How to build a RaspberryPi Cluster

RaspberryPi was invented as educational device to inspire children to study computer science. Nevertheless, in a couple of years it has become the toy of computer scientists, engineers and curious of every age.

How to build a RaspberryPi Cluster

This project is our successful attempt to build an educational RaspberryPi Cluster composed by one main node and eight computational nodes. In this post we try to explain step-by-step our work in order to allow anybody to build its own cluster.

First of all, we need to make a detailed list of all parts that we have to put together to build our cluster. In the table below are listed all pieces and the websites where you can find them. Amazon and eBay are the most popular electronic e-commerce websites where all these parts can be found easily and for a low price. The prices and the links indicated in the table are the information at the time we built the cluster. At the moment you are reading this post could be out-of-date. Use the name of the part to look for more updated information on Internet.

Part Quantity Price per piece Price
Raspberry Pi Model B 8x $37.50 $300
CanaKit Raspberry Pi (512 MB) Complete Starter Kit 1x $59.99 $59.99
CablesOnline 10-PACK 6inch CAT5e UTP Ethernet 1x $13.79 $13.79
AmazonBasics 7 Port USB 2.0 Hub 2x $18.99 $37.98
Sony 16GB SDHC/SDXC Memory Card 9x $12.95 $116.55
NETGEAR 8-Port Gigabit Ethernet Switch 1x $41.99 $41.99
BUFFALO AirStation N450 Gigabit Wireless Router 1x $83.99 $83.99
Stacked 3 Floors Clear Raspberry PI case 3x $13.99 $41.97
Total Price $696.26

Raspbian Debian Wheezy OS: Installation

How to build a RaspberryPi Cluster code

There are many specific Operating System to use with the Rasperry Pi. They are usually base on known Linux distribution like Debian, Fedora, etc. For our project we opted for a Debian-based version called Raspbian Debian Wheezy. A ready-to-use image of the OS can be download from here. Once the OS image has been downloaded, it needs to be installed in the SD card. This operation should be done for all SD cards that we have, so for the number of nodes of our cluster, nine in our case. However, since we would need to configure different aspects of the OS, in order to speed up all these operations, we will use some trick. Let us start installing our image only on one SD card.


For more detail: How to build a RaspberryPi Cluster

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