi needs that much space

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